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Becoming the Parent Your Inner Child Needed

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a quote on Facebook that really struck a chord with my followers. The image went on to be shared 102 times, with 12,825 people reached. The quote was, She held herself until the sobs of the child inside subsided entirely. I love you, she told herself. It will all be okay. (H. Raven Rose)

I believe that this quote resonated with so many people because the words finally put a scenario that they had dealt with so often into simple words. It’s a strange situation to explain but one that I guarantee most, if not all, people have experienced often. After a particularly hard day or after a triggering event, you might feel overwhelmed, upset, angry, and sad but confused because they don’t feel like your feelings. The feelings are in your body and something is pushing you to feel them but it doesn’t feel like it originated from you, or at least from your adult self. So where are these feelings coming from then?

They are coming...

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Changing Your Priorities For the Holidays

Have you recovered from the holidays?

The holidays can be challenging for survivors, for many reasons. I used to feel exhausted after the holidays. Then I started to question why I was running around doing all the things I felt that I "should" be doing. Baking varieties of cookies, washing and ironing all the table cloths, scrubbing the floors, washing the windows, decorating every corner, planning every meal...the list goes on! Was it really something that I wanted or even enjoyed or was I doing it all because it was what my family did growing up or what my culture dictated was the "right" way to prepare/celebrate the holidays? Either way, it was exhausting!

I know I had good intentions and wanted to create good memories for my family but looking back, I can see I used to be so controlling and rigid with how things should be. Looking back, it makes me cringe and I feel bad for my kids. Yes, they do have fond memories but I know that some of my controlling ways would take all the...

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Giving Yourself the Gift of Compassion

On Periscope Live this past Friday, I wore my heart shaped glasses. We had been digging deep that week, asking some hard questions about healing, so it was time to lighten the mood and laugh a little. 
 
Not only do these silly heart shaped glasses help us to laugh, they also remind all of us to lead from our hearts. To lead with warmth and kindness and love and to choose to see the best in ourselves and in other people. This is called self-compassion.
 
These are stressful times in our world and for many survivors the holidays are hard and can be very painful. Either you are being reminded of the past by your family's presence (more than usual) around the holidays or you are triggered by the fact that you have cut off your family as a part of your healing and feel alone. For many survivors, the holidays rarely feel safe or enjoyable.  
 
So I wanted to send out this reminder, that no matter where you are on your journey and despite whatever hard...
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Your Negative Self-Image is Holding You Back

Once I started to work on myself and recognized how my body was responding to trauma, how the tension in my body was feeding my need to defend and protect myself, I realized how that fed into my beliefs that there was something wrong with me.
 
There was something wrong but there was nothing wrong with me. What was wrong was that I had carried a negative self image for such a long time that I did not see how it made me feel about myself. It had become the lens through which I saw the world.
 
As I worked to help my body let go of chronic tension and find balance, the defensive side of me would flare up, showing up in how I approached my relationships, expecting the worst and defaulting to self-sabotage. But as my body began to finally feel safe, a new awareness of myself emerged. 
 
As I learned to be present in my body and connected to the present moment, I started to hear my own thoughts. It was a bit shocking in the beginning. All this time, I thought others...
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Living Out of Your Truth

The trauma from child abuse disconnects us from the truth we feel in our hearts.  The healing journey is about finding your way back to your truth. Being able to feel again is how you do that.  It's one of the incredible blessings of the healing journey.    

We spend a lot of time learning how to safely feel and release our negative emotions like fear, shame, pain, and loneliness.  But there comes a time when we need to learn how to feel positive emotions, too. Why? Because these emotions are our truth.

What is your truth?  It’s the same as mine:

  • Love
  • Kindness
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Compassion
  • Goodness
  • Patience
  • Gratitude

Slowly work your way down this list and practice “feeling” each of these truths. Allow them to saturate your heart, soul, body, and spirit until they become a part of you.  

Actually, these truths have always been a part of you. The trauma of child abuse simply disconnected you from them. When I began to feel these...

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Parenting Your Inner Child

 

Becoming a loving, caring, nurturing parent to your inner child can be scary at first. This child remembers every minute of the child abuse you survived, even if you’ve blocked out the worst of it. Ouch!

But don’t worry. Your inner child isn’t going to unleash all those horrible memories on you. Instead, it will only be the parts of you that need healing, the parts you have rejected or ignored.

Yes, your inner child is angry. That’s scary, too. Mine was furious. She wasn’t as upset about the abuse from the past as she was the fact that I had rejected her for decades. I kept giving her to other people to love. She didn’t want their love. She wanted mine.

The wonderful thing about making the commitment to do inner child work is you discover just how loving you can be as an adult. In my case, I discovered I was capable of creating safety for this little girl. I could make her a top priority in my life. I could protect her. I could even help her...

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How Do I Connect With My Wounded Inner Child?

 

Every time you make a decision to change a toxic behavior pattern, your wounded inner child will appear. It’s what makes healthy change hard for us.

And that’s why inner child work is so important. You can’t recover from child abuse and trauma without doing this deep, messy work.

Your wounded inner child is that very young part of yourself, who was hurt by the abuse and is still in pain. In my case, it was my 6-year old self. She was angry for never being seen, heard, or valued. She believed the only way she could ever be worthy was by overachieving and taking care of everyone else’s needs, while ignoring hers.

Because I could feel her anger, resentment, and pain, I was terrified of her. So I rejected her for decades. Of course, that just added to her painful burden.

Inner child work is the practice of building a loving relationship with your abused inner child and becoming the loving parent that child never had. Easier said than done, right? I mean, how do...

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