I always think that when I promise to expand on a topic in my next newsletter that it will practically write itself; that I will not have to work hard on writing it. I’ll let you in on a secret, when it is time for me to write my newsletter it does practically write itself! The words flow effortlessly from my fingertips. When writing feels difficult I know it is not yet time to write or I am trying too hard rather than sitting and asking within what wants to come forth this time. The times writing feels difficult, when I am trying too hard to write about something that I think I should write about, one of the ways I break through is to ask myself.
who is struggling and how old are they?
This is a way to get in touch with younger versions of yourself that may be triggered by an event, a person, or a situation like writing a newsletter.
I’ve recently been in touch with my inner 12 year old. She is very quiet like I was when I was 12. I am giving her lots of love and attention. I am letting her know she is welcome and I am available to listen anytime she wants to talk to me. Giving attention to our younger selves allows us to provide ourselves with what we needed but did not get at that age. It is a way for us to parent ourselves right now. Welcoming, listening, and loving helps integrate that younger part of our self and brings healing to our hearts.
Grief often brings up many associative memories.
Our younger selves may be wrapped up in those memories and they can trigger a response in us now that is unexpected. How can you unravel those triggered emotion by getting in touch with your younger selves? When you feel yourself being triggered by a person, an experience, or an event ask yourself: who is being triggered and how old do they feel? Take time to breathe into the feeling. Allow your younger selves to be there however they show up. They may be reticent and not want to engage right away. If you are new to inner child work, just trust that whatever age show up is the right one needed at the time. Let them know they are loved and welcome. Let them know they can talk to you when they are ready.
There are a few ways you can engage with them:
You can write to them, letting them write answers in you non-dominant hand (my personal favorite is using crayons).
You can ask them questions and feel their answers.
You can invite them to draw or scribble.
You can ask your younger self how they want to communicate with you.
They can give you clues to parts of yourself that need healing.
The key is to give them lots of love and space. Give them what you needed but did not receive when you were that age. Inner child work is another resource to unravel the myriad of feeling that make up grief. There may be times when you cry that remind you of your childhood, such as when you were sad because a beloved pet died. In the present time these feelings seem tied to a loss you are currently experiencing which does not make sense to you. Our younger selves are there to assist with all our feelings as we journey through life. Providing them with what they need and want can put us in touch with our deepest longings. Next time you feel sad, confused, angry, or upset ask yourself if it is a younger self trying to communicate. Let your younger selves come out to play. You may be surprised and delighted by what they bring into your life.
Let me know what you discover