So how are you doing with getting to know your inner child? What ages are they when they show up? And perhaps most importantly, how are you getting on with understanding them, and being kind and compassionate to them?
I hope last week’s blog gave you a few pointers on how to tune into them, how they might be impacting you, and how to start to build a relationship with them. And also helped shine a light on why this might be so important to you and your life going forward.
Because by being a confident, compassionate parent to our inner child, we can help them heal and move on from being stuck and triggered. So they don’t have to show up when things are difficult for us, and instead we can be there, as our confident, competent selves.
Sounds great – but not so easy. How do we make a start?
Hopefulness lies in knowing that while early experiences shape the nervous system, ongoing experiences can help reshape it.
Deb Dana, Polyvagal Institute Founding Member
Last week, we began to try and separate from these different inner parts – the first step in supporting them is to recognise them rather than thinking “this is just me”, “this is how I deal with this stuff”. We do that by asking the questions about how old, capable, big, in control we feel in those various times of stress, difficulty or feeling “triggered”. And also beginning to allow some compassion to flourish, by looking at photos of ourselves as a child and viewing them as if they were a friend’s child, a beloved niece or a child from a film or TV programme.
This will also help us to know each of these younger parts better, and understand how to support each one individually. We can keep tuning into them and build up a more detailed picture of what kind of safety, support, kindness, love they would like.
But how can we give that, if we feel wobbly in our ability to be a confident, competent and compassionate adult?
Here’s a few simple steps to start building the skills: