Parenting through the eyes of your Inner Child
During my month of the Hope based meditation experience with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, one of the focuses was "Inner Child". Oprah referenced a past guest on her show and an author named John Bradshaw who shared an exercise with her and her audience geared towards their wounded inner child.
She shared how he had the audience close their eyes and picture themselves in front of the home they grew up in, looking through the window and seeing themselves inside. He asked them to share shortly after what feelings had been evoked from that experience. Oprah shared how sad it had made her and Mr. Bradshaw had shared how abused and alone he had felt as a child.
His writings touch on how our daily experiences and how we interact with one another directly relate to our childhood. Abuse, neglect, fear, abandonment, lack of security etc...all cause wounds within us that if not healed only grow as we grow older. Childhood is supposed to be filled with innocence but most of us have had to deal with grown up issues earlier than necessary.
As we become adults we see childhood as vulnerable and we become hardened and want to stay away from those memories but you can't get away from things that are unresolved so sometimes sharing our stories not only help us but can help others as well. We can turn something destructive into something constructive.
I've never practiced Mr. Bradshaw's technique but I have over the years used other tools to try and figure out things that I have felt I've carried over from my childhood. Having my daughter now also be able to engage in more serious and in-depth conversations about our family history has helped us reach so much clarity on past choices.
One example of Parenting through the eyes of your Inner Child for me is the following:
Allowing my daughter the freedom to choose for herself and encouraging her whenever she wanted to venture out and try new things was always something I prioritized in my parenting. I unfortunately never benefited from such treatment myself and I swore I would not repeat that path. My mother rarely allowed for any room to test the waters so I always had to lie and do things regardless. She always focused on the negative first when I would bring up trying something new. This upbringing closed me in and cut short many opportunities that could have actually flourished.
This behavior oddly enough still rears its ugly head for me at times but thankfully enough never for my daughter. I find myself on occasion fighting through the old ways in which I was raised and in these times I sit in stillness and allow myself to feel sad for that child. She was so sheltered, so deprived of a carefree childhood. She was so limited, not by her choices but by the choices of those around her. Those that were supposed to love and nurture her. Those that were supposed to teach and encourage her to go beyond the limits set by others because those "others" were her own family.
When I think of that child and the sadness slowly breaks away into gratitude and understanding, I slowly bring myself back to the realization of Choice. I have a choice now, I can do and become anything I imagine. I am no longer limited by someone else's fears. I know better so I can do better and that is how we can all begin to heal.
When you know better you do better.
We may have started out in households and with parents that were clueless. The ground beneath us uncertain, many lacks and disappointments but we are not sentenced to live that journey in adulthood as long as we practice the following:
- letting go
- choosing happiness
Whenever the hurts of our Inner Child appear, show some kindness. Then be mindful that things can change. Parenting is a never-ending journey. Lessons learned daily and opportunities to grow along with our children if we so choose.
In what ways has your Inner Child hindered or perhaps done the opposite and has even helped you with parenting your little ones? Were you even aware of your Inner Child and how it can and perhaps even has affected your own life and your choices? Share your thoughts with me.
Always stress-free xo,