Before I started the spiritual path, I thought I had this perfect childhood. I was a child star and everything just came to me. My parents had been wonderful, so I thought there was nothing to look into. It wasn’t until I met a trauma specialist, that I realized that we all have traumas from our childhood and that the key to understanding why we have become like we have, lies within the past.
I understood that looking into my past, didn’t mean that I was blaming my parents, my family or those who were around me as a child. It was merely finding my magnifying glasses and exploring what had happened in my past that I had created a meaning out of.
I was discovered my inner child.
What is a trauma?
I thought earlier that a trauma was a deep shock or deep tragical experiences, like losing a parent, or being abused. Like extreme situations. And it is, but I discovered that we all have big and small traumas.
Linn Stokke, a trauma specialists, says that trauma is something that overwhelms our system. It can be smaller or bigger things. And the way it influences us on a long term basis, depends on our individual nervous system, how vulnerable or sensitive we are. Trauma is not a disease, it is a natural part of life.
And the way we deal with them and meet these overwhelming situations, determines if they get stuck in the body or if they are being released.
Animals shake off trauma
It is interesting to see how animals deal with traumas. Imagine a zebra being haunted by a lion. Imagine all the stress of almost dying all the time. When the danger is over, they shake it out. They shake off the traumas. So that they can come into balance again.
But what do we often do as humans? We suppress our emotions or we escape from them and the result is that they get stuck in the body. But what is natural for a child? It is to cry and shake it out. They sob. They shiver. This is good and healthy.
But if those around them are saying: Stop crying, this wasn’t a big deal, then the child won’t have the chance to process it. They also “learn” or decide unconsciously that their emotions are not important. It is these suppressed emotions that we are carrying around as adults.
These feelings and emotions needs to be acknowledged and felt.
So if you notice that your leg is shaking or your jaw, that is your body shaking things off…
Let it shake.
Tip: if you know you have deep traumas- it can be good to go to a trauma specialist.
Children create a meaning out of everything
In my interview with Bruce Lipton in 2015, he told me that children from 1-7 years old are like record machines. They only operate from their emotions, and for the child, the adults are like Gods who they are 100% loyal towards. The children also learn through three ways:
- Verbal conditioning- what you heard when you were young.
- Experiences- something happens that creates a trauma in your body.
- Modeling- You do what you see your caregivers do.
And whatever we experience, hear or see, the child then creates a meaning out of.
For instance, let’s say you cried over something and your father said: don’t be so weak. Pull yourself together. The meaning the child may make out of that might be: my feelings are wrong, my feelings don’t matter.
Or perhaps your parents were having a divorce and were arguing over you. The meaning you created might then become: It is my fault, I am wrong, something is wrong with me. I am to blame. Or the child might feel confusion, not feeling safe and so on.
So if you believe that you are not unlovable, that you are not good enough, that you are alone, this stems from something. This is most likely an aspect of you, your inner child, who made a story out of something that happened to you. And that inner child probably still believes it to be true…
Doing the inner child work
As Einstein taught us, there is only the one NOW. This means we can go back and meet this inner child that still is within us and let them know that it is ok to feel how they felt.
Nothing to fix
The important thing to remember is that we are not going back to fix ourselves, we’re going back because that aspect of ourselves deserves our attention. When we work with trauma, we can’t do that to fix ourselves, or think we have to heal. Because then that part will actually feel not accepted. Those parts of ourselves need unconditional love. We need to meet that aspect or that inner child with unconditional love.
Our inner child/or inner children are in us right here and now. There is only now, which means we can connect to our inner children as well as our future selves, because they all exist, now.
If you are new to inner child work, what I like to recommend is to think of a lighter trauma, for instance it can be that you lost your teddy bear. For that child this was very dramatic. So you can find a quiet time for yourself and visualize that inner child in front of you. Then put them on your lap, embrace them and let them know how much you love them.
Really let them feel completely immersed in your love. And tell them that whatever they are feeling or have felt, is completely ok.
You can also use my guided free inner child meditation, and connect with your inner child.
Jannecke Øinæs is the founder of Wisdom From North AS. She has interviewed around 400 transformational teachers all over the world and gained over 40 000 followers on YouTube. Today she runs the Wisdom From North Membership offering masterclasses with highly recognized and sought after speakers and thought leaders.