How to Connect With Your Inner Child and Begin Reparenting
The phrase reparenting is very new for me. I’ve learned it this year and have been studying it ever since. My goal is to become truly #unbothered aka not impacted by the things that have happened to me. According to a holistic psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera, reparenting is giving yourself what you didn’t get as a child.
I am on a serious journey of spiritual and mental health since I’ve discovered negative conditioning through the things I’ve been taught and the things or stories that I’ve told myself. I often wonder where this journey will lead me and how it will help me take care of others.
The biggest lesson that I am learning is that our parents did the best they could, with what they had and knew; their best and not what or how we define ‘ the best’. They did the best they could after dealing or carrying their own trauma while trying to raise us. Even for those physically absent or emotionally absent parents, they are living with and/or reacting to the things they were taught, the things they told themselves, and their trauma.
Today, I am discovering my spirit, my aware self. I am discovering the person I truly am, not who I’ve told myself I should be. The un-wiring is so messy and emotional but I keep going. I mess up and still knowingly make mistakes at times. I hold myself accountable, then I correct.
One of the best questions Dr. LePera introduced me to is, “What can I give myself right now?”. This is very important when doing self-work. It is very important when doing soul work. When I am feeling more than overwhelmed and disappointed, I ask myself this question. Sometimes I don’t get an answer. Sometimes I become still, but I always ask myself this until I find the answer. What I need ‘right now’ sometimes looks like quietness. No electronics. No social media. No phone calls or text. Hell, not even lights. Other times, my ‘right now’ looks like writing since its therapeutic. It looks like taking a hot shower and lathering in night time baby lotion, the purple kind (don’t sleep on it as an adult)!
One of the hardest things we don’t like to do is revisit memories where we’ve experienced hurt, disappointment, abuse, and neglect. The truth is if we recognize where we were hurt and when and begin healing from that place, we can begin to see results and become less impacted when things arise that are usually triggers for us.
First, think about these two things to begin your journey to connect, nurture and heal your inner child:
#1 - Think about the feelings that you’ve experienced as a child - sadness, dependency, neglect, unwanted, unworthy, less-than, anxious, etc. Ask yourself why did you feel or at least think you felt that way?
Remember that this isn’t a blame exercise. The self-work can only be done by YOU. It isn’t the responsibility of your parents or guardian. You can’t take back what was done, but it is your responsibility to move forward. You’re worth the process. You deserve to heal!
#2 - Think about what you wish to have felt as a child - wanted or needed, loved, accepted, forgiven, acknowledged, celebrated, etc.
After recognizing what you wish you could have felt as a child, do the following:
Give yourself what you need daily - positive self-talk (to practice acceptance), performing/doing things that bring you pure joy (to practice celebration; these things will not have monetary value, they are connected to your passion and interests), slow breathes (to practice forgiveness and self-care), celebrating the fact that you’re showing up for you (to practice acknowledgment), celebrating every win (even the smallest insignificant ones; to practice self-love).
Showing up for yourself in small insignificant ways has a great impact over time. You can’t give up because you don’t see or feel like it’s working. Over time, you’ll notice a change in how you think. You’ll notice that you’ve rewired your brain to think, react, and process events differently. You’ll see that the things you’ve been taught or have told yourself can, in fact, be unlearned.
Another thing that I’ve learned about the things that we’ve told ourselves (our thoughts) is that scientifically, the neurons in our brains create paths to allow cells to communicate more easily in the future. The best analogy I’ve read thus far is to think about walking between two homes. If we walk between these two homes for a long period of time, our mind will create a path to make the journey easier. After some time, the path we see will become more defined and narrow making it easier and seamless to complete. We’d be more focused since it's repetitive.
When we have constant thoughts that are repetitive, we are teaching our brain to create paths for those thoughts. It is how we come to believe what we are thinking. Hence the saying, your thoughts become your reality. It is also true that thoughts become feelings. We associate feelings with the way we think. In turn, our brains create easier paths for us to feel or think things for a future time.
Knowing this makes reparenting is possible. Dr. LePera recommends to only share your re-parenting journey with someone you trust for support. Do not tell your parents or guardian as they were living on their level of awareness. Sharing this may be hurtful and may not change much. This is your journey. This is your level of awareness. This is your fix.
Reparenting works if you take the time and patience to do it. Do the self-work and heal your inner child. We all have some form of trauma and it is our individual responsibility to make the decision to get better; to be better people.
Reparenting is giving yourself what you needed as a child. Now that you’re an adult and you want to understand who you truly are, you can revisit those horrible or disappointing places in your life and rebuild in those same areas to rewire your brain.
If you’ve learned the things you know now, you can also learn something new too even if that means going back to move forward.