Greetings fellow mindful travelers,
Happy July! As we continue on our mindful journey of becoming more self-aware, we may notice that particular people, or particular situations TRIGGER us.
- We feel quickly angry when someone criticizes us
- We feel hurt and shut down when someone wants space
- We withdraw and hide from the world when something doesn’t go our way
Whatever we are feeling, we really FEEL it.
And then…we do what we can to AVOID FEELING it, usually.
But let me ask you this: If you were taking care of a newborn child who got upset, would you tell it “you shouldn’t be upset, I’m not dealing with you, I’m just going to push you away”?
We tend to treat newborn children with much more compassion, understanding, and care.
You see, newborn children don’t have much of a body, and they haven’t developed a high level of intelligence. But they do have one thing to communicate and ensure their survival: Their emotions.
And as adults, we too still have emotions… In other words, we still have an “inner child” that feels emotions all the time.
What would it be like to actually imagine your emotions as newborn children?
When you are angry, it is like your inner child is angry. When you are sad, it is like your inner child is sad. When you are afraid, it is like your inner child is afraid.
Because it is.
How would you treat yourself differently if you knew your emotions were inner children?
What would a healthy parent do to relate to an upset child?
Validate how they feel – “It’s OK to feel that way”
Reflect back how they feel – “I see how upset you are”
Try to understand the unmet need – “What are you needing right now?”
Soothe the child in any way they can – “I’m here for you and will get you what you need”
What if we said these same things to ourselves next time we were triggered or felt a strong emotion?
Try it out, and see how it might change and transform your relationship with yourself and heal your inner child.
Until next time,
Ellis Edmunds, Psy.D.
P.S. I have two upcoming workshops in Oakland:
For anyone struggling with dating in the Bay Area. August 10 in Oakland. Click below to sign up:
Everyday Mindfulness for Stress and Anxiety – Free Introductory Class on August 8. Click below to sign up: