Trauma has a way of keeping us stuck in time. Emotional wounds that develop through traumatic experiences stem from numerous experiences and can cause deep psychological pain. When we are unable to process things completely as children, our body stores experiences as raw memories, which have a way of catching up to us when we least expect it.
As children, we are totally dependent on our primary caregivers for love, security, and acceptance. When our caregivers are physically or emotionally unavailable, and our needs are not met, our inner child tends to carry those wounds into adulthood.
Some signs of a wounded inner child are:
- You feel that there is something wrong with you but you just can’t quite put your finger on it
- You constantly feel the need to please those around you
- You avoid conflict because of a fear of abandonment
- You feel ashamed to express your emotions to others
- You feel anxious while and are unable to set boundaries
- You constantly engage in self-criticism
When our brain and body receive messages in childhood that we are unloved, can’t trust anyone, and see the world as an unsafe place, it becomes important for us to reparent ourselves in order to live healthy fulfilling lives, without having our identity attached to our childhood trauma.
Reparenting essentially means giving yourself the love, compassion, kindness, and dignity that you did not receive from someone else when you were younger. Learning to self-parent is the only way we can overcome unhealthy parenting that we received in the past.
Regardless of what we have gone through in the past, reparenting gives us a chance to securely attach to ourselves and build self-compassion for our lives today. It is also useful in building self-esteem and can be a great way to self-soothe especially when you are experiencing flashbacks of the trauma.
An important part of reparenting involves starting transformations towards a healthier life at the thought level. This means identifying your self-talk or the way you speak to yourself and replacing negative self-talk with positive reparenting affirmations. Speaking these affirmations out loud as though you are actually talking to your wounded inner child is key to nurture yourself. While it may seem awkward at first, you will eventually realize that you are able to confront and heal scars that are deep-rooted in your life. It can even prove to be a very cathartic experience for many.
Reparenting Affirmations can include:
- You are a good person
- I am so proud of you
- I am so glad that you were born
- It is okay for you to make mistakes
- You do not have to be perfect to get my love or affection
- It is okay for you to feel confused at times and not know all the answers
- All your feelings are okay with me
- You can choose your own values
- You are allowed to have your own preferences and tastes
Through the process of reparenting, you will realize that you have formed a bond with yourself that is so self-aware and brave that you will have faith that you will be able to confront any situation as long as you have yourself. You will become your own ally through all the lows and setbacks and move towards a happier future.