The "little you"
As an adult, it’s now your job to tend to the “little you,” and learn to self-soothe in moments of heightened emotion, stress or fear.
In essence, you are mothering your inner-child; nurturing that little one inside of you who needs attention, wants to feel safe, seen, heard and loved.
We can find people to fill that space for us temporarily, but at the end of the day, there is nothing more healing than learning that we can hold space for ourselves.
Inner-Child Work & Self Soothing Practice:
When you’re feeling triggered, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Place your hands on your heart and root space, and breathe deeply.
Now visualize your inner-child (the little you at say three years old) and tell them they’re safe. Remind yourself that big emotions are ok and that it’s safe to feel.
You can move some of the energy by crying, thrashing and screaming into pillows. When the energy begins to shift, move into a more meditative space, eyes closed, hands still on your heart and root center, allow whatever comes up and be still with yourself.
Simply observe any thoughts or emotions as they arise, and then let them go. (Tip for the visual folks: you visualize your thoughts/emotions floating from your body, out through the top of your head.) Keep breathing, and remember, this is a healthy expression of your emotion even if it feels messy and chaotic.
As you do this practice, you’re learning to take responsibility for your energy and training yourself to learn how to self-soothe in moments of stress. As you begin to feel safer in your own emotions, you may find yourself less drawn to your old numbing behaviors.
And, if you’re in a relationship, you’re also giving your partner the space to come towards you. Remember, if we are aggressively or anxiously moving towards someone, their most primal response is to move away. If we want the pattern to shift, we must change our behavior and our internal dialogue.
Healing takes time, so be gentle with yourself. This is one of the most empowering practices someone with an abandonment wound can ever learn.