Sunday, July 26, 2020

Being Gentle with Yourself is the Only Way to True Success and Happiness

We don't talk much about being gentle with ourselves as the best way to live a happy, productive and fulfilling life.  Rather, the world promotes striving, forcing, controlling, manipulating, judging and criticizing ourselves instead.  We think this way of thinking and being will motivate us, help us be productive and achieve our goals effectively, but it actually has the opposite effect.  Evidence has shown that criticizing and judging ourselves makes us feel like nothing we do is ever good enough, contributes to a lack of motivation, depression, anxiety, addictions, procrastination, perfectionism, and low self esteem.  By being gentle with ourselves, there is more of a chance we will achieve our goals, enjoy the process and the end result.  Being gentle and loving with ourselves gives us energy, strength, motivation, peace, joy and love.  This is the only environment that will foster health, mentally, emotionally and physically as well as high self esteem.  The bible says, 'Rather it shall be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.' - 1 Peter 3:4.  If a child fails at something, you wouldn't berate them because it will make them feel worse than they already do, will foster low self esteem, they will internalize the message that they are not good enough and they will connect their worth to what they do rather than who they are.  Alternatively, acknowledging they did their best, and that at least they tried is a success in itself.  You would help them understand that failures are a necessary part of life and growth.  You would let them know they are inherently good and worthy no matter what they do (behavior).  Some behaviors are not good and require consequences, but that is separate from who they are as a person.  You would love them the same regardless of what they do or don't do.  You would help them learn from the failure and utilize it the next time and then help them let it go.  We need to use this same approach as adults, because that child is still within us and part of us.  Becoming aware of our negative, critical thoughts without judgement is the first step.  Then comes replacing the thought with a more realistic, positive, gentler one.

Being gentle with ourselves also includes acknowledging our feelings, no matter what they are, or whether we think they are "acceptable" feelings or not.  It's necessary to work through and process feelings in order to learn what they are telling us.  Journaling is a great way to achieve this, among other tools.  Acknowledging our successes, no matter how small, is another way to be loving and gentle with ourselves.  These free us to be more integrated and whole individuals, and we will be more productive, motivated and balanced as a result.  Even the bible talks about the importance of being gentle with ourselves.  'Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.' - Colossians 3:12.

Achieving gentleness with ourselves can be difficult if you grew up in a family that was very negative and critical, but it is possible if you believe it is.  It takes work, but will be well worth the effort in creating a joy-filled, productive and successful life filled with love and peace.

Please contact me and I will share how I can collaborate with you towards a beautiful life you only dreamed was possible.

Peace and blessings,
Jill

www.expectmiraclestherapy.com

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Inner Child Healing

Do you struggle with obsessive thoughts, anxiety, depression or addictions?  Are you unhappy and unfulfilled in life, but don't know why?  Do you have difficulty trusting yourself and others?  Are you disconnected from your feelings?  Do you constantly criticize yourself?   Do you struggle with paralyzing fear at the thought of starting something new?  Do you struggle with perfectionism and procrastination?  Do you have trouble starting and finishing things?  Are relationships painful for you?  Do you avoid conflict at all costs?  If you answered yes to some of these questions, you most likely have a wounded inner child. Inner Child healing and integration with the Healthy Adult part of us is imperative if we are to be mature, happy, peaceful, responsible, emotionally healthy and productive adults who enjoy life.  People who have an inner child who isn't healed tend to react to today's issues and situations out of past hurts, without even realizing it, rather than responding out of choice in the present moment.  If it’s hysterical, it’s historical. This means that if your reactions to present situations in your life are bigger than the situation calls for, it’s from the past. You're probably asking what is an inner child and what's the point in dealing with him/her now as an adult?  My childhood is past and long gone.  Yes this is true but until you address what happened back then, you will never be completely free.  You will be bound by past negative learned beliefs that are unconsciously controlling your life.  Some symptoms of a hurt, unhealed inner child are people pleasing, lacking a strong identity, feeling guilty standing up for yourself, feeling inadequate or not enough, relationship difficulties, challenges starting or finishing anything, difficulty identifying feelings, addictions of any kind, fear of abandonment, self criticism, difficulty setting boundaries and standing up for yourself. difficulty trusting others or yourself.

It takes time, patience, and work to heal the inner child.  A few ways you can start is joining a 12 step program such as Adult Children of Alcoholics.  This program helps people reparent themselves in a loving, supportive environment.  Shame gets healed more effectively in group environments where people can share their experience, strength and hope with others as well as work the 12 steps.  The website is www.adultchildren.org.

The goal is to create a relationship with your inner child that is based on creating the love, support, fun, acknowledgement, encouragement and safety that was missing growing up.  It's important to start with a letter asking for permission from him/her to create a collaborative relationship and learn new healthy ways of living and being.  There may be mixed emotions in response, so be very patient in allowing him/her to open up to you.  Ask questions such as how are you feeling, what would you like to do, what do you need from me and have him/her answer back.  Acknowledge the feelings and take action appropriately in providing what the inner child needs.  This will build trust, safety and connection. Make this an ongoing practice.  Building relationships take time, energy, and effort.

Affirmations are a very powerful way to praise and build up your inner child.  Examples are, "I love you, "I see you" "I accept you for who you are," You are special," You are unique," Your feelings matter."  or create your own.  These will help replace the negative messages and beliefs learned growing up with more positive, realistic ones.

Listening to inner child guided visualizations and self hypnosis programs are essential in healing and connecting with the inner child and can be found on sites like YouTube.

These are a few steps you can take in healing and integrating your inner child into your self and life.  This has been the most powerful and beneficial work I have ever done in freeing myself from the past and has enabled me to live with more joy, love, peace, confidence and strength. Please share any comments you have about what you connected with in this article or anything you have done to connect with and heal your inner child.

Love, peace and blessings,
Jill

Check out my website at www.expectmiraclestherapy.com if you are interested in working with me personally on a custom tailored plan to heal your inner child.