Unfortunately, many people go through the childhood trauma of some sort. Pia Mellody, author of “Facing Codependence,” (I highly recommend by the way) describes abuse as “anything less than nurturing.”
Think about that for a minute. (To be honest, I’m not sure if that was written in her book, or if it was something she said in her trauma training workshop I participated in several years ago.) Nonetheless, it’s a bold statement.
Anything less than nurturing! I believe we have spent way too much time focusing on what’s not going right – abuse, neglect, trauma and not enough time on the solutions.
It’s time we begin learning how to nurture ourselves, our children and each other. The good news is you will learn in this article how nurturing yourself is necessary to heal from any abuse or trauma you’ve experienced.
When you become a part of the solution you learn to break the cycle. You also move yourself out of victim mode and into your life.
Your trauma was NOT your fault and you no longer need to carry the shame, blame or unworthiness.
Specific areas of childhood abuse include physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional neglect, sexual abuse, and religious abuse.
Know that at any time in your journey, it’s okay to reach out for help. It’s possible to heal, learn self-love and build a foundation of self-worth. Inner child work is a very effective modality for healing child abuse. This is where you learn to “reparent” your wounded inner child. This work is efficient, very effective and does not have to take years of therapy.
Mindfulness as The First Step
Mindfulness is a special type of awareness that includes a deeper acknowledging with acceptance of “what is.”
Rather than being aware of a lot of things – “My childhood sucked,” “I don’t really like myself,” or “I keep repeating the same negative patterns in my relationships” – mindfulness is about allowing yourself to quiet and listen to each one of these statements on a much deeper level. Noticing the emotions that come up for you as you think about each one of these.
Allowing yourself to quiet enough to listen to sensations of those emotions. Recognizing what is going on for you on the inside. No longer running from it. With acceptance. No longer criticizing, minimizing or judging yourself for it.
How Do I Manage All the Emotions?
No worries. You are not alone. Most people don’t know how to manage their emotions. Nobody ever teaches us.
I promise you, it’s not as difficult as we make it out to be. Our society has been so emotionally neglectful, abusive and emotionally illiterate that’s is no wonder we have so much trauma, abuse, divorce and mental illness in the world.
I’ll cut to the chase. If you are alive and breathing you are going to have emotions. Get to know them. Learn how to soothe them. And, STOP judging them.
They are a part of who you are. The more we judge our emotions and wish they would go away, the louder, more intense and more frequent they become. Invite them in with compassion and you are on the way to learning how to soothe them.
Compassion is nurturing. Imagine soothing a young child who is crying. Or, imagine what you might say to a friend who is suffering. Do that for yourself.
Close your eyes and imagine hugging your younger self. Breathing in compassion and breathing out self-judgment. Imagine soothing your sadness, anger, grief over what you did, or didn’t get, in your childhood.
You, my dear, are on your way to healing your childhood trauma and/or abuse. You are on your way to no longer being a victim. You are on your way to building a foundation of self-worth, self-love and a healthier relationship with yourself.
Breathe in gratitude and appreciation for your younger self and what he/she has been through. Breathe in gratitude for your current self for having the courage to do the work necessary to become who you’re meant to be.
Clear Limiting Beliefs
Usually, when we are hurt or traumatized, we learn to create these negative core beliefs about ourselves that we carry into our adulthood. Beliefs such as “I’m not worthy,” “I’m not lovable,” “I’m not good enough.”
These beliefs are simply not true. I can tell you until I’m blue in the fact that they’re not true; however, you won’t believe me until you do “the work” yourself.
“The work” includes again being mindful of these beliefs. Become deeply aware of them. Begin noticing how often they come up for you. Now you have a choice. Ask yourself, “Do I want to continue believing this about myself?”
What would you rather believe? Write that down. I am lovable. I am good enough. I am worthy of it. Write it on a post-it note and put it on your mirror. Practice, practice, practice. Every. Single. Day.
It will feel untrue at first. I tell my clients it’s like learning a foreign language. Self-doubt, self-loathing and self-judgment has been your first language. You’ve had many years of practice. For more tips on changing negative beliefs, check out this article.
To heal from the effects of childhood abuse, you will have to practice self-love. Just as you hear of people “practicing yoga,” or “practicing meditation,” the same applies to self-love. It’s a courageous journey to dive deeper into your wounded areas.
And, you are worthy of every minute of this journey because on the other side is inner peace, self-love, and joy. Now, go practice living your life while practicing self-love and self-compassion.
Christy Maxey, MC is a Personal Development Results Coach. After 20 years as a therapist in private practice and seeing many universal themes, she wanted to reach a larger audience with this helpful and healing information. She is on a mission to raise the world’s self-worth, one person at a time.
She has created the MaxxMETHOD, a personal development framework and has used this framework to write her workbook, The MaxxMETHOD: How to Love Yourself and Become Who You are Meant to Be, which will be published soon on Amazon. Christy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.