When I was intentionally beginning my personal healing work, the writer my therapist was using and encouraging all clients to read was the work of John Bradshaw, author of Home Coming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child. This book discusses how the process of healing your wounded inner child is one of grief, and it involves these six steps. The first of these six steps is trust.
The person we most need to trust in our lives is ourselves. In order for us to begin our own healing process (emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually); we must begin by trusting ourselves. For many people, our wounded inner child is in hiding. That wounded part does not trust others and to some extent does not even trust the older version of who we are. To keep themselves safe, they learned to hide until they could find someone who would be a supportive and non-shaming ally.
You might think that developing that bond of trust with yourself is easy, but it begins with recognizing that there are real reasons that your inner child does not trust you or others. So the process of developing a trusting relationship with your inner child might take time. Your inner child needs to know that you will not shame them and that you will validate their feelings of abandonment, neglect, abuse, etc.
Developing a relationship with your inner child is similar to developing any other relationship. They deepen over time. Your inner child may begin by trusting you with little things and then gradually come to trust you about deeper feelings. However, unlike other relationships, the first step in developing this relationship is in our court. We must be the ones who reach out to the part of us in need of healing and let that wounded child know we are here to love and support them.
One of the things that I have done in my own life is to write letters to my inner child letting them know how much I love them and that I am here to listen when they are ready to talk to me. It is through the healing words of love, which my inner child came to know that my words of love were authentic. Each of our inner children has their own things they most need to hear to help them develop a bond of trust with us.
This is the first step in helping us in our own journeys and working to bring about healing in our own lives. The other steps include validating that which wounded our souls, allowing yourself to grieve, which includes shock, angers, sadness, remorse, and loneliness. However, our inner child cannot begin to grieve and heal until it learns to trust us. So the journey to wholeness begins within and with two simple words – Trust Me1