Regardless of who you are and how great, or not so great, your childhood was, everyone could do with some inner child healing. Today we’re here with Baheya Sirry from Light-Hearted Parent to give you the low down about what this trendy phrase is all about, and how doing this kind of work helps us become better parents.
Our children have a way of bringing out our triggers. The loud noise, the way they talk back to us, the way they behave, etc. Often we come from reactive places during these situations, and that reactive place is often coming from our inner child. Self care is a piece of it too, and that’s a conversation for another episode, but the inner child aspect is what’s lying underneath. It’s why we may find ourselves shouting at our kids be quiet and behave a certain way, because that’s how we were reacted to as children. Through healing our inner child wounds we become more whole ourselves, and we’re able to show up more present and aligned in our interactions with our kids, partners, and other relationships.
Some of the things Baheya shares with us in the episode are:
- Learning how to stay calm during triggering situations
- Learning to respond rather than react
- Learning to heal our own shit in its different shapes and sizes
This episode was such a great learning experience filled with a ton of aha moments, and I can’t wait for you to check it out!
Baheya Sirry is a Conscious Parenting Coach and mom of 3 strong souls. Baheya is the founder of Light-Hearted Parent, and she loves to talk about parenting and rethink traditional parenting techniques using inner child healing. Being a parent brings up a lot of hidden emotions, and Baheya thinks it’s time to face them, acknowledge them, and heal them for our sake and the sake of our children.
In This Episode We Talk About
00:36 – Who is Baheya?
05:17 – What is the inner child?
10:41 – How does your inner child affect your adult self?
20:53 – Learning how to heal our inner child.
33:15 – How healing our inner child can help us.
40:27 – Final thoughts and where to find Baheya!
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UM Club Facebook page
Facebook: The Light-Hearted Parent
Baheya’s Recommended Resources:
Best selling book, also has a self-healers community membership: How to do the Work by Dr Nicole LePera
A more spiritual approach by a Buddhist monk: Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child by Thich Nhat Hanh
Putting it all together for the family: The Awakened Family by Dr Shefali Tsabary
Read the Full Conversation
Hello and welcome to another episode inside the Unapologetic Moms Club. Today we are digging into inner child, inner child healing, and what all this means and how we can work on it. I am delighted to welcome Baheya Sirry from Light-Hearted Parent. We are in a co-working group, we’ve gotten to know each other a lot over Instagram. And I’m just really excited to welcome you here to chat with us.
Thank you so much for having me. You have such a great community. I’m really honoured to be here.
Well, thank you. I’m really excited. We already started chatting away before we hit record, so I know this is gonna be a great episode. So let’s start off. Let’s hear a little bit about who you are, what you do, why you’re so passionate about it?
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m a parenting coach, and I’m more specifically a conscious parenting coach. I didn’t become a parenting coach because it was my background, my background is in biochemistry, so it has absolutely nothing to do with parenting. But I was under the illusion that after I became a mum, it would come like this. I come from a traditional background so you gotta get married, you gotta have kids, you know, it’s all natural.
And then it took me about seven years to realize that wait a second, this is not at all what I thought it would be. I don’t know what I’m doing. And at that point, a friend of mine got me a book. And it was a parenting book that she gave me for my birthday. And I almost dismissed it like oh, my God, a parenting book. What’s this about? I started reading it and didn’t like it. I especially didn’t like the idea that anything of this parenting and my parenting struggles, and my anger, had to do with me. That to me was a foreign concept. And it actually pissed me off.
But I started digging a little bit more. And after finishing the book, I was a little bit destabilized. Like okay, so I realized there’s something off, I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. So I just kept on reading and learning until I decided that I wanted to become a parent coach. I started to look at different certifications, and I came across Dr. Shefali’s certification. She was on her third cohort, I think now she has like eight or nine. And that’s it. I mean, it’s been such a life changing experience. And when I go back to who I was as a mom, you know, even just three years ago versus today, it’s night and day, and I want this to be accessible to everyone, to all parents. We don’t need to be stuck in this anger and frustration when we don’t even understand what’s going on with us and with our kids.
Absolutely, wow, that just must have been so impactful for you. And it’s really neat how you can kind of narrow it down to that friend giving you that back. And I’m surprised you kept reading through as you’re having all these reactions, you stuck it out.
It was like I’ll read it as a favour to her because she’s a dear friend of mine. So it was almost like a service, you know, she gave me a gift. I’ll humour her and I’ll read it. Let me tell you, when Dr. Shefali came to Montreal to give a talk, I invited my friend. I’m like, I’m paying for your ticket. You’re coming with me because I owe you this.
I love that. Good friends.
Yeah, definitely. I don’t think she realizes the impact that it had, I tell her all the time, but I don’t think she realizes how big it really was for me.
Absolutely. Yeah, it seems to be life changing. Really, that’s such a change in your whole direction of where you’re taking things and how it’s gone for your family. I’ve really connected with your About story on your website, reading through. And it’s like when we’re pregnant, the “oh, how do you feel? Are you nervous?” And it’s like, “oh, I’m scared I’m gonna tear in labour” and like, “I’m not gonna sleep.” And I was fully that person. Like, those were my main concerns. And then it’s so much more than that. And then like, I really struggled at the beginning, we had a colicky baby and just the no sleep. That was really hard. But then now we’re going through a transition with my youngest, who’s two-and-a-half, she’ll be three in the summer. And it’s starting to shift from serving basic needs to really parenting values and doing different lessons through everything. It’s a completely different set of challenges.
Yeah, and honestly, I went into it – I was really cocky. I was like, “what do you mean? Of course I can do it, it’s no big deal. It’s natural, women have been doing it since forever, you know?” But no, it wasn’t so natural. I mean, it’s natural to love your child. But it kind of stops at that. For me, it was almost like, okay, beyond that, what do I do?
Yeah, we have our natural instincts, or shall we say reactions to certain situations, but they’re not always intentional. And it takes really stepping back to reflect on that, think about the impact those things are making, going into that. And that ties into our conversation here about inner child and all of that work. So what is inner child? What does that mean? What’s inner child healing? Let’s hear it.
Absolutely. So I’m going to give you two important definitions here. The first one is the inner child. And it’s funny because colloquially, I think up until a couple of years ago, when people would say your inner child they’d think about the part of you that still wants to play. You know, it was like, “oh, yeah, I want to play, I can play with my kids,” or being light hearted in your day to day was assumed to be your inner child. But that’s actually really not the case.
The inner child is almost like a part of you that was stuck in your childhood. And it’s the accumulation of all of your childhood wounds, all of your needs that were unmet. So think about it this way: a child is born into this world and their primary need is to feel safe, and loved and protected. And very early on, parents stop providing this sometimes, right? So if you have all of the traditional beliefs, you have to let them cry, you can’t hold your child, they should eat only every four hours, not every two hours, I was told my kid only had to eat every four hours. Meanwhile, he was nursing every 30 minutes. So automatically, you stopped providing all these means because of all of these ideas.
And the child, the baby, starts to already internalize “my voice isn’t heard. My needs are not met. No one is hearing me, no one is giving me what I want.” And that’s just as a baby. But as you get older, you start to throw tantrums because you’re overtired. But instead of holding space for that, we punish you, that becomes a wound. You know, you want to share something with your parents, they’re too busy. That becomes, again, something that’s going to accumulate inside of you.
And I’m not blaming parents, by the way. It’s almost impossible to provide something for every single need. Because we’re busy, because we don’t have our own needs met. And then you’ve got society as a whole. You’ve got teachers, you’ve got extended family members, society as a whole will end up also participating in the phenomenon of the inner child, where you can’t express a certain way because it’s disrespectful. So instead of teaching you how to express yourself, we’re gonna tell you to just be quiet, for example.
So what happens then is that the child needs to develop a way to survive, they need to develop a protective layer, something that’s going to help them make sense of their life. And this is what we call the ego. Again, it’s different from the colloquial term, the mainstream term for ego, where we say, “oh, she has a big ego, or he has a big ego,” like they’re very boastful or they’re full of themselves. What we refer to as the ego here is almost like the story that the child builds around their life in order for that life that isn’t meeting their needs to make sense. And then they adapt their personality and they develop like a protective layer.
So this is why, for example, my parents don’t like it when I talk back. So I’m going to make sure to always be extra extra extra sweet. And then you become the people pleaser.
Or you can have another child who is going to be like, they really want control. They’re so strong, they’re not going to become a people pleaser. But they’re going to become like the Alpha child, like “I have to gain control because I’m in constant battle with my parents.” And then you’ve got this alpha adult who just wants to control everything around them.
Mm hmm. So that’s how they can take control for themselves outside.
Exactly. So these are all patterns that we develop based on how we interpret the world when we’re young, because our needs are not always met by our parents. And, you know, this isn’t at all finger pointing. I’m not meeting my children’s needs all the time. First of all, I certainly didn’t in the first few years, with my third child, maybe more. But it’s almost impossible because we don’t know what their needs are all the time, because our needs are not met, and because we have a lot on our shoulders. So this is not a blame game to our parents. And it’s not a blame game to current parents. It’s just about gaining awareness. You gain awareness, and then you can start to be curious and ask questions, and ask questions about why you feel a certain way, and when you respond a certain way. And this is when we get into the healing part.
It’s one of those things where it’s like, you don’t know until you know, and you can’t hold a ton of guilt for the way you may have parented kids before you know what you know now. And same thing with our parents, they only had access to so much information, they had totally different situations. And so it’s not necessarily blaming or feeling guilty. But as we learn more about these things, then we have the opportunity to start to change patterns and do things a little bit differently. So with this inner child, how does this affect people throughout their life and then into parenting?
So it affects you throughout your life because you’re going to react to your environment, without knowing why you’re reacting to your environment. And very often people will just be like, “oh, well, she’s just a very sensitive person,” or “he’s just a very stressed person.” We put these labels on the person without actually digging deeper into why the person is like this.
And I think it’s really liberating, because it teaches you to look at people with more empathy. You know, I used to be very judgmental, I come from a very judgmental background, and I carried it into my day to day. I’d be like, “oh, my God, this mom is so this, this, this and that.” Whereas now, I almost see her inner child, I’m like, “oh, she’s responding this way because she has this kind of hurt, or this kind of pain, or whatever it is.” I don’t know what it is. But I know it’s coming from somewhere. And I’m not going to judge her for it. \
And so the way it manifests in our day to day is in the way that we respond to people, the way you react rather than respond, actually. You might get very offended and so you become really defensive because you want to defend yourself. But really, the question you have to ask is, I was offended. But what does this actually mean about me? Why did I get offended, which part of me did they actually offend? And can I go back to why this actually offends me? And not go back one week or two weeks, go back as far back as you can remember, and write about it and journal about it. Because it’s by going back to these original rules that you can actually start to heal, and stop yourself from being offended every time someone is going to make this kind of comment. That’s an example.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you’re not going to feel it, right? A lot of this stuff I’ve worked on, it can still trigger me, but I’m going to feel it, I’m going to recognize it. And I’ll be like, “okay, I know how to deal with that,” as opposed to going in a corner and crying because of the person who offended me or reacting in a particular way, and how it manifests into your parenting. I mean, we’re gonna reproduce all these patterns over and over. And they’re reactive patterns that don’t come from our true selves, and they don’t necessarily serve our kids.
Absolutely. A thing that commonly comes up in Mom Truth Mondays and Poll Thursdays and things like that is feeling like they’re yelling all the time, and not liking it, but not really knowing a different way of dealing with it. Or people who learned to be more the people pleasers or the older child taking care of the rest of the family, and had to be well behaved or learn to be well behaved. And that’s how they got through things. And then having a child that pushes the boundaries a lot and is very much not like that. And that’s really triggering to deal with, and they might want to react a certain way. And it’s hard to kind of take that step back and try to do things differently.
What are some other common triggers that you might see parents struggling with? Because some people listening, I’m sure they might have heard inner child, but it’s somewhat of a new concept. Is this something that they actually could possibly deal with? This is showing up in their day. So what are some examples of that that might connect with some of our listeners?
Accomplishment. Accomplishment and performance is huge. I mean, I remember working with a mom who went completely insane. And actually, the trigger that led her to calling me was a fight over math homework. It was just unacceptable that her daughter couldn’t get this math homework and her math grades were not good. And you have a lot of beliefs around accomplishments, you can value yourself around accomplishment, you can identify with your accomplishments, you know, you are your grades. If you were raised with this idea, you are your grades, you are how good you are at basketball. You know, you are the prima ballerina dancer, whatever it is.
If your parents were over accomplished and super successful, and maybe didn’t give you any validation until you were as good, then all of a sudden you have a child who struggles at school. It’s not their fault. It’s just schools not designed for this particular kind of child and the child has to go to that kind of school, conventional school, that could trigger you. That can trigger you because then you get all the fears, you associate identity and success in life with grades, and then you start to trickle down the road, and you’re like, “he’s not good at this. He’s not going to be good at this. He’s gonna end up being homeless.” I don’t know.
But success is a really big one. Respect, of course, I mean, respect is a huge trigger. And the truth is, children need to learn to speak respectfully, I’m not going to argue against that. But it’s the fact that we get triggered. Like my child, the way it should go is my child is speaking to me in a disrespectful way. If I feel the trigger, I need to pause first, right? Because I’m sure I have a bunch of messages in my head. This is unacceptable. I’m a bad parent, what if somebody else saw this? Whatever it is. You don’t want to react based on that. You want to respond to the child.
So number one, why is the child being disrespectful? Is it possible that they actually don’t even know that they’re being disrespectful, for example? Or is it possible that they just were never taught the skills, or they’re just so angry they don’t have another way of speaking?
Or if you want to take it to the next level, and this I know has been my situation, what is it about you in this particular moment that’s making your child not respect you? Are you respecting yourself? Are you solid in yourself that your child is going to respect you? So it’s all sorts of things like this that can come up.
So what else? We said respect – cleanliness?
You know, if you grew up with an OCD parent, cleanliness and messiness can be a huge trigger. I had a mom call me once crying, I think, because her child was just throwing food everywhere. And it was just like, “how do I deal with just this food going everywhere?” And then like, he was under one. So it’s about you. What are your belief systems around cleanliness? How were you made to feel when you were young when your room was dirty, or you weren’t clean? How did you hear your parents judge other people who weren’t as clean?
So you start to go through all of that. So the idea is, whenever you’re triggered, get curious. Get curious, so that you don’t react. And every time you’re gonna learn something about yourself. Every time we’re going to learn something that you can work on.
Yeah, yeah. Essentially, it seems like it’s really just looking out when we’re triggered. For me, I feel it coming up in my chest. And like when you’re feeling very reactionary, and those are the moments like looking at how is that affecting you in your life and your kid and why am I being so triggered by that and going through it? Especially when you have really young kids like with mine. I try to look at it like they’re so young. They’re just learning how to talk to someone or learning how to do something. It’s not necessarily them like purposely screwing me over whatever it might be right? And so it’s noticing my reaction to that, and digging into it.
And I know one thing, like my big piece of this that I’ve been working on lately, is being triggered by hearing my husband talking to her disciplining the kids. And most of the time it’s not bad in any way. And I might say things in a very similar way. But hearing someone else speak that way to them brings me back to my childhood and thinking of different things and how I was controlled in different ways. And so that’s been really challenging to dig into. I feel like over this work that I’ve been doing, I’m getting to the awareness part. And then now it’s really digging in and breaking that down and kind of working on flipping the switch.
So how do we do this internal work to, once we become aware, start thinking about things. What are the next steps?
So you just mentioned a really important step right now, which is you feel it coming up here into your chest. And the very first step is, number one, acknowledge that you have an inner child. I remember I wrote a blog post about 10 reasons why parenting is so hard. And one of them is that we parent from our inner child. And someone said, “yeah, but what if you don’t have an inner child?” And I’m like, no, you have an inner child. You know, everyone has an inner child. So the first step is, obviously, to recognize that it’s there, that it’s normal, that is not flawed, it’s just a part of you and of everyone else.
And the following step is always to pause. It’s not like a 15 second pause, but you pause because you want to recognize where you’re feeling your trigger. Because triggers are not all the same. You get different triggers, based on different emotional messages, based on different parts of the inner child you wanna heal. I get some that’s gonna pile up here on the back of my neck. I get some that makes me feel like my freeze response – and I know very well what it comes from – my freeze response will make me just shrivel up like this. I get one that’s like right here, like I’m just about to, in one shot, burst into tears.
So learn to pause and recognize where you’re feeling because your body stores the emotions, right? So something would have happened years ago, and your body stored the emotion there. And it’s still there. And every time that gets triggered, you feel the emotion in the same way.
Oh, so is that the tie with the body’s reaction is, again, it goes back to how we felt in those situations?
How you felt in the situations. And so once you start to recognize where you’re feeling it, you know, breathe through it, think about it, and feel it, and try to go back in time as far as you can every time you felt that emotion. It may not come right away, it takes practice, right? You might get retriggered and be like, “hey, that’s interesting. That’s the same thing I felt that other time when my husband said this, or my kid did that, or that guy down the street honked at me” or whatever. But you’ll start to recognize this is where you’re feeling it.
And try to go back as far as you can, even into your childhood. If you can’t go back all the way to childhood, go back to your early adult years, but always try to go back to when it was that you started to feel this, and see which need was not met. What was what I needed back then and I didn’t get it? And which message did I absorb? Which message did I absorb meaning, which protective layer did I add to my ego? You know, like my voice is it, no one listens to my voice. My voice is not important enough, for example.
And it’s not like a thing that you figure out on the spot. And this is where meditating – this is where meditating and journaling come in. So if I go through a really hard time, it’s usually for me the next morning, because quite often that night I’ll be too tired, if I’ve been really triggered then I need to write the crap out of it. It’s up to you. I’m not telling you to do it in the morning, right?
Everyone has what works for them.
It’s usually in the morning because I’m rested and I can do this. But you write out what you felt. And like stream of consciousness, just write all of it, all of it. Don’t think about it, you know? And then you can pause and try to go back if you felt this before, you know. Does this remind me of something else? What’s the real need behind it? Why do I get offended so easily? Why do I feel like I’m the victim again? And once you’ve done this over and over, and you can identify a need that wasn’t met, you can start to meet that need yourself. And you can start to talk to your inner child.
And it might sound silly, but you can start to write letters to that child, telling them that they’re loved and they’re respected, and they’re safe, you can provide them with whatever you felt you didn’t get at a time that you needed it when you were younger.
I have gone as back as my first week of life, even though I obviously don’t remember. But I know I was practically abandoned at the hospital. I was born in Serbia, even though I’m Egyptian, but I was born in Serbia. And in the hospitals there, they don’t give you to your parents. They keep you in the nursery unless your mother breastfeeds you – then she would see you every four hours. My mother didn’t breastfeed me. Because at the time, it was like she read a book that traumatized her, breastfeeding is gross, I’m not doing it. So I was kept in that nursery for an entire week with hardly no human contact. Anyway, I’m just saying this because I’ve actually done inner child healing meditations where I’ve transported myself back to this newborn. And I’ve held this newborn, the way that I held my own newborns, the way that I kind of wish I had been held even though I don’t remember. And as silly as it sounds, it was wonderful.
I got goosebumps just hearing you talk about that whole thing, wow.
I don’t know if you can tell. But I tear up every time, like if I talk about this, this particular incident makes me tear up.
Another example of talking to your inner child to be able to provide her or him with what they needed – again, I’ll use myself as an example – I have a freeze response every time I need to enter a serious conversation, or a conflict or an argument, right? Even if it’s going to be with someone who loves me and respects me, I have a freeze response. And I literally have to take 10 minutes before to remind myself that I’m safe, that I’m heard, that my voice matters, that the person in front of me has no power over me, and that it’s gonna be okay.
And I’m not talking to my adult self. Because my adult self just uses the intellectual arguments, you know, we’re gonna have this conversation, the logic stuff. But what’s happening into my shoulder standpoint, it’s putting pressure on my shoulders, because this is what freezes. Yeah, I have to talk to that six-year-old self, who used to freeze under certain circumstances, we don’t need to get into it. But I have to do that all the time. Every time it gets easier, every time, but it’s still there. And it might be there for, you know, 10 years, who knows.
But the process is recognizing it, acknowledging it, working on it, and not letting it stop you and control you. Because these are the patterns you want to break. Right? I had the pattern, “oh, I’m about to enter into a conflict. I freeze, so I don’t speak my mind.” This is my pattern, I want to break that pattern. It’s unhealthy. It’s self sabotaging, I have to speak up. So I have to understand where that freeze response is coming from, because it’s completely illogical. The person in front of me loves me and wants to have an open conversation with me. But I’m still freezing.
Yeah. I like how you went on talking about how it’s a pattern. Because that brings in how this stuff is really a practice. And it’s not like there’s an end destination, and you’re gonna solve all your problems and your reactions and triggers. But it’s a process to go through, like you’ve touched on, so recognizing, really taking time to reflect, ask the why. Go back to memories, really dig into the why and the what. And then rewriting the story. Either writing a letter to yourself or reassuring yourself through those little practices.
And kind of going through that process is going to give you some big ahas and like learning things and you go through the process. But it’s not like you’ve got it then. You’ve got to continue, those patterns are going to keep coming up. And so having all this work that you’ve done, you’re quicker to identify, you’re able to better change the script in the situation and it starts to become more and more automatic.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And as your children grow, you’re going to get different triggers. Like I haven’t gotten – like I come from a conservative background, right? I haven’t gotten to the stage where my kids are interested in having relationships, etc. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with all that. But at least now, I know how I’m going to be like, okay, pause, deconstruct, and really look at what your kid needs from you, don’t just react based on whatever you’re feeling. So it’s a never ending work, because new things are going to come up all the time.
New things are going to come up all the time. And yes, pattern disruption is the idea, you start to break that pattern and then you try to embrace another pattern, which is the pausing, observing, recognizing, and then journaling and meditating. So you can actually find inner child meditations online. I find they can be really helpful, because it really accompanies you and takes you back to a particular place in time where you may want to reparent yourself. And there are also great books as well that can help. So if you want, I can send you some resources there too, if you want to share them.
Yeah, absolutely, we always like to include a list of resources. So I will happily take whatever you want to provide. And we can add it into the show notes.
I definitely appreciate having the guided meditation, I’m definitely not someone who will sit down into meditating and really know what I’m doing. I feel like it’s been an off and on practice, mostly off. Trying to get more into it. But it’s nice when you have the guided to really walk you through those different thought patterns where you might not necessarily know where to take yourself. And same with journal scripts too, because I know meditation can feel very uncomfortable for some people. And journaling can be a little bit better of a way for some people to tune in and write things out.
Oh, yeah, journaling is honestly really, really beneficial on so many levels. I mean, just like there’s different types of meditations, there’s different types of journaling as well, it depends on your need. It really depends on your need. But some journaling can just be a brain dump, because there’s too much clutter in your head. But a lot of it, you know – journaling about your feelings, I think, is definitely underestimated. Journaling about your feelings and where all that’s coming from.
And so, yes, meditations, there’s meditations for mindfulness. And there are meditations for focus, and then there are meditations for everything. But there’s also the ones that are really specific to inner child healing. I don’t have any particular one, I’ve done some, but I’ve really just gone online. These are not meditations that I do regularly, you know?
It’s more so when situations come up, and it’s like, “oh, wow, I’m really triggered by that.” And then kind of doing the work, you know, trying to be mindful as they continue to come up.
Yeah. And I think it’s kind of intuitive. But let’s talk about the benefits and the changes that can happen. You touched on it a bit, talking about your beginning story with the book and how it changed so much with your parenting. So let’s talk a bit more about the end part of it. And I imagine it’s going to help those conversations, you’re not as triggered, you’re able to speak in a different way and really tune into helping them through situations.
Yes, from the parenting perspective, you mean?
We can go into all situations.
I think the most liberating aspect of starting to work on your inner child is that you really take control of your life. You start to take full responsibility, because you’re no longer someone who thinks that the world’s doing stuff to them. You start to say, “okay, well, I’m bothered by this. I’m going to work on myself. And I’m going to take that opportunity to see where this is coming from, and to make necessary changes, if there are any changes that are necessary.” That to me has been the most empowering thing because I was stuck in a victim mindset.
And I see it all the time. I see people stuck in victim mindsets, where it’s like the world is doing stuff to you. And that is very true, stuff happens, especially in the first 10 to 15 years of your life. You’re pretty helpless, you’re young, you’re a child. But being an adult really is owning up, taking charge of your emotions and your feelings and your reactions. So that to me is the biggest benefit. I’ve seen benefits of my marriage, with my child.
And the truth is, for example my husband, is he on the same path of healing his inner child? Not at all, he’s more of a typical old fashioned guy who’s just like, “I am the way that I am.”
But as you change, everyone around you absorbs it.
I love that you touched on that.
Everyone around you absorbs it. People say, like, “oh, how can I get my partner to do this like me?” And I’m like “you can’t.” You can talk to them in an open way, but not with the intention to change them. And the truth is, as you change your ways, your environment settles. Everyone around you becomes more calm, and they feel the change, and they subconsciously start to change as well. So we’re talking about the benefit.
Now, I also want to talk about the damage that will happen if you really ignore your inner child for too long. I’m in my 40s now, so I’ve had adults be in my life for like 20 years. There is a drastic difference between the ones who embrace change and healing and growth, and the ones who remain completely stuck. Because this ego, this defence mechanism that you built, it served a purpose early on in life. But if you remain stuck in it throughout your entire life, you’re talking self-sabotage, self-destruction. You need to be open to shedding those layers and looking inside.
And when you go from decade after decade of refusing to do this, it’s like your outer shell just becomes thicker and thicker, and it just becomes harder to live. So it’s liberating. It’s really, really liberating to be able to do all that work.
Absolutely, yeah, I always say in life, there’s always going to be a lot of shit that happens to us, like it’s just a part of life, it will happen. It ebbs and flows but there’s always going to be shit. And it’s up to us how we’re going to live with it, and how we’re going to react to it. And there’s definitely extenuating circumstances where things are substantially worse than others. But we still have the power of what we’re going to do with it, and are we going to stay stuck, are we going to let it affect our entire day? Maybe we do need some time to sit in it, but then move on and choose to have a better day or whatever it might be.
And I find it interesting how you talked about kind of the detriment of not in your experience now in your 40s and having adult friendships for about 20 years. I think I’m kind of now, in my very early 30s, it’s kind of a bit of that transition, where I can see some people have been going through it over the last few years and some not so much. And so it’ll be interesting to see things play out.
Yeah, I think – I remember Dr. Shefali telling us that this usually starts, people usually start to gain this awareness, more into their 30s. There’s no general rule, right, like people can start to awaken to all that in their early 20s. And that’s just admirable, because I was so not there in my 20s.
No, me neither.
But you know, it starts like in your early 30s. And so, yes, by your 40s or 50s – yeah. Then you’re then you’re finally awakened. And it’s too late.
But it’s not, like even fifty, that’s so young, that’s like the good time, kids are leaving the house, you have a bit more reclaimed for your independence and what you want to do with your life.
No, no, even if you’re eighty-years-old, even if you’re ninety-years-old. But yeah, it’s true. And that’s what Dr. Shefali was saying, I guess in her experience, because she’s a therapist, and she’s been doing this work for so long, probably 30 years now. And yeah, it’s usually more like in your 30s that you start to awaken into all that.
Yeah. And that’s why this is such a great topic for here. And a lot of us are kind of going through this in our 30s and going into 40s. But I love how you put it, that doing this work is really just empowering for us to be more in control of ourselves and our lives.
Yeah, I still catch myself. Something’s gonna happen and I start to get pissed off at the something that’s happening. And then I’m like, “no, nothing’s happening to you here, you can take care of that, it’s up to you to take care of that.” I still catch myself. But yes, of course there can be like huge circumstances that are completely out of your control and you just have to survive through it. Yeah, that’s a different story. But for the most part, it’s all these small things that pop up, that you can let the trigger take over or you can learn from the trigger and deconstruct the trigger and see where you can break the pattern so that you can grow from it. But I – yes, what you said, there’s no end destination. I think you said that.
There is no end destination.
Yeah. Continued work.
Just continue to work, continue to work. Absolutely.
Well, thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this and give us a good understanding and next steps we can take. Do you have any last words or anything you want to include before we sign off?
Yes, actually. It’s hard and it’s going to be hard. But that’s okay. Whatever comes up, a lot of really crappy stuff can come up. I, two or three years ago, found myself in the bathroom crying feeling like a complete failure, because it was that message of failure that was coming back up, right? So if you feel like it’s really hard, it’s okay. Give yourself the time. Give yourself the time, but it’s definitely going to be worth it.
Yes, I love that. It’s gonna be worth it. Yeah, such a good note to end on. So where can everyone find you if they want to go and get more knowledge from you or work with you?
Yeah. I’m similar. Thanks again for being here. And thank you for everyone who’s been listening in. I’m really excited to extend this conversation in our Facebook group as well.
Thank you so much, Jannine.