Healing shame and the inner child inside of you can seem like an impossible task. Not just because the pain caused by shame cuts to your very soul, but also because most likely, you don’t want to admit you feel ashamed. Somehow, anxiety and fear have become more acceptable to share with the world. Shame however, rarely gets to take center stage. Instead it gets shoved underneath other seemingly more socially acceptable symptoms of childhood trauma. Which only leads to an increase in intensity and frequency of anxiety and fear until the shame can be seen and healed.
Healing Shame and Your Inner Child Cannot Happen Until You Recognize It
Shame stems from a lack of unconditional love. Most people do not realize this. Or else they unconsciously know deep down that if they see their shame it would mean that they are not worth loving. To make matters worse, they refuse to recognize that they feel shame because that would mean acknowledging that no one has ever loved them unconditionally. So they focus on anything else that feels less awful about their very sense of self. However, the body does keep the shame score which is why shame manifests itself in the body through anxiety.
Healing shame and your inner child cannot happen until you recognize it. Notice I did not say, “want to recognize it.” Nobody wants to admit they feel shame. As I mentioned above, shame cuts to your very soul. Your sense of self, your beliefs about your worth, your capabilities, and your deserving to be loved. So it’s understandable that nobody wants to admit they struggle with shame. Because acknowledging shame could mean that you you are unlovable, unworthy, and basically a no good nothing, people rarely choose to make space for shame, The fear of discovering that you just might be unlovable and unworthy feels so frightening that you avoid it at all costs. Simply saying, “I have anxiety” does not carry the weight of being unlovable and unloved or rejected and ignored.
Shame Can Be Healed
Before I share just how shame can be healed, I want to point out that healing shame shares similarities to other injuries. How so? In order to heal it you need to do something and then accept the help given. Allow me to be more specific…
For example, you break your foot. The injured foot will not heal unless you recognize that you feel pain. That’s the first step. Are ya with me so far? 🙂 The next thing to heal the broken foot requires making an appointment to see the doctor. So, again you need to do something. Next, you must be willing to receive the doctor’s help (i.e.. the cast put on your foot, accept and take the prescription he or she might prescribe, etc.) The only way your foot will heal once you recognize it is if you receive the doctor’s help.
If you refuse treatment or decide not to go to see the doctor, you foot does not heal. The same thing applies to shame.
Healing Shame-Who’s the Shame Doctor
Certainly when it come to healing shame and your wounded inner child, connecting with a therapist can be a huge helpful step. Other connections can also help reduce anxiety and fear. However, if shame is caused by a lack of unconditional love and even professionals who know how to help cannot necessarily offer you unconditional love, who do you go to for that? Most likely because you grew up with childhood trauma, you cannot go to your parents or caregivers who abused you. You might not even have a safe unconditionally loving relationship with your siblings or grandparents. So, who do you go to for this cure (unconditional love) from shame that causes you to feel anxious and fearful?
Unconditional Love Heals Shame
God tells us in His Word that He loves us no matter what. We cannot earn His love nor be separated from it. In fact, in Psalm 23: 3 God says that, “He restores my soul.” When you have been abused by those entrusted to love you unconditionally, your soul becomes broken, wounded, and confused regarding the truth about who you are and your worth as I discussed above. God can heal this pain with His unconditional love.
Even God Cannot Heal Shame If We Don’t Receive His Love
Just like I described the broken foot above, you cannot heal shame unless you are willing to receive what God offers. So the one word to heal shame and the inner child is. “RECEIVE.”
This time of year gifts seem plentiful. You might go to office Christmas parties and do a secret Santa, you might wrap gifts under the tree or you might take gifts to a Toys for Tots drive. Nonetheless, presents and gifts abound this time of year. However, if nobody receives your gift, they obviously won’t benefit from the gift. Correct? Now, I’ll be the first to admit that some of the presents people offer you won’t benefit you at all. You might not like the bath salts smell or need a new scarf. We’ve all gotten those gifts, right?! LOL
However, the one gift you can always use in order to live the peaceful, playful and purposeful life you long for, is God’s unconditional love for you.
How To Receive God’s Unconditional Love that Heals Shame and the Inner Child
Contrary to what I thought ( and maybe you do too), receiving God’s love can be done more easily than people think. Think of God like any other relationship. Spend time with Him and ask for His help to receive His love. God tells us that we have not because we ask not. So go ahead and ask not only to experience His love but also for His help in receiving it. You are worthy of His love and He longs for you to receive that healing love. However, God will never force us to receive His gifts.
We need to go to Him with an open heart (even if that heart is only open a teeny bit.) He will fill your body, mind and spirit with His love that will give you peace that you desire and deserve. If you have doubts about this truth, I encourage you to check out the work of Dr, Timothy Jennings and his book, The God-Shaped Heart: How Correctly Understanding God’s Love Transforms Us.
I share more ideas for building a personal relationship with God here. These ideas will help you receive the best gift you will ever receive this year or any other year!
If you want some help in learning how to receive God’s unconditional love or need support on your healing journey. Click here and let’s connect!
From my heart to yours, may your Christmas be peaceful, playful and purposeful.