I was going through some old photos online today, and I came across this particular one that I had made for a Flickr 365 Photography Project that I did over 10 years ago.
I froze for an instant and felt this tight grip around my heart. I instantly became aware of something—something that was interesting but really not that surprising.
When I first made this series, when I was looking for photos to use and I found these old kindergarten and grade 1 photos at my parents’ house, my initial reaction to them was, “Awww…look how adorable and innocent I was!” as I admired them with much fondness.
Now, after years of doing the healing work and so much inner child work, I absolutely did not have the same reaction looking at these pictures. I suddenly felt this wave of anguish sweep over me as I looked at these pictures of me—as I looked into her little face.
You see, I have met this child version of me many times over and over again in therapy to have conversation, to heal the traumas that I experienced at such a small age that were long forgotten and buried. I met her to give her support, comfort, and love so that she could finally let go of that hurt she has been holding onto all these years. I felt the pain instantly as my gaze fell upon her eyes, but mostly, I felt the loss of innocence and childlike wonder that should have been mine when I was a child but instead was robbed from me.
This isn’t just my story. I’m not sharing this to be a downer or to get sympathy. I’m sharing this because so many of us are just like this. So many of us are right here—wounded children operating in an adult world without any awareness of it. Walking around with these deep wounds and unmet needs we had as children from trauma that we experienced at such a young age. Many people think that they don’t have any trauma and have this idea that traumas are something completely devastating, which obviously they can be, but trauma has many layers.
Here is the thing: children do not have the emotional capacity to deal with their big emotions, and if they do not have parents/caregivers who cannot only help them through that but also regulate their own big emotions, then we have the beginning of trauma.
Parents who, instead of soothing and supporting their child who is in distress, continue to vomit their own wounding onto their children, perpetuating this vicious cycle that they experienced as children and operating on autopilot during these high intensity moments, then those children will grow up not knowing what it feels like to be loved, valued, to feel safe, and attached.
Instead, they will hide away the true parts of themselves, or the other side of that is that they will overexert false parts of themselves to please and to gain approval of others. These children grow up to be adults with multiple things that will play out in their adult lives over and over again until it’s addressed—or until it’s not and then just continues until the end of their lives. This is what we refer to as generational trauma: cycles of wounding that continue to play out in the family line until, finally, some have the courage to break it.
I’m sharing this because I want everyone to know that we all have the opportunity to heal and release all of those things within us. It can give us an insight and closer look as to why we are the way that we are. It will point the way toward our triggers and the root of them. It will lead us straight to that four-year-old who was so deeply hurt because of abandonment, fear, not feeling good enough, or any other type of gigantic, painful emotion you were feeling in that moment. A place where we can sit with them, hold them, and tell them that it’s okay now. And then, ultimately, lead them back to safety and to love. Because the whole purpose of healing and being connected is really and truly a journey back to yourself.
And as we are shifting energies throughout the entire planet, we are seeing a lot of these generational cycle breakers incarnated in this lifetime for this very purpose: to release all of this pain that we are harbouring in our bodies and energetic fields…some that isn’t even our own. It’s not an easy road. It’s difficult, challenging, and full of so many bumps and much more grief and sadness that can feel like too much for one person to handle. But it will be fulfilling because this is no longer pain being incurred; this is now pain that is being released and healed. This is you finally being seen.
As the wonderful Rumi said,
“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
The only way we can get through this is to go “through” it.
I urge you all to embark on this journey, for we have reached an impasse in this world where we can see that our systems are failing miserably and that much of the outside world is unfortunately a reflection of the state of our inner being.
The only way to shift the tides is to take this journey within. A journey to regain the parts of you that have been lost and so deeply hidden. A journey that encompasses everything inside and outside of you. A journey of truth, enlightenment, and healing.
A journey back to you. Because it’s what you deserve.