Putting a Shield Around Your Inner ChildBy Phyllis Stein, Ph.D.
July 25, 2008
Creating inner safety is the job of the loving adult. Creating a shield is a simple way to practice doing this.
Here is how it might work for a memory from the past. Perhaps is it a memory of your mother, angry and yelling. You, as your loving adult, choose to walk into that scene, to rewrite the memory on behalf of your child. You create the shield and now your child can no longer hear the yelling, cannot feel the angry energy. All he feels is protected and safe. Maybe you imagine your mother getting even angrier and trying to hit your little one. She can't get thru, because as long as your focus is on keeping your child safe, as long as your focus is on holding the shield in place, the person who wants to hurt him simply bounces off. She cannot do anything to hurt your little one anymore, because YOU are there. You don't have to change her at all. By doing this, you give your little one the experience that now he can be safe as long as you are there, that his safety no longer depends on having control over his mother's feelings or actions. From this safe space, you can then explore and heal.
It would work in the same way if something is happening in the present. You have the choice of trying to be safe by controlling something outside you or by providing safety from the inside. As you the loving adult puts up the shield to provide safety for your inner child, neither the words of the wounded selves not the words of others create anxiety for her. It is clear that if you take your focus off protecting your little one, the shield will vanish immediately and all of the hurtful arrows will go straight through to your child, so you hold your focus on her. You understand that their actions really are not about you, that there is nothing that you need to control in order to feel safe. Again, once you have secured your little one, there is room to explore and heal and learn. As you continue to do this, in the present and around events in the past, your child begins to trust that you will be there and the wounds of the past, when there was no one to trust, will truly heal.
I have also found that access to spirit becomes easier from this place of holding the shield around your little one, because your loving adult is present and your heart is open. As you are holding the shield around your child and keeping her safe, perhaps you can then imagine a loving presence with you, one that is totally thrilled that you are protecting this little one. Maybe you can allow yourself to feel this shared joy. You are coming home to who you really are!
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What nurtures you? Do you feel nurtured by being out in nature? By doing something creative? By sitting quietly and listening to music or reading or watching a movie? By being with caring friends? By being physically active - hiking, playing a sport, or gardening? By meditating, journaling, practicing Inner Bonding? By playing fun games? By playing a musical instrument? Today, be sure to create balance in your life by nurturing yourself.
By Dr. Margaret Paul