My interest in guided meditation began when I was struggling with some very intense emotional distress just after a divorce. No matter what I did, I just wasn’t able to calm my emotions down. I’d find myself weeping at work, at the store, and sitting at home on the couch staring off into space.
Sure, it’s understandable to feel grief, sadness, and perhaps some disillusionment when your marriage ends. However, to me it seemed as if my emotional landscape was far more intense than what may be deemed “normal”. What I didn’t understand at the time was that my inability to process and cope with such strong emotions stemmed more from never really learning how to contend with pain as a child. Rather than express how I was feeling, I stuffed my emotions as a child – and as an adult. Such behaviors can certainly cause the “emotional bubble” to pop at some point.
At that time, counselor John Bradshaw had the most amazing inner child healing workshops and books. I dove into his material and started going back to my childhood to address old wounds and negative belief patterns. It was there that I started doing guided meditations for inner child healing that I believe saved my emotional life. It only made sense later in life when I started doing some Life Coaching that I would use guided meditations in my practice.
I remember one particular woman who came to me in great emotional distress. Sharon (not her real name) shared with me that before she’d gotten into a relationship, she thought she had a good handle on her emotions. When life handed her lemons, she usually made lemonade. When she was struggling, she would talk to her sister or a dear friend. However, when she got involved with a co-worker in an intimate relationship, she started noticing that she was becoming more emotional and unable to deal with her feelings.
She would text him and then get angry when he wouldn’t get back to her for an hour. She’d get incredibly sad and even yell at him when he couldn’t come visit her because he was too busy. She became very insecure and jealous, checking his phone thinking he was cheating on her.
After learning about her childhood and relationships, I had a feeling inner child guided meditation would help. To heal, she would need to see if her emotional distress stemmed from unhealed wounds from back then. I asked if she was willing to take about 15 minutes per day to just sit in silence and focus on her breath. I explained that meditation was a technique that is quite helpful at calming the mind down with its incessant thoughts. She agreed.
While in session, I would have her close her eyes and relax. ’d take her through a guided meditation to help her get in touch with her inner child. She went back to her childhood in her mind’s eye and got in touch with how her “Little Sharon” felt at the time. Growing up with a father that struggled with alcoholism and a mother that worked more than necessary caused that little girl to feel scared and lonely.
“Big Sharon” started understanding that “Little Sharon” didn’t know how to cope with those feelings, so she disconnected from them. She acted like nothing was wrong and did all she could do to be the perfect child. This was the first time Sharon had done what I call “inner healing work”. She knew her childhood wasn’t the best, but she didn’t think it was that bad either. She had never realized that her emotional needs as a child would impact her later on in life.
Each session, I would take Sharon through a guided meditation where she could connect with her wounded inner child and have conversations with her. Of course, the reason for this type of guided meditation is to help someone accept, process, and integrate “stuck energy” in the psyche that is causing present day emotional problems. Through the guided meditations and daily meditation, Sharon began feeling less reactive in her relationship.
It took months of diligent inner work, but she progressed steadily. When she started feeling lonely or scared, she would check in with herself first to see if those feelings were true or if it was that scared, lonely little girl. If it was, she would close her eyes and assure Little Sharon that she was safe. That she was not alone. That she was there for her! If she needed to voice her feelings to her boyfriend, she did so, but not in a reactive way. She was learning to have mature conversations about her feelings to work on issues that popped up.
Guided meditations helped Sharon learn a lot about herself, emotional sobriety, and gave her a helpful tool for healing old wounds. It’s a tool that I still use when I feel it’s necessary, and can be helpful for many life situations.
Author, Coach, Spiritual Mentor
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