How Meditating With My Younger Self Changed Me.
A couple of years ago when I really began to dive head first into meditation, I found myself inhabiting and exploring a whole new world of possibilities brought on by books I was reading on the subject and my own intuitive and creative take while in the experience. There are many ways to meditate and what works for one person will not work for another so I believe the process of learning how to meditate takes time and that different experiences we go through will call for different techniques. It’s a game of trial and error and we find our way when we are open to what resonates best for our own unique personality and life experience.
That being said, one sunny afternoon while meditating in my room I started to meditate as I normally do. I began to focus on my breath, using it as an anchor to bring me back from the stream of thoughts passing through my mind relentlessly trying to grab my attention. As the seconds turned into minutes and as the minutes passed, I began to feel this desire within me to go back in time, not to revisit the past and obsess about what happened and why but to simply pay a visit to my younger self at a time when I knew she had struggled the most. I felt there was something there to be experienced although I didn’t have the words for it yet.
So off I went. I found her sitting alone in a dark-ish living room with a few plants being the only other sign of another’s presence in the house. I walked over and sat next to her, gave her a hug and began to speak to her. I asked her how she was doing, what was wrong, and if there was anything I could do to help. She spoke to me in the best way she knew how and as she did I began to experience with her the sadness and pain she felt having been left alone for long periods of time-too long for a child at that age to bear without turning the experience into one of blaming herself, something all children do when they are being hurt by the ones they love and are dependent on. I comforted her doing my best to soothe her and told her how much I loved her. As is typical of inner child work, I let her know what was happening in her environment with her parents, that their absence was not about their lack of love for her but about their own limitations, and that they were doing the best they could given what they had at the moment. I gave her the love and protection she felt she was lacking and sat with her while she took it all in.
Instead of stopping there which is a common place to stop with this type of work, I found myself beginning to experiment. It dawned on me that I could show my younger self how to meditate so I began to do just that. I taught her how to work with thoughts that were entering her mind that made her feel unworthy of love. I showed her how to manage the hurtful words of others and feelings that were not hers so that she could have a way to not internalize them as her own. If she felt sadness around her, I encouraged her to see the sadness around her as a fog of energy in the room that she could duck under or walk around so as to not be consumed by it. I gave her a different image to use for when anxiety was the prominent emotion. I showed her how to connect with nature-the trees and the small pond in her backyard-as a way to ground herself.
This meditation had a profound impact on me not only because it connected me with some of my feelings I needed to feel and honor but because I had also experienced timelessness in a deeply profound way.
The only time is now: this very moment. The past is always happening in the now and the future is made up of the now which is why we have to take special care of the present. I realized in my meditation I had traveled back in time through the now and gifted myself with something very important to know and experience as a young child. Going back, my visualization being the vehicle, I opened up a new way for my younger self to be and this opening caused a shift in the experience of myself as an adult in the present moment. Since the future is made up of the now, it also shifted the future, though, in ways I don’t know yet.
This is healing. It is not linear and while we cannot change events that occurred, we can shift our consciousness by going wherever we need to go to make that shift.
When I meditate, I don’t always go back in time through visualizations such as these. However since then, when I meditate I often invite my younger self in the room to meditate with me. I call her in and she sits next to me and then we begin. I find this extremely helpful especially if I am battling a difficult and overwhelming emotion. I call her in and she sits there beside me or wherever she chooses and she knows that she is being taken care of simply through the invitation.
My younger self and I work together to find peace and presence.
This article was originally published by Wake Up World.