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Learning and Unlearning

Journey to healing my inner child.

By Lan 🌞Published 13 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
24
Me with a beautiful bouquet my sister put together - Apr 2024

Leaning into playing more to connect with and heal my inner child.

I read that childhood is about learning

while adulthood is about unlearning.

There's wonderful and empowering things I learned and internalized as a child, but at the same time, there's sad and discouraging things too.

Both sides of the coin have shaped me into who I am and for that I will always be grateful. But now, I'm at the point in my personal development where I can see how the "negative" things are affecting how I show up. They're affecting how I connect and relate to myself and others.

I don't blame anyone. No one can really know how something will affect someone. I like to believe we're all doing our best and "our best" looks different on everyone. Who am I to judge??

I release anger and instead take ownership for myself. This is who I am and I claim that. There are parts of me that I love and there are parts that I want to work on.

〰️

It begins with defining behaviors / thoughts I want to change. Then I trace it back to its origin. When was the first time I started acting or thinking this way? This is how I find my Origin Wound(s) - the place where trauma first occurred that needs attention (healing).

From that place of insight, I get curious and question myself. What happened that affected me? Why did it affect me? How did it change my perception of myself or life? When it happened, how did I feel before, during, and afterward?

In the answers is where I begin to understand why I am the way I am.

...

Then comes the fun part, unlearning what I internalized.

〰️

Unlearning is a process to say the least. I do my best not to attach too much meaning into the speed at which I unlearn. I am focused on the goal and am doing my best to enjoy the journey, no matter how "slow." Forward motion is still forward motion.

This part of healing asks me to be patient with myself. There are times where I do the unwanted behavior and that's okay. This is a transition period of my life. I understand that and therefore can forgive myself. I know better and am actively putting in effort to doing better.

My unlearning transition looks like this:

  1. At first, I habitually performed the old behavior and caught myself after the fact. What are my triggers? How will I respond the next time this happens?
  2. Then, I started catching myself as I'm doing the old behavior. 'Aha! Almost! Need to remember my response for the next time!'
  3. To eventually, doing the new behavior instead.

It takes time, patience, grace, and a whole lotta self-awareness.

The more I practice unlearning, the easier it gets for me to get through the transition. Remember, speed is not important. Everyone's journey is different. Please be understanding. There's still moments where I feel triggered by something I "healed." As long as the positive moments outweigh the heavy ones.

〰️

What also helps me heal is talking directly to that version of me who experienced the trauma. I imagine myself then and myself now having a conversation. Traumatized me has just shared what happened and present me is the soothing, understanding, and comforting adult she needed. I imagine giving little me the tightest hug and I tell her I love her. Deep breath in and full exhale out.

Spending time with little me, all I want is for her to have fun and play and enjoy life. She shouldn't have to carry the weight of trauma at such a young age. So here I am now, living the life she always wanted. I can feel her unadulterated energy radiating through me. I am being the me I've always wanted to and knew I could be. I'm doing it for her. I think this is the highest form of self-love. Wow.

As I write this, I am 29 years old. It's taken me almost three decades to come to this conclusion. (Not judging the speed, just a mere observation.) I wonder what other wisdoms I'll pick up in the next decade of my life!

〰️

The more I process childhood trauma, the lighter and freer I feel. I am able to soothe myself as I recount the memories. Really putting myself back in the situation to understand and alchemize the pain and suffering. Facing the trauma allows me to eventually see it from a neutral standpoint, as I'm no longer shocked by the event. When I'm ready, I give it one last good, thorough look and then I put it away onto the bookshelf of my mind. The story will always be there, but I don't have to keep reading it. I've already read it enough times. I know and understand the story.

It's time to look ahead and write a new one. ❤️‍🔥

selfcare
24

About the Creator

Lan 🌞

Artist with many facets, diving deep into exploring the human experience. ❤️‍🔥

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insight

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (12)

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  • Fion 8 days ago

    Thanks for sharing your journey! Love it and proud of you for coming this far!!

  • Congrats on your top story.

  • Awesome writing, keep it up!

  • Emil indw12 days ago

    So deep deep insight. Good work!

  • Linda Goodman12 days ago

    Really beautiful

  • jameel Nawaz12 days ago

    "Beautiful content! I support you and appreciate your support for me. Together, we can achieve great things! 🌟😊"

  • Ameer Bibi12 days ago

    Really enjoyed this piece of writing Congratulations on TS

  • Kendall Defoe 12 days ago

    You are on the right path! Top Story! 🏅

  • Robyn Peterson12 days ago

    Excellent observations! I too need to remind my self that I need to hold myself accountable and remember that I didn’t go through all my healing just to fly back into thinking the unhealthy way. Thank you! 😊

  • angela hepworth12 days ago

    So important! Congrats on Top Story!

  • Joe O’Connor13 days ago

    Really appreciate this reflection, and the process of unlearning is so real- particularly the three phases of the unlearning transition.

  • shanmuga priya13 days ago

    I enjoyed your writing.

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