“It just wasn’t me,” a client repeated to me during her session last week. “And up until our work together, I just couldn’t understand why I kept repeating the same pattern.”

She was referring to her pattern of over-drinking in very specific social situations. 

During the week, and when she’s not with this group of people, she is a successful business owner, mom, wife, has her daily routines and spiritual practice, eats well, exercises, and can drink very moderately, if at all. 

But in certain social situations, and despite her best intentions, she would over-drink. And she didn’t understand why. 

Through our work together, she came to realize that she lacked confidence and was constantly doubting herself around this group of people around whom she perceived she needed to be perfect. Yet she still didn’t understand why these people’s opinions mattered so much to her. 

Over the course of our work together, the answer became more clear. 

One day, we did a visualization where she traveled back in time to check on her inner child. What she saw was an 8 year old girl, sitting alone in her room. Both of her parents worked, and her mom had gone back to school, and this child never felt like a priority. She was always by herself, wasn’t allowed to go play with other kids, and didn’t receive what she needed in terms of love and attention from her parents. 

In highschool – alcohol entered into the picture. It helped her open up, get over her social insecurities, and gave her access to a whole new world of popularity. The attention she lacked from her parents became available to her through boys and parties. Drinking and external validation became a survival strategy for what she was lacking inside of herself. 

Fast forward to many years later, and this dynamic was still playing out, albeit unconsciously. 

What my client felt “wasn’t her” actually was part of her, but a very young and deeply hidden part of herself. So much so that it was creating this inner tension of “I just don’t understand why I’m like this.” Because the “her” of today IS confident, accomplished and knows how to take care of herself. But there was still a wounded dynamic playing out. Once she realized what it was and why, she could then decide whether she wanted it to stay a part of her… which she didn’t. 

Her healing work has included daily journaling and prayer, consciously thinking of her inner child and the new awareness she has, tapping, releasing the intense pressure she used to feel to be perfect, speaking more kindly to herself, being more honest, setting boundaries. 

Understanding the root, or the old wound or trauma helps us heal from the inside out, rather than simply focusing on how the behaviour we don’t like is showing up in the present. Often, it is something that happened because of another person (a parent, teacher, trusted adult or authority, first love). 

It’s important to note that identifying the source helps us know what kind of healing we need, however it is not that person’s responsibility, it is our own. That inner wounded part of ourselves might want to point fingers and say, “YOU did this to me, you need to fix it!!” but doing so just keeps us stuck in that old pattern or dynamic. The responsibility for healing the wound is our own.  

Another way that these “parts of me” show up is when we feel really triggered by something that seems like it shouldn’t be a big deal and we don’t understand why. 

This same client used to feel super hurt and reactive when she was trying to talk to her husband and he wouldn’t look up from the newspaper to answer her. 

Her awareness of her childhood pain helped her understand that it wasn’t her mature self that was reacting, it was the 8 year old child inside of her that was still hurting from not feeling like a priority and ultimately feeling unloved. 

When she started a daily practice of loving that part of herself, showing up for herself and making herself a priority, she started to heal that part of herself from the inside out. 

She was now able to approach the situation, and her husband’s behaviour differently. Even though it might annoy her sometimes, it didn’t hold the same charge. She could also make different choices. Instead of “demanding” attention, when he was clearly focused on something else, she could wait. Or, she could express to him how much it would mean to her for him to look at her when he was answering a question. Either way, she took responsibility for getting her needs met differently. 

She can now show up to a social situation, having compassion and forgiveness for the past self who would have over-drank, and know with certainty that “that’s not her anymore.” She doesn’t “need” alcohol in the same way, because she is not the same. 

She is what healing from the inside out looks like… and she’s getting to a place where she can truly say, that’s not me anymore.

If you are interested in exploring this kind of deep work and making these powerful shifts, let’s talk. 

I have a few spots opening up for private clients and I would love to support you. 

Click here to set up a time to talk.