When you dig deep down inside yourself and connect with your inner child, one of the things you learn is how compassionate that little boy or girl truly is.

That little one in our heart, in our mind, wants to protect us at all costs.  When it senses that we are entering a potentially dangerous situation, he or she will scream out at us and do whatever they can to grab our attention to warn us.

They know something is all too familiar about where we are headed, and whether we think we can handle it or not, they are going to let us know that this is not a good place to be. It’s a scary place for them because they remember how they felt in a similar situation.

Think of it as your inner child high jacking your inner control panel. He or she is pushing the panic button, turning on the lights and sirens, and sounding the evacuation alarm to try and get through to us.

That’s a pretty difficult concept to grasp when you’ve spent a good portion of your life totally ignoring or blaming your inner child for all of your misfortune.  I know this to be true because I’ve done it.

After years and years of minimizing his existence, blowing him off, and more recently, blaming him for every bad thing that’s happened to me; the thought of him still having love and compassion for me can be as endearing as it confusing.

That idea that this little kid still has nothing but love for me, even after all I’ve put him through just makes no sense if I try and rationalize it with fully functioning adult mind and reasoning. It’s not until we get down on their level and connect with them in a way that they see us, that we can get a feel for how much they care about us.

Think of a dog who’s been beaten and abused, yet it still barks whtake care inner child - you are here to protect meen a stranger comes to the door. That sweet animal who’s been beaten down repeatedly still seeks the love and attention of its owner.

I can remember as a young kid, and even into my very early teenage years, after all my mom put me through I still sought her approval for quite a long time. Throughout all the invalidation about how I was living my life, and dealing with pressures of school, I still kept running to her.

Our inner child is very similar to this, he or she will keep running back to us and trying to protect us at all costs…no matter what.

So, when you are entering a potentially toxic situation like a holiday dinner with your family for example, and that panic meter is going off, it’s very possible that your inner child is trying to tell you to back off. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you may likely feel like hell again and get triggered.

So, what do we do, how do we handle that?  How do we treat our inner child with love and compassion, but still move forward as we gain confidence throughout our healing journey?

The main thing is this, acknowledge the warning signs that your inner child is sending and then decide for yourself if you really feel like you can handle the situation.

Little Matt – “Matt, dude, don’t go their man. Don’t go to that family dinner. You know “she” will be there. You know just being in her very presence causes you to hide, try and blend in, and stay quiet. Just like you did when you were a kid. Why put yourself through that, it’s not worth it Matt.”

Adult Matt – “I hear your kiddo, and thank you for this warning. I’m glad you are looking out for us. I will be OK this time though, I got this, kid. If I’m triggered, I’ll step outside for a while. When I’ve had enough, I’ll go ahead and leave and then do something relaxing.”

Verbalizing that type of conversation out loud (if you can) or saying it to yourself goes a long way towards a better relationship with that little boy or girl inside who just wants to love us and protect us.

It takes practice because it likely won’t come easy. It hasn’t come easy for me, and that’s a fact.

Learning to release anger, resentment, and aggression towards our inner selves, instead of embracing them, helps keep us moving forward. I know for me, any positive thing I can find during my healing journey; I’ll ride that wave for as long as I can. Then I’ll come back to it when I need it.

I encourage you today friend, to listen to that inner child inside that wants to protect you. If they are sending you warning signs, and hitting the panic button; realistically assess if you think can handle the situation or not.

If you can, then that’s great! This healing journey you are on is really beginning to pay off and you are doing amazing work!

If you don’t feel like you can handle it; don’t shame yourself.  You are still doing amazing work and making progress; everything in its time.

Do what’s best for you now, and know that in time you’ll become stronger and more confident in who you are and what you can handle. Which includes assessing potentially toxic situations and evaluating them based on the warning sides from “little you” inside.