Two weeks ago I was gearing up to celebrate my birthday. I arrived at my nail appointment and quickly decided to go with a younger more fun aesthetic for my nails. I was yearning for something less predictable. I wanted less ballet slipper and more harijuko. So, I went with chunky butterfly rhinestones all over with a bubbly pink base and they brought me so much joy! What I didn't realize then was that my desire for something fun, and free was really something pulling at me. You see, something was pulling me back to my teen years and this nail design just opened the door.
Lately, there have been so many conversations around the inner child. Collectively, we have been in dialogue about our inner child and the ways to heal some of the experiences we had during early childhood. We buckled down and assessed our childhood, called out some trauma, and did our best to heal.
However, there is another player we must invite on our healing journey- our inner teen.
Let's talk about it.
The teenage years play such a pivotal role in our development, our sense of safety, our ability to be expressive and our acceptance of self. We can not reach the final stages of healing without calling back our teenage selves.
Can you recall your teenage years? Maybe there were posters all over your wall or notebook? Perhaps you spent your weekends listening to music or watching music videos. If you were like me, you spent your teen years working at the mall in anticipation for independence. While these times moved fast, they were filled to the brim with decision making and emotions both good and bad.
The mere development of our personality traits, who we were, who we planned to be and even what things we liked were curated during this time.
These years are also filled with desires for acceptance. The need for acceptance existed in two places; externally with our peers and also internally with ourselves. The methods we used to process those emotions and the ways we protected ourselves were developed during this time.
Even the big "L, O, V, E" and the idea of non familial love was rooted firmly in our teen years. We developed crushes, had our hearts broken or had them burst with joy all in the same short time span of age 13-19.
And if you want to admit it or not we have to accept that much of who we are today was birthed in our teens.
So, how can we call our teenage selves up and get a run down of things. Just like, freeing our inner child we must also pour love, acceptance, validation and kindness back into our teenage selves.
To help get started we created a few journal prompts to get you in touch with your inner teen. Let's see how we can free our
self-expression, love up on our moody attitudes and hug our "I just want to be accepted for me" teenage selfes.
Journal Prompt 1: What were your foundest memories as a teen. What were some of the main emotions you experienced during these times.
Journal Prompt 2: Self-expression is a major theme during teen years. Can you remember some of the things you did to express yourself
(for example writing, dancing, art, sports.) Do you still participate in some of those activities today as a form of self expression?
Journal Prompt 3: What are there areas you struggled with as a teen? Write a note to your younger self expressing acceptance and appreciation for who you were during that time. Be authentic with yourself and expressive.
Journal Prompt 4: Do you recall being able
to speak your truth as a teenager? If so, what were some of your truths and do they still remain today? If not, what are some of the truths you wish you were able to speak during that time?
Journal prompt 5: What are a few ways your inner teen needed to be supported? Are you currently lacking support in any of these areas? If so, what do you need now?
Hopefully you have found this helpful. Please find the time to give your teenage self a call and apologize, protect, cheer on or even just provide a hug. After all, you still need it.
Love, Kianna S.