Step 1 – Acknowledge the wound. Realize it is there and tell the truth about it.
- Reflect on your childhood experience in your family.
- Did you get your physical needs met with love and kindness?
- Did you get your emotional needs met?
- Did you know that you were loved?
- Did your family express love, concern and compassion towards you?
- Did they respond in a positive way when you needed something? Or did they shut you down or ignored you? Or communicated in words or actions that your needs weren’t ok.
- Were you told that they couldn’t afford what you needed?
Step 2 – Allow yourself to feel the pain and emotions of the wound.
If you ask yourself the above questions and you have the heart wound of neglect, it is pretty likely that you will feel the pain of the neglect heart wound. It won’t be comfortable. You might even want to run away and distract yourself. You may feel sad or alone or worthless. Those are terrible things to feel. I know. I feel them too when my neglect heart wound gets triggered.
Also notice when the heart wound gets triggered and notice what you feel emotionally or physically. When someone says something? Someone does something? Maybe an unexpected expense. An unkind word from a family member, friend, acquaintance, co-worker or boss. Awareness and acceptance is the first step to healing the heart wounds.
It is ok to take baby steps. A little at a time.
Step 3 – Coping mechanisms that you created to survive.
Make a list of your coping mechanisms that you created to survive. Keep in mind that coping mechanisms are not a bad thing. They were created out of your need to survive. But at this point in your life, they might be holding you back in some way.
As you heal the heart wound, you won’t need the coping mechanisms. Here are some examples to consider or you may have your own list.
- Being an overachiever. Being an underachiever. Being in a codependent relationship. Being in a relationship where you physical and/or emotional needs aren’t being met.
- Living below your potential. Not able to take risks. Depending on someone else for your well-being. Being excessively needy and feeling guilty about that. Not being able to ask for your needs to be met or even acknowledging that you have needs. Feeling guilty about having needs.
- Being over controlling. Being a people-please by giving other what they need at your expense.
Step 4 – Acknowledge the negative beliefs about yourself, others, the world and God that came out of the heart wound.
Here are some examples of beliefs that come out of the Neglect Heart Wound.
- I feel unsafe. I am frightened that my needs won’t be take care of. I’ll lose my sense of security in the world or may never have had it.
- No one loves me. I am alone and frightened. I have to figure out how to take care of myself, but I don’t believe I have what it takes to do that.
Step 5 – Re-script the beliefs from the life negative beliefs to the life enhancing beliefs. Repeat them on a regular basis.
Look at the beliefs that you wrote down. Make a positive statement to offset each negative one. Here are some examples:
- My needs are taken care of. I have all that I need. I am safe.
- I am loved. I love myself. I have friends and family that love me. I am appreciated for who I am.
- I have the power to take care of myself. If I am in a difficult situation, I have what it takes to move through and beyond the situation.
Tip: check in with your heart about the positive statements. If your psyche completely rejects it, it may not be helpful. Try to find ones that give you a sense of relief. Here are some examples of what that might sound like. If “I love myself” feels untrue, begin with something like:
- I am learning how to take care of myself.
- I am learning how to love myself.
- I am open to the possibility of loving myself.
Step 6 – Chose different actions and ways of being that are more life enhancing.
Your actions steps will come out of you coping mechanism and your beliefs. Here are some examples:
- If you are and over achiever, allow yourself to be a bit less of an achiever. Maybe a bit less of a perfectionist. Let the kitchen get dirty without having to clean it all the time.
- Take a risk that you would have bypassed.
- Practice saying no rather than always putting someone else’s needs before yours.
- Ask for what you need. Identify what you need.
- Take a risk and let go of trying to control a person or situation.
- Create a vision of what you would like to create in your life.