Self, Health And Wellness

How To Reclaim Your Sense Of Innocence & Feel Safe Again After Experiencing Trauma And Disappointment

Photo: Naku Mayo on Unsplash
How To Deal With Trauma Or Disappointment And Be Happy & Vulnerable Again

Do you remember those innocent days when you didn’t have any real concerns in your life, spent your days playing outside and eating ice cream, and went to bed happily exhausted from a full day well lived?

How about when you got a little older and went traveling on your own or with friends, hitchhiking your way through Europe, taking 'not-so-wise’ chances, and being blessed that things somehow just worked out.

I sure remember those days of innocence in my youth. I’m not saying my life was perfect or without bumps that left both inner and outer scars, but overall, I remember what it was like to innocently live my life full out, with a zest for life and curiosity to explore and experience whatever was to come.

At some point we run into a bigger bump than we are equipped to handle on our own. Without the right support in place, the mind needs to find a way to make sense of why bad things could happen, as well as find ways to stay safe from trauma in the future.

It’s a smart and protective move of the mind, but not necessarily one that tells the whole truth. Rather, the resulting hypervigilance may lead to far more worrying than it does happiness.

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Your mind automatically draws conclusions about you, about other people and about the world. And even though those conclusions may serve a specific purpose at a specific time — such as protecting yourself from bad things happening again — in the long run, they shut down your zest for life.

The limiting beliefs your mind creates — “There’s something wrong with me,” “People are not trustworthy,” “God has left me,” or “The world is not safe for me” — are convictions that make you leave your sense of innocence behind, turn off your natural curiosity, and close down your heart.

From an innocent point of view, it doesn't make sense that bad things should ever happen, so they come as a smack in the face.

Traumtic events are confusing, disappointing, unfair, devastating and downright scary.

So surely, if you believe your former innocence led you into this state in the first place, it makes total sense to shut it down and leave it behind forever.

But is that really the whole truth? Is that the only way to deal with disappointment, unfairness and betrayal?

There is actually more to the story. Truth be told, your innocence is still here, right there inside of you. Can you feel it?

So since it never really went away, there must be a good reason that it is still here, and that we are all born with it to begin with.

Your innocence is here for a reason — a good reason. It is not here to be discarded, rejected or shamed. It’s here to stay connected to itself while learning how to fare in a world that has lost its innocence.

Even as I write these words, I so sweetly feel my own innocence, because she feels recognized and seen. I feel tender inside, as I recognize my own innocence right now, a confirmation that there is a valid place for innocence in the world.

Just because you don’t know how innocence can live in a harsh world, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn.

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I also left my innocence many years ago for the same reason you did — the need for safety. And since I am the one who left it, I am the one who needs to turn back to it and learn new ways to stay safe and be innocent at the same time.

How about you? Do you feel a little tender inside when you realize that your innocence is still here after all these years? You’ve protected it well, and most likely for a good reason.

Because I recognize my own innocence and have learned over the years to love and celebrate that part of me, it’s a great gift for me to be able to recognize it in you too.

Do you wonder what the point is in all of this, or why you should even bother taking a chance again?

Your innocence, as well as mine, didn’t come into this world to hide.

Innocence is here to share itself and help others acknowledge their innocence too.

Do you agree that this world would benefit greatly from a big dose of innocence, rather than from less of it? There is a way to make that happen.

Have you noticed that you feel more secure sharing your vulnerability and innocence when you are in a safe environment where others share theirs too?

That feels good, doesn’t it? It’s as if a part of you that’s been in hiding, believing there was no room for it in this world, suddenly feels a little more OK about itself. If someone else can do it, maybe you can too.

There's something beautiful happening in the world in the midst of all the chaos and craze.

More and more of us are longing and looking for safe connections with which we can be who we are again and experience the innocence we once knew. We are tired of hiding our innocence, beauty and love.

When you feel more OK about your own innocence, you may feel OK sharing it with someone else with whom you feel safe. This could be a grassroots movement where we’re gently starting a ‘wild fire of innocence’ whereby vulnerability, innocence and authenticity can return to their natural expression as you and me.

I don’t recommend starting it in a lion’s den where there is no interest in or awareness of it. That would not be safe, nor would it be helpful. It would simply become another reason to keep your innocence imprisoned behind a closed heart.

How can you stop worrying, deal with disappointment and learn how to be happy, vulnerable and innocent again?

One way to start the ball of innocence rolling is to first acknowledge it in yourself. If it weren’t still there, why else would you still be protecting it?

Take five minutes and close your eyes to connect with your own sense of innocence inside.

When you think about the unique flavor protecting yourself from vulnerability, what is so precious inside of you that it still needs your protection? What have you never given up on protecting, even to this day?

Knowing what you are protecting will let you know what it is you want to avoid experiencing at any cost.

Next, consider this: If you felt safe enough and knew without a shadow of doubt that you would be safely acknowledged, accepted and received if you share your vulnerability, how would that feel?

I agree that for some people the pain they've experienced has been so big that their innocence is shut down too deeply for them to recognize it at this point.

But that is not you. You know your own innocence, don’t you? Don't you wish that someone would recognize it in you, so you can soften your protection and be more of yourself: your innocent self?

This is what we all long for, and rightly so. We are all innocent at the core, though the hardships we go through cover this up.

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Hopefully you realize now that, blessed be, you are still innocent.

I invite you to start by acknowledging that in yourself, silently inside your own Soul, and let the feelings of that acknowledgment flow freely.

Notice what happens. Do you breathe more deeply? Does your jaw soften? Do you shed a tear?

When you have met yourself with confidence and acceptance, is there anyone in your life with whom you feel safe enough to share it with? Maybe even someone who has passed from this plane of existence? Or maybe it feels the safest and more loving to share it with a spiritual figure like Mother Mary, Jesus, or the Angels, with whom you trust that your innocence is welcome with open arms or wings.

This is how you begin. And as you feel more and more OK being innocent in a safe environment, this will already have started spreading your own little wildfire of innocence in the world.

Your innocence is the expression of your most innermost beautiful Self.

Your innocence is welcome here.

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Pernilla Lillarose is a Self Love Mentor and Embodiment Whisperer at Divine Feminine Flow who loves supporting women saying yes to who they are and what matters to them, without guilt or doubt. If you'd like help connecting back to your beautiful innocence, sign up for a free 45 minute Discovery Session to explore next steps, or download of her free e-book "The Gift Of Being Highly Sensitive."