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God is the Best Parent

Divine Reparenting

 It’s easy to find stuff online about reparenting your inner child. Basically, that means revisiting childhood memories, especially traumatic ones in your imagination, then as an adult, speaking to your former self to bring healing. It’s a good idea for most of us.


For example, let’s say you were abused when you were six and have carried around feelings of shame, confusion, and guilt as a result. Six-year-olds view their parental caregivers as perfect. If a caregiver abuses the little one, she can’t process why it happened, so she blames herself. Mommy’s perfect, so it must be my fault. Something is wrong with me. I’m no good.


With the help of a therapist or spiritual director, you find a safe space to reimagine the situation imaginatively and vividly. Then you speak to your child-self. “It’s not your fault. Mommy was addicted to alcohol. It affected her brain. She hated herself and took it out on you. You did nothing to deserve this. You are a good little girl trying your best to please others.”


Most of us carry multiple wounds from childhood, so it takes time to uncover each one, deeply feel the feelings you felt back then, and bring healing.


My approach is slightly different. I also seek to help people heal childhood wounds by uncovering, reliving, and reframing incidents from the past, but I include God at the center of the process.


Doing so first requires a deep look at how you perceive God. Is God distant? Aloof? Stern? A nebulous force? Judgmental?


Most of us grow up with a conception of God that I think is inaccurate. Even atheists. I sometimes ask people who tell me they don’t believe in God to describe the god they don’t believe in. Invariably, I don’t believe in that god either.


Years of meditative scripture study, contemplative prayer, devotional reading, and interaction with wise elders has brought me to a place where I believe God is exactly like Jesus. That’s what Jesus claimed. He said he and the Father were one. He told his followers that if they’d seen him, they’d seen the Father. I believe that there is nothing unchristlike in God. God is perfect, unconditional, all-forgiving, all-gracious, self-sacrificial, other-oriented, cruciform love. God loves you, accepts you, and cares about you.


It often takes quite a while to replace false images of God with the real one. So, we work at that together. As the ultimate Lover of your soul becomes familiar to you, you can invite God to accompany you as you uncover, identify, and revisit the wounds of childhood. You can listen to what God says to that little person who was so scared and so hurt. Divine healing happens at the deepest level.


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