It is important to nurture yourself if you have ever experienced childhood trauma and mother wounds. You probably never experienced the safe feeling of being loved, cared for, and nurtured during childhood development.
Learn the 5 Ways to nurture yourself ( self-mother) your neglected wounds with the power of the Holy Spirit and challenge yourself with prayer journal writing (prayer journal prompts are included in this article).
What does Nurture yourself mean?
I like to define nurture as compassion for the soul. As you go through the challenges, think about how you are showing compassion for your soul. Are you hugging yourself when you need a hug? Do you give yourself grace? Have com-PASSION for all of who you are.
5- Ways to Nurture Yourself
1. Nurture Your Identity
As a woman, you may wear many hats. You may be a daughter, sister, mother and the list may go on and on. These roles do not define who you are. Roles just highlight the things that we do. Your identity is something all together different. Identity is defined in one word- “being.” Being who you are and NOT what you are. It is individualistic, specific, and originally assigned to you which means there are no copycats when it comes to you.
Check out the Self- Mother & Self- Nurture Challenge- Live Q/A
There may be mothers who may cook similarly or clean the same way but there is no one that is exactly like you as a person. There is no one that has the same fingerprints, number of hairs, or DNA. However, there is someone that made you to BE exactly like Him in the spirit and that is Jesus Christ. He is the original maker of your soul
2. Nurture Your Emotions
When I was a little child, I must admit I was manipulative with my emotions. I was daddy’s little girl when I would snuggle up close to my daddy in a whiny voice– “ Pleeeease Daddy!” to ask for the newest toy, money to splurge on clothes, or to go to the movies with my siblings.
But the tables turned as I grew older. I experienced emotional trauma from my own parents and was not able to cope with stress and anxiety. Negative emotions became the hallmark of my life and a false prophecy that dictated how my future would look one day.
Fear said “no one will ever love you” and shame kept me from having deep-lasting relationships with other women because of my mother wounds.
I wanted community ( more importantly family) but I was afraid of being seen, heard, and known by the new people that entered my life. Would they judge me and say that I am not worthy? Little did I know that this was emotional trauma speaking.
Then the Holy Spirit showed up big time in my life! He showed me that my emotions had to be anchored on three foundations.
- Foundation of love in God: giving God your whole heart so that He will dwell there and love the parts of your soul that have been neglected.
- Foundation in resting in His Peace: It is faith that God’s love will never leave you in the midst of the storm that will help you get through difficult struggles. Your faith that His love will never abandon you pleases God.
- Foundation of connection with God: It is first you and Jesus being one that will keep you firmly rooted in Him. When your connection is rooted in man’s opinion of you, that is when your heart will be troubled.
Take some quiet time to ask the Holy Spirit to define for you your emotional identity.
Here are some examples below:
- Love ( affection) – I feel deeply loved when you are with me; 1 Corinthians 13:4–8
- Appreciation – I am told how special I am –Ephesians 5:20
- Acceptance- You accept everything about me, even my flaws- Romans 15:7
- Attention- You acknowledge me and spend intentional time with me- Proverbs 23:26
- Comfort- You make me feel better when I feel sad, scared, or lonely-Deuteronomy 31:8-9
3. Nurture Your thoughts
Do you have moments of scary and upsetting thoughts intruding your mind without your control? I find that these intrusive thoughts come on suddenly to evoke anxiety in my body.
I have these thoughts quite frequently when I am anxious about something that I don’t really have much control over. For instance, If I am facing conflict at work with a toxic boss, I might continuously think about all of the possible scenarios that could happen so that I can be one step ahead of possible emotional abuse. When things do play out the way that I imagined, it further validates and reinforces future episodes.
I might make up stories in my mind ( the Bible calls these fantasies) by creating character roles and story lines of what my boss might say or do to me. I’ve learned that this stems from the fear of rejection.
What kind of thinker are you?
In order to nurture your thoughts, it is important to examine your thoughts and how it aligns with God’s word:
–Over- thinker ( perfectionist)– Things have to play out perfectly in your mind
–Doubtful- thinker– You have a lot of “what if” thoughts
–Fearful/ anxious/ and avoidant thinker– Overly anxious thoughts about the future which lead to stress and sometimes ailments in your body.
The Truth will set you free
You are not a prisoner of thoughts that go against God’s authority. You are a kingdom over-comer! Here are some keys for your victory:
-Lean on the grace of God to dismantle intrusive thoughts ( rest in God’s peace and that He will keep you safe).
-When intrusive thoughts come ( doubt, fear, or overthinking), take a deep breath in through your nose and out your mouth 3 times. Allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you. Tell him that you are afraid, unsure of yourself, and feeling out of control. He hears and is with you always:)
Related post: Overcome PTSD symptom and emotional abuse
Meditate and Read: Psalm 91:4-5 and 2 Corinthians 10:5-6
Nurture Yourself With Prayer Journal Prompts
Get Your FREE Prayer Journal prompts to heal from childhood trauma and to give yourself extra T-L-C when you need to feel “mothered”.
5- Days of prayer journal prompts to inspire you to dialogue with God in prayer.
4. Nurture Your Words
I remember being afraid to use my voice in my early 20s. My mother would dismiss many of the things that I wanted to share with her such as a problem at work or a career change. I was often told ” hurry up!” or “you talk too much!” This dismissive behavior spilled over into work, friendships, and with other family members.
What I really wanted was to be recognized for saying things that went along with my values.
What are your values when you speak?
For me, I value intimacy, shared interests, compassion, and most of all someone that understands me when I speak. I learned through journal writing that my words have power! With my words, I am able to heal from brokenness, break off generational word curses, dismantle negative thinking patterns, and embrace the grace that God has given me. Simply, by using my words to produce life.
Pause for a minute and take a deep breath. What are your values when you speak and do your words produce life in your workplace, home life, and the relationships that you cultivate in your life?
Your voice is connected to your identity
When you speak, it needs to be based on what God says about you. Allow the word of God to hide in your heart so no one can snatch away who God says you are. For some people it may take time to match up what they are saying to who they truly are on the inside due to a fear of being vulnerable or the inner critic speaking from mother wounds.
This is how you can nurture your words with care:
- Speak words that produce life
- Say what you truly mean to say and NOT what people expect of you
- Speak words that align with the word of God
- Get in community with people that will encourage and speak over you in love
- Share your testimony with people that will value what you have to say ( Matthew 7:6)
Read and meditate: Song of Solomon 3:4 and Matthew 7:6
5. Nurture Your Faith
Your faith can be tested. If you want proof, take a look at Abraham ” the father of faith” in the Bible. God tested his faith to the fullest extent- to the point of having him sacrifice his own child! This did not just happen overnight for Abraham.
God nurtured faith in Abraham’s life by showing his faithfulness towards him. He showed Abraham to nurture faith through obedience as obedience was better than sacrifice.
Why do we need to be nurtured in Faith?
When you are stressed out and not able to trust God through your self-mother and nurture journey, this can bring on a host of problems (e.g., sickness, diseases, insomnia, etc.).
You may not get the temporary things like the car, mansion, or the 6-figure job that you always dreamed of having. If your hope is placed in these things and it doesn’t manifest as you hoped, this may cause you to feel deep disappointment and withdrawal from God.
How to nurture your own christian faith and spiritual development
The Bible mentions nurturing faith in 3 ways:
- By placing our hope in Him: “”Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
- Believing that He rewards you as you seek Him: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
- He ultimately knows more than we could ever know in this lifetime and beyond: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5
Related post: Nurture Faith