Heal Your Inner-Child and Create the Life You Want
If you are ready to begin your journey to find what is holding you back, you are in the right place. Get ready to meet your inner child. Your inner child wants to reconnect with You.
Growing up, one of the things that was impressionable for most of us was our ability to see and accept our parents and guardians for who they were and how they operated in the world. We may have viewed the experiences they exemplified in our lives as the depiction of truth. The way that things are supposed to be. However, as we evolved into our unique selves, we may have been forced to question many of the belief systems, mixed emotions, questionable behaviors, and treatment that we experienced. Many of these endurances were not acceptable, as we later began to discover.
What Is an Inner Child?
Our Inner Child is the kid within that never grew up. The one who holds all our memories and emotions, good or bad, that we experienced. These learned messages are incurred when we were helpless and dependent on our caregivers. They are the happy, joyful, and playful boy or girl inside of us, who knows nothing but innocence. Unfortunately, it is also our inner child who absorbed all the negative and hurtful words and actions of those who were supposed to keep us safe. Once wounded, our inner child can negatively influence who we are as adults, holding enormous power over our relationships and life decisions.
The Wounded Inner Child
Our inner child is the part of our unconscious mind and heart that remains full of innocence, awe, and wonder. When our inner child is healthy, we relate to them.
We tend to be invigorated, inspired, and excited with an abundant feeling of inner safety and security.
However, what happens when our inner child is wounded from past trauma, we are disconnected from them. As adults, we begin to ignore our inner child that resides within our minds and heart. We become disengaged, leaving us tired, empty, and unhappy. One of the key characteristics of a wounded inner child is a deep sense of abandonment. This carries over into our adulthood. Some examples of disheartening and wounding statements we have heard as a child are:
“Stop crying like a little boy, be a man.”
“I can’t believe you did that. Why can’t you be more like your sister?”
“You are dumb and have a learning disability. You will never be successful.”
“You’re just like your father.” or “You’re just like your mother.”
The Unsafe Messages Children Receive
All children deserve to feel safe from harm, fear, and lack. Safety does not mean only physical security but also emotional and spiritual well-being as well. When children feel safe within the families they were born into, their boundaries are respected and their needs are met, so they feel secure.
Childhood trauma, where the child’s needs are not met, destroys a child’s sense of safety, causing them to become hypervigilant and scared. In adulthood, these inner children never go away, and neither do their feelings of being unsafe and that the world is a horrible and dangerous place. When a child feels continually endangered, a massive gaping wound opens in their psyche that is so painful that many adults unknowingly repress it. Words can hurt as severely as actions with some of the signals given to children, leaving deep scars that can last a lifetime.
Even if we were not abused or did not grow up in a dysfunctional environment, our inner child is still affected. We may have a response such as, “My childhood was fine, I’m Ok.” The inner child receives that message as it is safer to hide a part of ourselves away. Our caregivers, teachers, and authority figures, etc., in our lives were not perfect. They probably did not get all that they needed in their childhood and did not receive a guidebook to being a parent or otherwise. They did the best they could with the skills they had; much like we did the best we could with the skills that we had.
Healing The Inner Child
As we begin our journey of healing our inner child, the foundational part of this process is shadow work. Shadow work is working with our unconscious mind to uncover the parts of ourselves that are repressed and hidden. It is transcending the darker aspects of ourselves, which brings us back into our light. A powerful method of doing shadow work is journaling. As uncomfortable as it may be, writing down our most hurtful thoughts and feelings and sitting with them is extremely healing. Another powerful method of doing shadow work is meditation. Sitting in silence, allowing, and permitting ourselves to be present with what comes up. This can be very emotional, yet the benefits in our lives are tremendous. We can speak to and have conversations with our inner child as if they are sitting next to us. (essentially, they are) We can give them nurturing words such as:
“I hear you and I am here for you!”
“I am sorry for what happened. We are going to get through this together.”
“You are safe now and I am going to protect you.”
“I Love You!”
In this safe and intimate container, you can imagine embracing them, laughing, and playing together. Let them cry if they need to. This little person is You.
In some meditations, your higher self will take you to a serene and peaceful place to meet your inner-child, such as a beach, forest, lake, or mountainside. Let it be what it is. Do not try to control these experiences.
As awkward as this process may seem, it is some of the most transformative and life-changing inner work one can ever embark upon.
If you want to change how you are living and showing up in the world, you can begin loving, nurturing, and re-parenting your inner child. We must realize that along with the basics of managing our mind, health, and mental well-being, it is also our job to become our own adult caretakers. We get to care for the child aspects of ourselves in a healthy and supportive space on our self-healing journey.