Understanding your inner child is an essential part of the inner work you will do in your life. We all have an inner child, a part of ourselves that is truly us. In some ways I think of the inner child as the essence of a person, who were before the world imposed beliefs and experiences on them to tell them otherwise. It’s not that the inner child is the best or fully realized version of yourself, but it’s more like the point from where you started. The seed that grew from it and the flower that continues to grow and bloom in it.
The first ten years of our lives are incredibly influential on our soul. We are soaking up and absorbing experiences like little sponges until we begin to form our own opinions and ideas about the world.
These formative years are about laying the foundation for the way we think and look at the world and creating a kind of framework for our character.
Any kind of trauma that is experienced during these years, no matter how big or how small it seems has an effect on us mentally and emotionally. They can be anything from experiencing death or loss, emotional or physical abuse, divorce, bullying, changing homes or schools or losing a special toy.
Whatever your childhood experiences are, how you reacted and dealt with them at that time and how others reacted to you is all stored in your subconscious.
However you handled it and the level of support you received is what really matters here. Your inner child is shaped by these experiences and how you were able to cope and whether you received support and nurturing through them.
Most young children are unable to use full cognitive awareness to understand and cope with trauma. This is why sensitive children often feel that they are to blame for abuse, divorce and so on. Their inability to understand complex situations and emotions means that they internalize the situation as being somehow related to something they did or didn’t do.
This can become programmed into the belief that I am bad or something is wrong with me. This is internalized in the subconscious mind and remains, even though you grow up and realize the truth of a situation. That programming can remain buried in the inner child, in our mind and can affect other areas of life in adulthood.
Inner child work helps us reconnect with this wounded element of ourselves. We can connect to the root cause of our fears, insecurities and negative patterns and heal them by looking at how they originated.
It is so common that people resist doing this work, dragging your past can be painful and annoying. Many people feel that their traumatic experiences were not serious enough, or were just a normal part of growing up. But your feelings at the time were very real and should not be ignored. They are a big part of your emotional and psychological baggage in life.
It is also important to note that doing inner child work is not about blaming others, especially your parents. When doing this work, keep in mind that everyone at all times is doing the best they can with what they know at the moment.
I want to share some healing techniques with you today to help you learn to calm down and reconnect with your own inner child. They help you resolve deeply self-sabotaging life patterns so you can release that emotional burden and resolve your past.
1. Think about something that happened to you, a life changing event or a traumatic memory that you have from those first 10 years. Try to remember how it made you feel. Go deep into those emotions and feelings. See if you can relate how you felt then to the way you sometimes deal with things in the present. Journal about it all as a way to record your memories.
2. Imagine yourself as the age you were during these traumatic/life-changing events. See yourself standing in front of you now. Think about how that child version of yourself would have wanted to be supported, nurtured and pampered. Write a letter to your younger self with everything you wanted to know and hear.
3. Meditate quietly and use the following visualization technique to talk to your inner child. Close your eyes and bring your breathing to a regular, calm rhythm. Let your thinking mind be still and concentrate only on the silence within. When you feel that you are in a calm state of mind, Visualize a beautiful garden or a place that makes you feel safe, happy and empowered. Once you have created this place in your mind, allow yourself to invite your child into this space. There you can meditate quietly and ask your child to talk to you, let them tell you whatever they want. Listen and be there to hear them. You can get better at this the more you do it.
4. Talk to your inner child in the following ways to heal and nurture them:
Say these words as often as you need, while thinking about the past or throughout the day as you catch yourself falling into regular patterns or negative thinking.
Treating your inner child with love, compassion, kindness and understanding is one way to treat them again today. It is possible to heal and change the past by acting in the present.
5. Remind yourself of who you were as a child. Look at the photos and find the ones that touch and bring you joy. Pin them around your home in places where you can be regularly reminded of the spontaneity, adventure and innocence of childhood in a positive way. This can help you to connect with a sense of play that you once had and to bring the presence of your inner child back into your life today.
6. Remember some activities or games you enjoyed as a child. From coloring to climbing trees or playing make-believe. Without judgment, try to recreate these activities in your life today. It may sound silly but it’s a really powerful way to let your inner child know that they are important, and that they contribute to your life. It’s an amazing way to heal and empower yourself as an adult.
7. Finally, set an intention to be more aware of the way you act and act moving forward. When you become aware of your patterns and what informs the decisions you make, you can make sure you act out of love and not out of fear or insecurity.
By working with your inner child in these ways, you can learn to resolve and heal trauma that you may have unconsciously held onto for decades. Connecting with your inner child is truly the path to freedom, joy, balance and emotional well-being.
I hope these healing techniques help you on your journey. Tell me in the comments how you worked to connect with your inner child.