Healing your inner child
Taking time to heal your inner child can help with a number of issues. Whatever our age, there are always times when we feel as if life is overwhelming, and this overwhelm comes directly from our inner child. Whilst we may look at ourselves and see a capable adult, there are still fears, worries or feelings of sadness, shame or guilt. These feelings stop us from reaching our true potential and make us hide ourselves away from life’s challenges.
The inner child is a collection of memories within your personality; a personification of difficult experiences or sadness that you experienced as a child. The process of healing the inner child is widely used for those suffering with addiction, PTSD, or childhood trauma, but even if your experience of childhood was positive, your inner child still requires nurture from time to ime.
Our busy, non-stop lifestyles mean that we rarely have time to consider our inner child. Often, ignoring past problems seems like the ‘easy route’; blocking them out by distracting ourselves with work, leisure or family life. Avoiding difficult issues never makes them go away; it simply increases the inner child’s cries for help. If ignored, it will demand attention in ever more dramatic ways.
You may find it helpful to talk to your inner child. This can feel strange at first, but it is a very freeing experience. Often, we speak to our inner child with a critical voice. We tell ourselves to get over something or to hurry up, that we are hopeless, disorganised or useless. This is not the parent that your inner child needs! Tell your inner child that you understand and will take care of them. Be a kind, comforting parent to them, and only speak words of love and affection.
Once your inner child has learned to trust you, he or she will open up. Listen to what your inner child is saying. If events in your life have been particularly traumatic, you may find it beneficial to go through this process with professional help. Many therapists specialise in inner child therapy and will be able to support you through the difficult process.
If you feel angry or need to cry, this is totally acceptable and understandable. Grief is a big part of the process of healing the inner child. Take time to process the difficulties that your inner child has had to face. Be cross, indignant, and upset for what was taken from your inner child or for what might have been.
Once you have acknowledged the issues that your inner child is showing you, you can recognise that you are now a different person than the one you were in your own childhood. This does not change or belittle your experiences, but concludes that chapter of your life, bringing healing and a sense of peace.
One of the most important steps to heal your inner child, is to practise meditation. Use meditation or mindfulness every day, even if only for five minutes. This should become part of your routine, just like brushing your teeth or showering. Try this simple meditation to help heal your inner child.
Go to a quiet place without distractions, and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing, Notice the way you are feeling with each passing moment, and let any worries, anxiety or anger drift away without judgement.
Remember yourself as a child. Observe any images that appear, notice where you are, who is with you, and what is happening. Ask yourself how you are feeling, what you are doing, and notice any changes that occur in the images as your inner child speaks.
As you focus on what your inner child is saying, notice any shame or blame that needs to be forgiven. As you continue to remember yourself as a child, imagine a pure white light surrounding you. This light is made of pure love, protecting you and allowing you to accept, and learn to forgive what happened to you in the past.
When you are ready, thank your inner child for opening up to you, let them know that they are loved and how happy you are to have them in your life. Congratulate this child for having been so strong in the past, and promise to listen to them more in the future.
Getting to know your inner child is a fantastic way to understand patterns of behaviour that you find it difficult to break. If you react strongly and find it hard to cope with specific events in your life, or are attracted to a certain kind of destructive relationship, communicating with your inner child can be an enormously helpful journey to feeling happier and freer than ever before.
All the best,
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