How to Rediscover and Heal Your Inner Child!

By Amy Taylor on January 31, 2013

There’s a part inside you that never grows up – the one that never needs to grow up.

Studies on psychology tell us that our childhood has a huge impact on our adult life. While years go by so fast, a part of our inner self remains in the realm of the past, back in our childhood days. That’s what we call the ‘inner child’. It is the child who resides deep within us – the one who we desire to be nurtured, loved and cared for. It’s free, well-spirited and innocent.

But our inner child is very vulnerable. It can easily be torn apart and wounded by difficult experiences and by the feelings of hatred, neglect and rejection that we once experienced, or still experiencing. Many people try to hide their inner child, and deny the fact that they have one. Usually, these are people who suffered from abuse, bitterness and desertion by their parents or families. Unknowingly, their wounded inner child is causing them anxiety, worry, fear and depression.

How does the inner child come into being?

An inner child comes into being for many reasons. It comes when we deny our true feelings, when we try so hard to live up to others’ expectations, when we try to repress our child-like responses, when we are under stress, when we are pressured by the world to ‘look’ and ‘act’ good, when we feel the compulsive drive to fulfil our responsibilities to our family, when we are disappointed because we didn’t become what we want to be, and so on. All these things cause harm to our inner child and tend to reflect on our behaviour.

The good news is – you can always learn how to soothe your inner child and heal the wounds it sustained in the past. Here’s how:

Accept and embrace your inner child with arms wide open.

Just as a kid who needs guidance, support and love, your inner child also wants your acceptance and a promise that you will be there for him. For him to come out from the hiding, he must be able to completely lay his trust on you. Your inner child needs assurance that you are his friend, his protector and guide.

Validate what’s really causing your inner child pain.

To find out the best way to heal the wound, you want to know its root cause. Was it the neglect, abuse or rejection you’ve experienced when you were still a child? Was it being left alone? Was it the divorce of your parents? You need to validate and accept whatever it is that has wounded your inner child and caused him extreme pain and suffering.

Don’t hold back the anger.

It’s okay to be angry, in fact, you need to be – says John Bradshaw, author of “Home Coming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child”. This doesn’t mean you have to scream, shout at people, or inflict pain on yourself or to others. You simply have to feel the anger. Don’t deny it. Accept that it’s making you feel mad because it really does. You have to remember though, that like you, your parents were two wounded adults who also tried to heal their inner child but didn’t succeed. Now, your goal is to put an end to this loop and start a family where your children will feel loved, nurtured and cared for.

Feel the pain. Grieve.

After anger, comes pain. Just as you let the anger come out, you also need to feel the sadness and let it flow through you. Cry if you must. Lament on the failed hopes and dreams that you could have achieved had your inner child not been wounded. Sadness is a critical part of managing aches and pain. It is a process, a step that you couldn’t skip. You can never recover from the pain if you will never experience grief.

Understand that it is never your fault.

You were never the cause of your suffering. You are just a victim. Never regret because you had an unhappy childhood, or you’ve been abused, neglected or set aside. It is something that is completely out of your control, just as you don’t choose who are going to be your parents or your family. Rather, you must help your wounded child to understand that there was nothing he could have done differently. Acceptance is the key. What is important is you are willing to relieve your inner child from the pangs he has experienced. This is something you are completely in control of.

Relieve his loneliness.

You can’t just easily recover from anger and sadness easily. As you go through the process of eliminating them, you will also experience another difficult undertaking – loneliness. Because the inner child thinks he is completely flawed, worthless, and someone to be ashamed of, he will try to cover up his true self by adopting a false image. Your goal is to help him love himself as who he is and become a better person.

Soothing Your Inner Child through Therapy

You can never change what has happened in the past. But now that you are older, wiser – you can be our inner child’s hero and guardian. You can save him from his miseries and become his parent – the provider of love, care and attention. Surely, the process can be very difficult. But through effective therapy, rediscovering, accepting and healing your inner child is possible. Therapy can heal your inner child by:

 

·         Helping you become aware of the presence of your inner child. You may just don’t notice it but it is your unconscious mind that empowers your inner child to take over your personality and behaviour as an adult.

·          Helping you communicate with your inner child, understand what he feels and what his needs are.

·         Helping you relate with your inner child like a good parent relates to his flesh-and-blood child – the kind of relationship that has boundaries, limitations and structure. And of course, the one that has love, care, understanding and acceptance.

 

Dear Readers,

Have you ever reconnected to your inner child? How does it feel? Do you think therapy has a major role to play in rediscovering and healing our wounded inner child? 

Share your comments below!

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