We have all experienced moments as an adult where our inner child peeked out! This behaviour stems from your psyche, which is able to retain things you learned before puberty, such as innocence and creativity. However, certain situations can trigger strong emotions and feelings due to unresolved past trauma, meaning your inner child is wounded and needs attention. Keep reading to find out more, plus how to heal your inner child in six easy steps!
Defining your inner child
What is an inner child you might be wondering?
It is literally the child that lives within you (your psyche), psychologically speaking however this is known as your childlike personality independent of your main personality, and it exists as the childlike aspect within your unconscious mind. Past traumas or old wounds can trigger your inner child. Connecting with your inner child will shine a light on these repressed emotions and feelings to help you define the root cause of these challenges you face as an adult.
So you might be sitting in front of your screen right now wondering if your past traumas are currently affecting you and if it has anything to do with your inner child? To help you find an answer, I've highlighted the top signs associated with a wounded inner child:
Telling signs you need to heal your inner child
- You don’t feel like an adequate adult
- You constantly criticize yourself about feeling like inadequate
- Going outside of your comfort zone makes you anxious
- You have a hard time letting go of things
- You have trust and/or commitment issues
- You feel the need to please everyone
- You’re a perfectionist and unforgiving to yourself
What does childhood trauma look like?
- Spontaneous traumatic events
- Being verbally assaulted/name calling
- Being abandoned/or emotionally neglected
- Being hit, smacked, or punished in other ways
- Growing up with unemotionally available parent(s)
- Given heavy responsibilities that aren’t age appropriate
Unfortunately, we live in a society that forces us to repress our inner child and “grow up.” But the truth is that while most adults physically “grown-up,” they never quite reach emotional or psychological adulthood. In other words, most “grown-ups” aren’t really adults at all. Luckily, with practice, time and patience inner child work can be an effective solution to addressing and healing your wounded inner child!
Inner child work
This practice focuses on uncovering and releasing the causes for the childlike aspects of your personality, so you can react to challenges in your adult life as an adult, rather than a kid. Inner child work is a spiritual process that can change you to become the full-fledged person you know you can be.
Inner child work will reconnect you to the deep rooted areas of yourself that need work, from phobias to insecurities and much more. This process is so effective because it digs right into the core of the problem to reveal how and where the issue(s) started, instead of just treating the symptom alone. Therefore, repairing the problem as a whole, allowing you to finally move on and become the mature person you know you're meant to be!
“Inner child work is the process of contacting, understanding, embracing and healing your inner child. Your inner child represents your first original self that entered into this world; it contains your capacity to experience wonder, joy, innocence, sensitivity and playfulness.”-Mateo Sol
6 steps to healing your inner child
- Try to relive your childhood memories through old pictures, family videos, writing a list of things that brought you joy as a child, or simply recreate doing what you loved as a child as if it were happening today.
- There are different childhood patterns, so find which one resonates with you in order to effectively heal your inner child. You can find these childhood patterns on Wikihow by clicking here.
- This letter can say absolutely anything! Maybe you feel the need to apologize, or show appreciation to your inner child, maybe you want to let them know to not be afraid or insecure because you will always be there to protect them. The list of ideas goes on, but find what resonates with you and your childhood to ensure it’s specific to your inner child.
- It’s important to note that your inner child can be sensitive, fearful and insecure along with being happy and joyful, so pay close attention to the ups and downs because all of these feelings matter. It’s also very important to check in with yourself each day to ask how you’re currently feeling.
- Don’t feel silly for spending time with your inner child, try to focus and connect to those feelings you experienced as a kid. Both yours and your inner child’s voice deserve to be heard, but go easy on yourself, try to be positive and mindful of how those recurring thoughts are making you feel.
This guided sequence provided by Psychospiritual Counselor, Mateo Sol is an effective way to help you connect with your inner child:
- Take a big deep breathe, in and out and repeat until you feel relaxed
- Now, start clearing room in your mind and allow yourself to witness your own thoughts
- Ask your inner child a question: “Dear inner child, can you tell me the first time I experienced a major trauma in my life?”
- Open your mind to all the thoughts that come and go, your inner child may or may not be ready to reveal the answer to you
- Always remember to be open, accepting, positive and patient
- If your inner child isn’t ready to reveal the answer yet, support that decision and try again another day, it’s critical that your inner child feels safe and secure so they can reveal the answer to you when they feel it’s safe
Truth be told we all have past traumas in life that need addressing, whether it’s something we realize it or not. If you experience any of the above, or have suffered from childhood trauma it might be time to face your inner child and work out your issues to flourish into the person you know you can be. Take advantage of this extra time in lockdown by dedicating a few moments each day for inner child work, you can get started by following the six steps listed above!