Our Inner Child Can Help Us To Heal Childhood Trauma
The therapeutic concept that there is a part in each of us that houses both the positive and negative aspects of our authentic, childlike demeanor, was first posited by Carl Jung. This aspect of our being, in therapeutic circles, is referred to as the inner child, the child within, the wounded child, or the child archetype. This unconscious part of ourselves is formed by our environment, the people, and the situations we have experienced.
We have all encountered this child. It makes itself known through our anger, fears, frustrations, procrastination, anxiety, or exhaustion. It is made up of our unconscious memories, thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and wounds. When we find ourselves skipping down the street when we feel happy or conversely reacting negatively when someone tells us “No”, reflects our accessing this inner child.
Inner Wounding & Childhood Trauma
When a child experiences hurtful situations, unless addressed at the time, the trauma is stored in their bodies. When a similar situation presents itself, instead of reacting to it from the adult self, it is the wounded traumatized child who steps in and tries to navigate the situation to minimize potential pain. He or she does this because their need for love, understanding, and compassion was not met when they were children. It is believed that by addressing the unmet needs of the inner child, by healing their deep inner wounds, anyone can begin to experience a happier, healthier, and more authentic life.
We Can Heal Ourselves By Accessing Our Inner Child
Accessing our wounded inner child is one way in which we can find the root cause for many of the emotional issues we experience as adults. Through it, we can learn to tap into the negative experiences that we have learned to suppress over the years. It allows us to bring these feelings and emotions into our conscious mind so that they can be addressed. This self-discovery work allows us to shine a light on our inner world and affords us the opportunity to restore our unique and authentic nature. Through it, we can heal.
Inner child work involves connecting to this unconscious part of our being. It gives us the chance to communicate with our younger, wounded self without judgment or invalidation. It can be used to provide the hurt parts of ourselves with the love, care, and compassion it so desperately desires. It gives us a chance to make peace with ourselves.
Inner Child Work Allows Us To Parent Ourselves
The tools associated with inner child work allow us to parent ourselves. Crazy as this may sound, we can use the adult portion of our consciousness to soothe ourselves and provide us with the nurturing we did not receive as a child. This powerful therapeutic modality works to heal deep trauma and help us break free of our ongoing dysfunctional patterns of living. It can set us free.
Connecting to your inner child can be scary. It requires strength to peek inside ourselves and revisit all that we have experienced. It can be terrifying to look at the source of our suffering. It is easier to blame others than to take responsibility for ourselves and what we bring to the table. Many also choose to find activities to distract them from their painful emotions.
Many would rather live a mediocre existence; a life filled with stubborn ignorance and suppressed pain than to own the direction their lives take.
It does not have to be that way and inner child work can help anyone interested move past their old inner wounding into a new and happier life. Each of us can begin down the path to living life as a wounded healer.
How To Heal Our Inner Child
There are several different approaches to healing our wounded, younger selves, our inner child, but they all revolve around the concept of communicating with the child inside. Some people find it helpful to work with a counselor, therapist, or coach. Others decide to travel down this road of transformation by themselves.
A simple approach to creating a dialog between your adult self and the child inside is to think about a question you might want to ask. Then find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes, and allow your body to relax.
Inner Child Exercise
Try to imagine your younger self sitting in front of you. Some people find it helpful to hold a stuffed animal or doll to represent this aspect of their being.
When you are relaxed and ready, ask your inner child a question. Wait a few moments for a reply. Do you internally hear a response? Perhaps you are seeing an image in your mind’s eye or are feeling a sensation in your body. This is your inner child communicating with you. Do not try to control the direction this dialog takes. Instead, be open to whatever comes up.
Take a few deep breaths if you feel like you are struggling to get an answer or if the answer you receive is starting to trigger you.
Take a moment to reflect on what you sense. If you have further questions, ask your inner child. What does he or she have to say? Many people record the responses they receive on a piece of paper or in a notebook. This is an excellent way of keeping track of what your inner child wants and needs from you. In time, you might even be able to carry on a whole conversation with your inner child.
What You Might Experience Doing Inner Child Work
Painful feelings may come up as you tap into any wounded parts of yourself. You may uncover a deep-seated hidden emotion or belief.
You might sense sadness, anger, fear, frustration, abandonment, and more. These feelings, abet uncomfortable do create a wonderful opportunity to explore them further. You might want to ask yourself “why do I feel this way?”. The answer you receive might surprise you.
Use this method to dig into the depths of yourself and to reassess your beliefs from a different perspective – from an adult healing perspective.
Be The Parent Your Inner Child Has Be Looking For
Regularly, ask your inner child how he or she is doing. If she is excited, be excited with her. If she wants to cry, be the parent she never had. Wipe away her tears and comfort the little girl inside. Provide her with nurturing and reassurance. Ask her what she is feeling and what she wants or needs from you right now. Let her know that it will be ok and that you are there for her and always will be.
Though the simple step of dialoguing with your inner child, healing and transformation can occur. The scars that you received as a child can begin to fade away and a new day can dawn. If you have never connected with your inner child, now is your chance to start. Be open to all of the possibilities this practice provides and the healing transformation it can offer.
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About Dr. Rita Louise
Bestselling author, Dr. Rita Louise, is a Naturopathic Physician and the founder of the Institute Of Applied Energetics. It is her unique gift as a medical intuitive and professional clairvoyant psychic that enlivens her work. Let Dr. Rita assist you bringing health, healing and wholeness back into your life.