This blog is all about understanding what exactly is an Inner child, how much important it is to us and what are the benefits of its healing.
The Inner child is actually an expression of not just your child self, but it relates to your lived past experiences and memories of innocence, playfulness, and creativity of all life stages, along with hope for the future. The inner child is also noted as a source of strength, since early experiences can play a significant part in your development as an adult.
When childhood experiences negatively affect you, your inner child may continue to carry these wounds. These in turn will create challenges as an adult, particularly when triggered by occasions that bring up memories of these past wounds, until you address the source. Whereas a healthy inner child may seem child-like, full of fun and playful.
Childhood trauma leaves a child with shame, and that makes them to hide their experience and/or emotions in order to survive. If you were controlled by your parents, or if you were taught to believe you were only acceptable and loveable if you were ‘good’, then you would learn to hide the emotions like sadness or anger that got you into trouble. If you experienced rejection, abandonment, or abuse, you would learn to hide your pain and fear to not be hurt or rejected again.
These repressed emotions then lead to cycles of self-sabotage in adulthood. For example, if you were taught to repress pain, you might run from good relationships rather than allow yourself to be hurt. The end result is always feeling lonely. Or, if you were taught you must always be pleasing to win love, you can end up in co-dependent relationships. As adults, we can be very hard on ourselves. Our own self-judgement and loathing can make healing and moving on difficult.
Are you ready to reach out to your inner child?
Try talking with your inner child, channelize and journal from your inner child’s voice, talk with a therapist from your inner child’s voice, meditate to feel in touch with your inner child, work with a pillow, doll or stuffed toy that represents your inner child, ‘play’ techniques in the therapy room, allow yourself to be playful in real life and do things you loved as a child and learn to ‘parent’ yourself (nurture and care for yourself). Seeing unresolved childhood trauma, pain, and repressed emotions as a separate entity, an ‘inner child’, can help you to be more compassionate towards yourself. And the more we empathise with ourselves, the faster we can process and heal our pasts.
The benefits of inner child healing are very rewarding. You can access repressed memories that are holding you back, get rid of numbness, gain personal power and the ability to set boundaries, learn how to take better care of yourself, feel self-compassion and like yourself more, enjoy life and have fun again and gain self-confidence.
Some of the psychological issues that inner child work is known to be very suitable for include:
• Childhood abuse – emotional, sexual and physical
• Depression and anxiety
• Anger management issues
• Passive aggressive behaviour
• Low self-esteem
• Abandonment issues and Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
• Emotional numbness
• Relationship difficulties
• Co-dependency and powerlessness.