Children are born without any means to defend themselves or face the world. Children are totally dependent upon their parents for love, acceptance, and shelter. Sometimes parents fail to provide the emotional, psychological, and physical shelter required for healthy children. This results in adults who are stuck in trauma-time who remain forever ruled by an inside force, the wounded inner child. In Africa where I come from, most parents beat, punish and maltreat their children in order to discipline them. Even worse they barely listen to them which traumatizes them from an early age and they grow up with a different mentality of what love and acceptance truly is.
The inner child is the part in your psyche that still retains its innocence, creativity, awe, and wonder toward life. Quite literally, your inner child is the child that lives within you – within your psyche that is. It is important that we stay connected with this sensitive part of ourselves. When we are connected to our inner child, we feel excited, invigorated, and inspired by life. When we are disconnected, we feel lethargic, bored, empty and unhappy.
Growing up, it is the emotional and biological responsibility of our parents and family members to create a safe environment for us. But not all parents accept that responsibility, are aware of that responsibility, or have the capacity to fulfill that responsibility.
Safety doesn’t just mean physically protecting us from harm, feeding us, or the other essentials. Safety also means supporting us on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual levels inherent to us as human beings.
The process of healing your wounded inner child is one of grief, of pain. Do you have a wounded inner child inside yourself? Every child faces emotional challenges that are key-points for their personality. Parents and family are fundamental to give emotional support to overcome those challenges and create an environment of safety and protection. Although each of us has some issues that come from unprocessed emotions as a child, and for that, we all have wounds, some of us need to pay close attention to this wounded inner child.
The traumas that come from childhood have a substantial impact on your daily life and future decisions, and most of the times, we have trouble recognizing them, making them even more critical. For example, someone can avoid meaningful relationships if the environment at home was of fight and incomprehension. In extreme situations, these wounds can compromise someone’s life.
Let’s find out more about the wounded inner child and how to heal your relationship with it! Find out how to get into a reflective space.
Connect with your inner child
Start by thinking about your childhood, reflect about it. How was the environment at home? Did you feel safe? Did you feel a sense of belonging with your parents? Were you allowed to be your true self? How do you feel when you remember yourself as a child? Asked this to yourself and write down the answers and reflect about it.
Remember to take care of you, to be there for you, to take time for yourself.
Signs that you have a wounded inner child
There are some signs you need to pay close attention. If you identify many of these in your current life, remember that you need to do an effective work-related to your wounded inner child. These inside parts of ourselves have a significant impact on how we see ourselves and how we behave as adults. Some signs you have a wounded child might include that :
- You feel there’s something wrong with you
- You experience anxiety when you face something new
- You want to please everyone around you
- You experience the need to be in conflict
- You feel inadequate
- No achievement feels enough for you
- You always criticize yourself
- You are rigid and perfectionist
- You struggle to say “no” and stand up for yourself
- You have trusting issues
- You never feel close to others.
- Have a deep feeling that there is something wrong with you
- Are a people-pleaser
- Are a rebel and feel alive when in conflict with someone else
- You are a hoarder
- Are not able to let go of possessions and people
- Experience anxiety with something new
- Feel guilty for setting boundaries
- Are driven to be a super-achiever
- Are ridged and a perfectionist
- Have problems starting and finishing tasks
- Exhibit constant self-criticism
- Feel ashamed at expressing emotions
- Feel ashamed of your body
- Have a deep distrust of anyone else
- Avoid conflict, no matter what the cost
- Have a deep-seated fear of abandonment.
If you feel you connect to many of these issues, let’s find out more about how you can heal your inner child.
Repeat supporting affirmations
- I love you: some of us used to think we needed to achieve more to be enjoyed. Tell your inner child it’s loved no matter what.
- I hear you: some adults don’t pay attention to what children say, what can deeply hurt someone’s feelings and never really feel they have something meaningful to share with the others. Don’t suppress your inner voice!
- You didn’t deserve this: it’s easy to convince ourselves we needed to suffer, or we did something wrong, and that’s why bad things are happening. Change your mindset with these simple words.
- I’m sorry: allow yourself to feel ok with the things you did and didn’t do, say sorry to yourself for all the times you pushed too much.
- I forgive you: let go of the same and regrets.
- Thank you: be thankful to your inner child for all the things you did, show gratitude.
- You did your best: accept your failures and acknowledge you’ve always done the best of you.
You can create other affirmations or mantras that are important to you, more specific to the feelings you have to heal with your inner child. Be creative, be free and always positive!
Write a letter to your inner child
Writing a letter to your inner child will help you to organize your thoughts, but it will also strengthen all the things you have left to say. There is no formula; you can write whatever you feel you haven’t yet said and that will help with this relationship.
You can also write a letter from your inner child. Get in deep connection with it and let go and write down all the things that once you wanted to say, but you were not able to. It can be one of the most potent and releasing experiences of your life.
If needed, you can repeat both practices as many times as necessary until you feel your voice was finally heard, the one from now and the one from the child in you.
Do an inner child visualization or meditation
Search for mantras, meditation or visualization that can lead you towards meeting your inner child. You can do it with the help of a coach or therapist. Another option is that you record the steps with your voice and then listen.
- Close your eyes
- Imagine yourself walking to a place where you feel safe and enter that place
- Give yourself some time to feel relaxed, safe and connected to this place
- Walk around and let your inner child appear to you
- Come close: What is your inner child’s face like? What are the emotions it expresses? What are the words said? – Give yourself time to communicate with it, make a question or listen to what is there to be said.
- Give a hug to your inner child and be thankful for it to show to you and be able to reconnect.
- Come back to where you were.
- Talk to your adult self to ask for aid in grown-up decisions
- Give rewards to yourself every day
- Get plenty of sleep
- Practice mindfulness to remain present
- Tell yourself that you love you even if it feels awkward
- Think about the good memories you had in childhood
- Make new “good” memories and traditions
After finishing, try journaling your experience. Repeat it as many times as you like, allowing different aspects of this wounded inner child and your relation to come to light. This is a very powerful tool that helped me personally on my healing journey anc could be the turning point you need.
Remember to take care of you, to be there for you, to take time for yourself. Being your protector every day is a vital part if this process, and will allow your wounded inner child to feel safe as never before, because it will be no longer dependent on the others, but it knows it can truly rely on yourself.
Practice mindfulness to remain present Tell yourself that you love you even if it feels awkward Think about the good memories you had in childhood Make new “good” memories and traditions
If you are interested in working with your inner child, I want you to reflect on your own childhood, the timeline of your early years, and how you felt as a child. Did you feel safe? Did you feel a sense of belonging in your family? Were you permitted to be you? What is your current relationship with your inner child like? All of these questions are extremely important to ask, and if you haven’t asked them yet, I hope you do. If you would also like a deep healing approach or if you prefer one on one help, feel free to drop a comment down below or send me an email. Would be glad to be of assistance.