How To Heal Your Inner Child with Guided Meditation. Healing our inner child will take work and determination. So what is this inner child that we are talking about? How can you have a child inside of us when you are a grown adult? Does it mean that you have not grown up? Before we can do inner child work, we need to understand clearly what our inner child is.
What is an inner child?
The inner child is a person’s supposed original or true self, especially when regarded as concealed in adulthood. “we may still be acting out the pain suffered by our inner child.”
This child within us is needy, just like any child we know. Why is it needy? To start with, it is a child, which means it can’t meet its own needs. Also, the child has been damaged, leaving it even more vulnerable. It all sounds like an excellent, neat package that anyone can manage on their own. However, doing inner child work is not as easy as understanding that it must exist. The truth is that healing our inner child can be a long, arduous process that requires guidance from a qualified therapist who understands the true nature of the inner child. We all lose touch with our inner child at one time or another.
“Your inner child is a unique part of you that still feels young on the inside.”
Not everyone is in touch with their inner child. Often, when people connect with their inner child, they are dealing with a problem rooted in an early wounding. Even if our inner child is healthy and happy, a part of us feels and reacts to life the way a child does. Everyone experiences this. The challenge is to know, accept, and connect with that part of our personality. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “Our inner child is the part of our personality that still reacts and feels like a child.”
Is the Inner Child Real?
As we read the definition of the “inner child,” we may wonder whether our inner child is real or just a psychological concept or theory. Indeed, there is not a physical child inside of us (unless we are pregnant). We need to remember that, although no one can see physical traces of our inner child, it is nonetheless real. Most psychologists agree that our inner child is part of who we are as a person.
The Damaged Inner Child
When a young child experiences trauma, wounds are created that must be healed eventually. Much healing can be accomplished immediately following the trauma if the child has a parent who takes steps to reduce the damage caused by the situation or event. However, if the child has no one reliable enough to parent them lovingly and appropriately throughthe situation, the wounds do not heal, and they can cause problems in adulthood.
How the Inner Child Is Hurt
What is it that hurts the inner child?
The list is long. Some of the items on this list might seem like normal childhood events, but if the child is left to deal with them alone, it can affect their development. Here are some of the events and situations that can cause emotional injury to the inner child:
- Loss of a parent or guardian.
- Physical abuse or neglect.
- Emotional abuse or neglect.
- Sexual abuse.
- Serious illness.
- Severe bullying.
- Natural disasters.
- Family breakup.
- Being a victim of violence.
- Substance abuse in the household.
- Domestic violence in the household.
- Mental illness of a family member.
- Being a refugee.
Feeling isolated from their family.
How the Damage Affects You as An Adult
Minor trauma is common in childhood, so even the healthiest childhood. This does not mean we won’t need to do inner child work at some point. If we experienced significant trauma; however, the results are likely to follow us into adulthood. Furthermore, if no one helps you heal when we’re still a child; Serious effects are likely to plague you until you do this work. The most common effects of having a hurt inner child can all be classified as destructive behaviours. They include:
- Self-defeating behaviour
- Self-harming behaviour
- Passive-aggressive behaviour
- Violent behaviour
It is no wonder these effects are common. The damaged child is impulsive, narcissistic, dependent, needy, and afraid of being abandoned. They have not learned how to regulate their emotions or act from logic and reason. Such a child is likely to act out, and a damaged inner child is no different. However, healing the inner child can eliminate these feelings and behaviours, even in adulthood.
How to Heal Your Inner Child
we cannot necessarily fix our inner child. Once the damage is done, it becomes a part of our history. For most people, it changes the way they feel, thinks, and behave. That said, we can help it heal. When you have accomplished that, the scars begin to fade and become lighter, so we can explore healthier ways of being.
We might wonder about the point of doing inner child work. Well, suppose a child is suffering from a wound, and you do nothing to help them. How do you feel ignoring the needs of this innocent, dependent person? How would the child feel? Wouldn’t it continue to suffer until the wound was healed? This is how your inner child feels, and its injuries can affect you well into adulthood. Inner child healing can put an end to internal suffering, which can help you change maladaptive behaviours. Working with a therapist, we can do several things to reduce the suffering dramatically.
Why It Doesn’t Help to Deny the Existence of Your Inner Child
Our first task in healing the inner child is to commit to knowing our inner child. That starts with accepting its existence. Indeed, we are free individuals. We can choose to deny that you have an inner child.
But if we refuse to think about having an inner child, be prepared to have a difficult time changing our feelings and behaviours. Doing inner child work, whether we do it alone or in therapy sessions, is a beautiful way to heal that child inside us and ultimately change the way we think, feel, and behave.
Understanding What Happened to Your Inner Child
For some, childhood pain comes from easily identifiable sources. For example, if we know we were physically abused as a child, that situation probably caused many of our emotional problems as an adult. Others find it more challenging to locate the source of their suffering, yet they know it exists because they struggle with feelings like unexplained anger or worthlessness. These feelings must come from somewhere.
Both kinds of people need to understand what hurt them as a child if they want to heal. Therapists use several different techniques to help us identify the hurts from our childhood. They can even give you tools to continue the work between sessions. Some of these include using guided imagery, art therapy, writing poetry, and journaling, so you can visualize those painful moments.
After discovering the source of your emotional pain, we will need to ask ourselves a series of questions. These questions can help us sort out who contributed to causing the pain, whether they inflicted it intentionally, and how we responded to the situation or event at the time. We can also explore how that event or situation damaged our inner child and its role in our lives today.
Building Compassion for Your Inner Child
Regardless of what caused our childhood pain, our inner child is still feeling the effects. Our needs were not met in the past. Perhaps someone important to us failed to show compassion we needed, either by not being available when we needed them most, by not giving us the love and nurturing we needed or directly inflicting pain on us.
Since that time is long gone, and er are now an adult, it’s up to us to show our inner child the compassion we needed as a child. One way to tune into this compassion for that small, frightened child is to imagine the scene of the painful event or situation from the inner child’s viewpoint. Then give our inner child the support it needed in the past. In addition, therapists often model compassion, making it easier for us to do the same for our inner child.
Loving our Inner Child
Perhaps members of our family loved us profoundly and showed it often. Even so, a traumatic event might have made we doubt their love for us when we were a child. On the other hand, if our parents and other essential people rarely showed their care for us, we may have grown up feeling distant, unloved, and perhaps, unlovable.
How do we learn to love our inner child? As we identify what we love about our inner child, we will feel it more intensely and unconditionally. A therapist can help us with this process.
Play As we Did as a Children.
Playing like we did when we were children can help us feel more connected with that part of us. It can also encourage healing. Try playing some of the same games and doing the same activities that we enjoyed when we were young. Approach these games and activities with the expectation that they were fun once and can be again. Throughout our healing process, come back to playing as a child often. We will likely find that the happy feelings come back to us more and more, helping us connect with our inner child.
Communicate Verbally with our Inner Child
Many therapists will guide us in communicating with our inner child through spoken or written words. This can happen in a therapy session, or we can do it at home. We can talk to our inner child in the mirror, expressing our feelings and thoughts about what happened in the past as well as our hopes for the future. Or we can write a letter to our inner child. Is there something we like to tell that small child? Now’s our chance to do it.
Take Responsibility for the Care of That Inner Child
A key component of healing the inner child is to take responsibility for them. While we might feel anger toward anyone who hurt us, it does not help to blame them or expect them to solve our current problems.
They may not be able to help now, and even if they can, they may not be willing to help. Only we can take charge of caring for the child within us now. Our therapist can help, and others can lend support, but we need to take responsibility.
Parenting Our Inner Child
A child not only needs to be loved, protected, and to have their needs met, but they also need to be taught how to live successfully in the world. At some point, someone failed to teach us how to nurture and care for ourselves. Now, even if you are managing many aspects of your life just fine, we still need to find the gaps in parenting that are causing you trouble in the present. We may struggle to regulate our emotions or behave in inappropriate or self-destructive ways. Parenting is not an easy task for anyone. For someone who is parenting an inner child, this process might seem strange or even incomprehensible. However, with the help of a licensed therapist, we can become a great parents to your inner child.
Becoming a Psychological Adult
So what happens when our healing is complete? What is the goal? First, we may want to change certain behaviours. If so, inner child work can be combined with cognitive behaviour therapy to help us make those changes. We may also want to become emotionally healthy adults. Or we might resist becoming an adult. After all, so many people talk about how boring or stressful it is to grow up. The good news is that our inner child is still a part of us even as an adult. We can become more relaxed, find more pleasure in everyday life, and experience life with the same joy as a healthy child while being a responsible adult.
As an adult, you know when it’s essential to be serious and thoughtful, even if that’s something we may have struggled with before healing our inner child. Now we can take responsibility as needed, but we also release the burdens of others back to them. When we choose to become actual adults, we can make decisions that are both helpful and enjoyable for us.
How Better Help Can Help
A licensed therapist has the psychological training to guide us through healing our inner child. They can teach us techniques for every part of the process. Furthermore, they can help us avoid causing our inner child any more pain. Their instruction and support can be invaluable as we work toward becoming happy, healthy adults.