The cry we hear from deep in our hearts, says Thich Nhat Hanh, comes from the wounded child within. Healing this inner child’s pain will transform negative emotions.
As we tread our individual pathways in life, we acquire emotional baggage. Some of it is easy to recognize but some, the baggage picked up when we were very young, is often hidden deep within the subconscious. The inner child or child within can harbor decades of old hurt that can cause you to react to situations and people using childhood pain as a context. This means that sometimes your reactions have less to do with the situation at hand, and more to do with things you experienced long ago but have not forgotten. The inner child is an important piece of your emotional makeup. It can be playful, spontaneous, intuitive, and spiritual, but can also be fearful, distrustful, and critical. Painful childhood experiences can negatively affect the adult experience. Healing the inner child addresses your child-self’s wounds and frees your adult-self to make decisions based on the present.
Attempting to discount the fact that the inner child has an effect on the adult denies the impact of old wounds and past experiences. Acknowledging the inner child honors your past self and can help you recover painful memories that have been repressed. But recalling specific memories isn’t vital to healing the inner child. It is enough to be aware that you can change the way you unconsciously learned to react in your youth by nurturing your inner child and, in doing so, foster a loving and wise present-self.
Think about something that affects your ability to be happy in the world, or something which affects your inner peace. It may be a relationship issue, a physical problem or illness, feelings of low self-worth or confidence, it may be money worries, weight problems, an eating disorder, an irrational fear or perhaps an internal block which you cannot put your finger on. All these problems are governed by the inner child at some level. Within each issue is a message which your inner child longs for you to understand, a message which tells you something about the past. Something in your childhood which happened then, but is still holding you back, keeping you stuck, creating unhelpful patterns, bringing up painful feelings, or maybe even making you feel numb. Even day to day occurrences like the car breaking down, being bitten by a dog, a bounced cheque, a crisis, rejection from a partner, an accident, are all governed by the inner child.
Signs of the existence of the wounded Inner Child
- Constant lack of trust in others and in life.
- Constant feeling of shame and doubt.
- Fear of intimacy.
- Experiences of old childhood feelings with strong intensity.
- Seeking to please our parents and others at the cost of our own needs.
- Having problems with authority and hierarchy.
- Constant needs to judge, criticize, condemn and blame ourselves and others for our problems.
- Holding onto anger, resentment, jealousy, fear, shame, and guilt.
- Constant feeling of loneliness, isolation and separation from everyone.
- Having a strong attitude of – what is in this for me in everything we do?
- Showing strong reaction to certain situations that usually do not bother others.
- Feeling like husbands to our wounded mothers or wives to our wounded fathers.
- Feeling responsible for our parents’ and our siblings’ misery.
What is the Inner Child?
Healing the Child Within
The Wounded Child
When did Separation Occur?
What is Adult and Child Work?
How did the Separation Occur?
Who is the Adult?
Who is the Child?
How are the Adult and Child Different?
What Does my Adult do to make my Child feel Better?
How will this Affect my Personal Life?
How will this Affect my Professional Life?
How Does my Life Suffer when I am not aware of my Child?
Who is the Adult?
How to give Compassion
What affects our Inner Sense of Safety?
How can we Soothe our Wounded Inner Child’s Emotions?
Meditation of Self-Compassion and Forgiveness
Is it my Child or my Adult?
Understand your Triggers
Examples of Triggers
What to do Once your Inner Child has been Triggered
What if your Child Won’t allow your Adult in?
What to do When You Cannot find your Balance
The Spiral Effect
Will this Fix all of your Triggers
Meditation: Introducing you to your Inner Child
Inner Child Box
How Old were you When your Inner Child Started Feeling this Way?
All of Us have Wounds
Start Taking Notes
Earning your Inner Child’s Trust Back
Things to do to Earn your Inner Child’s Trust Back
How to Stop Neglecting and Abusing your Inner Child
Provide the Basics
Spend Time with your Inner Child
Make a Contract with your Inner Child
What are your Inner Child’s Favorite Things
Why is remembering our favorite things important?
Re-parent your Inner Child
Have you Struggled with Setting Boundaries in the Past
Setting Boundaries: A Guided Meditation
What Happens When we are Out of Balance?
How do we Become Unbalanced?
How to Visualize Balance
Having More Fun in Life
Where Did our Little Kid Go?
Connecting our Inner Child and Adult
Bridging them Together
Things to Say to Heal and Nurture your Inner Child
I Hear You
You Don’t Deserve This
You Did your Best
How to Better Understand Others and their Inner Child
How to Recognize their Child
How to Work with Them When their Child is Playing Up
How to Protect Yourself from Old Wounds
How to Help Others
Is Your Inner Child Messing Up your Relationships?
How do Our Inner Child’s Wounds Show Themselves?
What can We do To Help Our Inner Child enjoy Better Relationships?
Healing your Inner Child with Crystals
Which Crystals Aid Inner Child Healing?
Allow your Inner Child to Speak to You
What it Means to Love Yourself
Why do We Struggle with Loving Ourselves?
Inner Child Archetypes
Weaving it All Together
One Moment at a Time
Bringing Yourself Into the Moment
Inner Child Reiki
Healing the Inner Child