Our words matter. Our thoughts matter. Our inner child matters!⠀
When I first saw the phrase "Take Care of Your Inner Child" it immediately caught my eye. What does "my inner child" actually mean? What does it mean "to take care of it and start healing your inner child" and how to do that!?
Driven by curiosity I started researching and reading a little more on this topic and it seemed very interesting. I decided to share it with you too.
It's no secret that everyone has an inner child. We each have our own history, things that have stuck with us through the years. And we have all been influenced by our environment, events and the significant people around us. Our inner child has stored those memories, and their impact upon us. You don’t have to look at this “child” as a separate person or personality. Instead, consider them a representation of your past experiences.
As small children we will have been absorbing a great deal from our extended families, our caregiver(s), friends, pre-school and early school years, and religious institutions. We may not have had words for these experiences but they will have been ‘logged’ in our sub-conscious minds and bodies.
The “little you” – tender, emotional. Your inner-child is the innocent part of you – all about feelings and your primal needs.
Everyone has an inner child. It’s an unconscious, metaphorical part of who we are that helps us understand why we react the way we react to certain people and situations.
It’s important to note that this inner child concept is not just a spiritual, unfounded hypothesis. It’s actually widely used and accepted among psychologists and it can bring many transformations into your life. When you give yourself permission to hear the child within you, magic happens. You not only become aware of your strengths and weaknesses — you gradually understand where they come from. This can be extremely healing, although it is a long, arduous path.
Inner child work has two aspects to it. One is about reclaiming all the positive qualities of the child within. It’s becoming playful and joyful for no reason at all. It’s making silly jokes and having fun with your own kids, carefree and present in the moment. This side of inner child work is about expressing yourself freely. However, most people need to deal with the suppressed memories of their inner child, too.
This is the second and often more challenging side of reparenting yourself. It’s about consciously processing painful feelings and experiences that you suppressed a long time ago.
This may feel overwhelming — especially for those who didn’t have their basic needs met as children.
Your inner child may sabotage your adult experience by trying to get you to heal its unresolved issues. You can do that through reparenting yourself. This means providing a loving presence and self-compassion that you wished you had received as a child.
Nurturing and Providing Healing to Your Inner Child is important because otherwise that part of you can stay stuck, impacting your present day emotions and experiences.
Take care of Your inner child and provide Healing
Adults who can reconnect with their inner child will experience that wonderful feeling of genuine happiness again. They'll be able to simplify their lives as much as possible.
You can't necessarily fix your inner child. Once the "damage" is done, it becomes a part of you. For most people, it changes the way they feel, think, and behave. That said, you can help it heal. When you've accomplished that, the scars begin to fade and become lighter, so you can explore healthier ways of being.
To heal yourself, first you have to acknowledge your inner child’s presence.
As Kim Egel, a therapist in Cardiff, California, points out, anyone can get in touch with their inner child — if they’re open to exploring this relationship. If you feel doubtful or resistant to the idea of exploring the past, you’ll have a harder time beginning the healing process.
If it feels a little strange or awkward to imagine opening up to your child self, try thinking of inner child work as a process of self-discovery. The process of acknowledging your inner child mostly just involves recognizing and accepting things that caused you pain in childhood. Bringing these feelings out into the light of day can help you begin to understand their impact.
That said, many people do find it helpful, even soothing, to address their inner child as they would a living person, so don’t feel afraid to give it a try.
After opening the door to a connection with your inner child, it’s important to listen to the feelings that enter. If you can trace these feelings back to specific childhood events, you may realize similar situations in your adult life trigger the same responses. Remind yourself how special and wonderful you were as a child. Tell it is loved, valued, and appreciated by you!
Adulthood certainly comes with plenty of responsibilities, but relaxation and playfulness are both essential components of good emotional health. If your childhood lacked positive experiences, getting back in touch with your playful side and making time for fun can help heal the feeling of missing out on what you needed as a child.
It’s also important to enjoy small pleasures, like ice cream after a walk, games with your partner or children, and laughter with friends. Playing like you did when you were a child can help you feel more connected with that part of you.
This can also encourage healing. Try playing some of the same games and doing the same activities that you enjoyed when you were young. Approach these games and activities with the expectation that they were fun once and can be again. Throughout your healing process, come back to playing as a child often. You'll likely find that the happy feelings come back to you more and more, helping you to connect with your inner child.
Healing doesn’t always have a definite end. It’s often more of an open-ended journey. You’ve started the process by reaching out to your inner child. Your child self may have more to reveal about challenges from the past. But you can also learn to become more spontaneous and playful and consider what life has to offer with a greater sense of wonder.
Staying in tune with your inner child can lead to a more complete sense of yourself and boost confidence and motivation. Reinforce the connection you’ve opened by affirming your intent to continue listening, offering love and compassion, and working to heal any wounds that remain open.
Remember that your inner child is a real part of your sub-conscious mind – a child who needs your love, care and compassion...because no-one else can better understand your emotions and help to make peace with the past. Adults who can reconnect with their inner child will experience that wonderful feeling of genuine happiness again.
Your inner child has a place in your heart that will never have to leave. It is safe with you now. You are the only person who you can guarantee never to leave you!
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