The concept of healing one’s inner child has been gaining remarkable attention lately, and I can’t stress enough how profoundly transformative this process has been for me. It’s an emotional journey that allows individuals to confront past wounds and traumas, offering a path to emotional freedom and self-discovery.
Understanding the Inner Child
First, let’s get to the core of what the inner child is. It’s a psychological concept that represents the childlike aspects of our personalities and the emotional experiences we had during our formative years. These experiences shape our beliefs, behaviors, and reactions in adulthood. Unresolved childhood issues can lead to emotional challenges, anxiety, self-doubt, and even self-sabotage.
Nurturing and Healing My Inner Child
Self-Awareness: My journey began with self-awareness. Recognizing the existence of my inner child was the pivotal first step. It dawned on me when I started noticing recurring patterns in my life, like self-doubt and a constant fear of rejection. These patterns were deeply rooted in my childhood experiences.
Reflecting on Childhood: So, I started by revisiting my childhood experiences and identifying those moments that have left emotional scars. It is crucial to do this with compassion and without judgment. I also recalled all the things I’ve heard about the time after I was conceived, because I believe that the unborn child also absorbs the feelings and experiences of the mother. My birth too was at a difficult time – I was born on 7 August 1965. Two days before that a war was declared. Seven days after I was born, my father left for the front. My mother had to manage two young sons and a new born baby all on her own. I believe that I absorbed a lot of that stress, fear and anxiety.
Self-Compassion: This is an integral part in my healing process. I had to learn to treat myself with the kindness and understanding I deserved. It involved challenging self-critical thoughts and replacing them with self-affirming ones.
Forgiveness: I had to grow up before my time, when I became a confidant to my mother. The pressure, having to take sides and feeling like I had to keep my family was immense. Forgiving those who may have caused childhood wounds is a significant step in the healing process. It’s essential to remember that forgiveness isn’t about excusing their actions but releasing the hold these events have on your present life. Even as I’m writing this, I feel a mixture of sadness and anger – I have to continue to work on this, I know.
Working on healing my inner child has allowed me to reconnect with my authentic self, embracing my true desires and passions. I’ve been revisiting my childhood dreams, owning them, and seeing how I can make them a reality.
As I ventured further into my healing journey, I began experiencing increased self-esteem. I began recognizing my worth and value, which ultimately led to improved self-esteem.
There has been a positive shift in my relationships. I’m no longer needy and can relate to others more directly.
I find that I have become more emotionally resilient. While acknowledging pain, I don’t feel the need to run away from it or hide behind busyness etc.
Inner Child Work
This is a therapeutic practice aimed at resolving childhood trauma and emotions. Incorporating inner child work into your daily life offers a therapeutic means to heal, grow, and rediscover the authentic, joyful self that may have been hidden for far too long.
By building trust, embracing pain, practicing forgiveness, and releasing guilt, you can help your inner child find peace and wholeness.
Here are powerful ways to integrate it into your daily routine:
Inner Child Journaling: This method allows you to connect with your inner child by writing from its perspective. Reflect on past memories and experiences, jotting down your feelings without overthinking. It’s a journey to the core of your inner child’s pain.
Visualizations: Use guided visualizations to revisit your past and offer comfort and support to your inner child. Imagine yourself embracing and consoling the young you.
Creative Expression: Engage in creative activities like art, music, or play to help you access and express the emotions of your inner child.
Meditation and Prayer
This has really worked for me. Spending a short time each day in quiet prayer, meditation and scripture reading helps my healing. My faith tells me that God has been walking alongside me, all through my life, even before I was born. I love this piece of scripture that reaffirms this belief of mine.
3 You created my inmost self, knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 For so many marvels I thank you; a wonder am I, and all your works are wonders. You knew me through and through,
15 my being held no secrets from you, when I was being formed in secret, textured in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes could see my embryo. In your book all my days were inscribed, every one that was fixed is there. – Psalm 139
Working on nurturing and healing my inner child has been a journey of self-discovery, healing, and personal growth that has made a lot of difference in my life. It’s an ongoing process, but I see it working for me.
PS: Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I’m reading Homecoming: Reclaiming and Healing Your Inner Child by John Bradshaw. Here’s the link to the book on Amazon (affiliate link).
This is Day 5 of My 66-day Journey of Healing Through Writing and Sharing
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