Did you know that there is a wounded inner child in all of us? All humans experience some degree of pain, trauma or difficulty as a child. When these wounds are suppressed or denied we carry them as tender burdens throughout our adult lives.
The ability to acknowledge your wounds and heal your inner child, frees you from many of the painful fears, self-limiting beliefs and stories of your past.
Inner child wounding has many origins including: trauma, or ancestral wounds. Conditioning – where you were taught to go against your true nature, or the inability to have your emotional needs met. Whatever your experience, the wounded parts of yourself become fragmented, often leading to feelings of separation, shame and inadequacy.
What does the term inner child mean?
Psychiatrist Carl Jung first began exploring the concept of the child archetype, know as the ‘child inside’. He used it as a way of examining collected childhood experiences and emotions which shape our reality.
An article from Rising woman explains, the inner-child is not a literal child, it is a metaphorical “little you”. The part of your psyche that is still childlike, innocent, and full of wonder.
When we become adults, these childlike parts of ourselves do not simply disappear. We age physically, but we all have childlike aspects which remain in our subconscious. Know as a ‘subpersonality’, a side of your character that can take over when faced with a challenge.
Your inner child is very much alive within you. Learning to identify childhood wounds and triggers is key to healing your inner child.
What is inner child work and why is it important for healing?
Did you know many of the patterns and stories you play out in your life stem from inner child wounding? As children we develop coping mechanisms and behaviours to survive in the world. When the childhood wounds go unhealed, we play out these painful experiences when triggered or faced with challenges. This continues to keep the trauma alive.
Reconnecting with your inner child is an opportunity to acknowledge and heal unmet needs and traumatic experiences suppressed during childhood. It’s an chance to ‘reparent’ these wounded aspects of yourself and allow them to heal in safe space.
Healing your inner child is a journey you can take on your own. But I recommend seeking support through qualified practitioners or therapists. Some of the deep work may uncover repressed traumatic memories where support is essential.
Below are some practices to support you on your inner child healing journey.
4 Powerful Practices to Heal your wounded Inner Child
1. Connect with an inner child meditation
Guided inner child meditation is the process of turning inwards to acknowledge and heal your wounded child. As humans, we tend to avoid our pain by turning our attention outwards as a form of distraction. But the problem is, avoidance only creates more suffering.
Using meditation to connect with your inner child is finding the courage to acknowledge them. Through communicating, “I see you, I hear you, I love you”
Once you recognise your inner child, you can use meditation as a form of mindfulness to embrace and comfort them. These wounded aspects of yourself may show up in the form of painful emotions, physical pain or triggers.
By reconnecting with your inner child, you begin to uncover the root cause of your pain and suffering. This is because learnt behaviour and patterns develop through childhood wounding.
When you recognise and integrate these wounded aspects back into your consciousness, you are able to heal deep layers of yourself. Bringing profound healing and clarity to your life.
Click the image below to listen to my Youtube video: Guided Inner Child Healing Meditation.
2. Channel your inner child through writing
Channeling your inner child through writing is an empowering exercise which opens up a safe space for your inner child aspects to express themselves through you.
Sit in silence for a few moments. Ground yourself and set the intention that you wish to channel and connect with your inner child.
You may find it helpful to begin the process with a few questions such as:
What would you like to communicate to me?
Is there a childhood memory or experience you wish to remind me of?
What are you asking to be healed?
Trust the process and give yourself permission to write everything that comes up without judgement. It may feel uncomfortable at first, this is normal. Channeling is not a mental process, it’s about allowing yourself to open up to a state of expanded consciousness. It takes time to become familiar with it.
Simply put, get out of your head and trust your inner voice. Allow the words to flow through you, this is how you learn to identify your truth and trust your intuition.
It’s important not to attach any shame or guilt to the messages that come through. Just give yourself permission to acknowledge the wisdom of your inner child.
This is a very powerful healing practice because it allows your inner child to feel safe in expressing their truth. These are the wounded aspects of yourself that were suppressed or rejected during childhood out of fear. When you voice these aspects, it’s an opportunity for deep transformational healing to take place.
3. Use creative and playful expression
Remember when you were a child and you could freely express yourself? You weren’t concerned about what anybody thought, you felt comfortable just being yourself. As we grow up we take on stories and beliefs about ourselves, which stop us from sharing our true expression. We become wounded, fearful and learn that it’s not safe to be ourselves in the world.
These wounds are what keep us caged in. We reject ourselves by pretending to be someone we are not just to please others. This is a painful existence.
Giving yourself permission to freely express yourself is a gift of healing for your inner child. When you express yourself through art, play, dance or being in nature you tap into the parts of yourself that you have forgotten. The parts that brought you joy as a child.
Ask yourself, “What did I enjoy doing most as a child? What brought me joy and laughter?’’
Ask your inner child to remind you what you have forgotten and then give yourself permission to do it. Don’t worry about how silly it may sound, don’t be concerned about what others think. Do this to honour and heal your inner child. Commit to an hour a week and tap into the magic that creative expression brings to your life.
4. Learn to identify the voice of your inner child
Did you know that as an adult your inner child communicates through you? Although you physically become an adult, the wounding of your inner child continues to play out in your subconscious mind. Influencing many aspects of your daily life.
Loner wolf explains, Unfortunately, we live in a society that forces us to repress our inner child and “grow up.” But the truth is that while most adults are physically “grown-up,” they never quite reach emotional or psychological adulthood. In other words, most “grown-ups” aren’t really adults at all.
Many adults function from the space of their wounded inner child, particularly when faced with challenges that are triggering. When you experience strong emotions such as fear, helplessness or abandonment this is a reflection of your wounds. They stem from painful or traumatic childhood experiences.
As you grow up you develop patterns and coping mechanisms to protect yourself from the trauma you experienced as a child. But this doesn’t mean the pain just disappears. These parts of yourself that you reject out of pain or fear act out when you are triggered.
This is why it’s important to learn to identify the voice of your inner child. When you experience painful emotional triggers, see it as an opportunity for healing, by listening to the voice of your inner child using this process:
Pause and notice when you feel triggered, fearful or vulnerable.
Give yourself some space to sit with these painful emotions. Acknowledge that this is your wounded inner child asking to communicate.
Without judgement, tune in and ask your inner child. “How can I care for you in this moment? what do you need to feel safe?”
The answer may come as a subtle message, a memory, body sensation or feeling. Allow the message to arise in whatever form.
Spend some time reflecting on the messages from your inner child. You may find it helpful to do some journaling or go for a walk to process the information.
The more you begin to acknowledge your inner child’s voice, the closer you become to healing and integrating these wounded aspects of yourself. There is no need to fear your wounds, they arise gently asking to be acknowledged and healed. When you practice awareness you can respond from a space of consciousness, rather than reacting from unconscious wounding.
This brings the opportunity to heal the parts of yourself you once rejected. Reparenting your inner child brings a strong sense of clarity, healing and empowerment to your life.