Bernadette Chin, Msc
28 Mar 2022
A Guide To Inner Child Healing
Our inner child is a representation of ourselves at certain points in our childhood, and our experiences during these points. Our inner child is connected to our natural enthusiasm, curiosity, and creativity we experienced as actual children, at various ages of our childhood. When you get in touch with your inner child, you connect with their qualities and experiences at the time. You can even physically feel how they felt.
As children, we respond to suggestibility easily and effortlessly, as we are learning, growing and depend on authority figures to establish our own identity and to provide a sense of safety within our surroundings. As children, we readily absorb what our environments and caretakers teach us and more importantly, how they treat us.
Inner child wounds, can occur when there is either a traumatic event or chronic rupture without repair. For children, a rupture without repair can look like crying out for help but being unheard by an emotionally unavailable caretaker. Ruptures can also happen in our daily lives throughout adulthood, from when a friend ignores you and does not acknowledge your presence, or when someone forgets to put down the toilet seat. How we internalize these feelings determines if the experience stays a wound or if it becomes processed right there.
In adulthood, we have an advantage of making a choice to heal and repair our wounded inner child and create the safe, secure inner and outer environments our younger selves always wanted. The first step to inner child healing is to become aware when you are emotionally triggered and acknowledge that the wounded parts which are being brought up during this emotional period needs attention, soothing, and more importantly, a safe space for expression - to process the emotional pain and hurt that ensues, following an emotionally wrought time, that can be confusing and scary, and to safely release these emotional wounds while being supported in your healing process.
As we experience and re-experience these devastating emotions, we are not able to remember the past traumatic events that took place nor have any recollection of them even, as these inner child wounds could have taken place a long time ago. However, the emotional imprints of these traumatic events remain in our bodies up to adulthood. These emotional wounds can be simple or complex. However, without understanding fully, the underlying conditions, many adults feel helpless and alone with these hurts and feelings.
There is also a lot of shame and guilt as an adult, to be told that they have inner child issues they need to work with. The shame and guilt can cause them to further push-back and avoid seeking the help they need to recover from their emotional wounds, hence compounding the hurts and pains when they choose to cover up both their inner child wounds and their feelings of hurt, shame, pain and guilt. As what other 'grown-ups' do, they tell themselves to 'shut-up' or 'suck it in'. It is highly likely that they experienced these same emotional feelings as they were growing up. However, instead of having an authority figure telling them so, they have absorbed this internally, and are now repeating it to themselves.
Inner child healing is the cornerstone of aligning ourselves back to our true selves. Like a compass, we align ourselves back to our true north. For many adults experiencing this debilitating painful truth, they are not only desperate to heal the inner child, but also the shame that comes with just having feelings and the feeling of isolation, loneliness, and emotional paralysis that comes with it. Unattended, inner child wounds can lead to destructive behaviors, the tendency to self-harm, seeking temporary solace in escapism, and addictions.
When we heal our inner child, we begin to create the safety and security our younger selves have always needed. By doing so, we allow the positive traits of our inner child to express in his or her full capacity, unlocking the many gifts that have remained hidden and dormant. But most importantly, to unlock our innermost capacity to live and experience our limitless capacity to love.
Click here to access our Free Guide to Inner Child Healing.
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