I read this article the other day and it opened my eyes to my own inner child. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I have so much work to be done within myself.
I still have trauma and fear that I’m healing from.
What I learned from this article was that the inner child desires love and connection. The inner child, or the little you, is you from your childhood. The most innocent and precious you possibly can be. They are the you that craves acceptance and validation. They are open minded and ready to explore and live. They are total in their expression of anger, sadness, and joy. This part of yourself is the self that hasn’t been hurt or neglected. They are the purest you.
Now the outer child is different. This is the part of you that responds to the trauma and becomes overprotective by acting out. This is the you who responds out of fear to keep your inner child safe. They display self-defeating behavior. They struggle with having control of their emotions and thoughts. They become angry, impatient, and impulsive when triggered. They sabotage any effort of inner growth and they hate change. The saddest part, for me, is that they push love away when it’s given to them.
This is where I am.
The wounded inner child is the response to the trauma and neglect they experienced in their childhood. These individuals believed they are broken. They fear abandonment and loss of love. They are insecure and doubt themselves. They seek validation and approval from others and seek instant gratification. The wounded inner child is fearful of setting boundaries because they fear their loved ones will not love them if they say no.
This is where I want to be.
The integrated adult is the healthy dialogue that is formed between the inner child and the adult self. The you that is here today in the present. These individuals are connected to their bodies and emotions. They can identify their emotions and communicate them effectively. They can make decisions and requests without overreacting or becoming angry. They remain true to themselves and honour their needs and boundaries. The most important detail, I think, would have to be that they give their inner child space to feel their big emotions without shutting them down.
So how do you do this work?
I’m still trying to figure that out.
To connect with your inner child means to connect with your body and ask yourself what sensations are you feeling? Are you anxious and have butterflies in your belly? Are you afraid and feel tightness in your chest? Another thing I thought was interesting was the act of visualizing your inner child and creating a dialogue with them. Ask your inner child why they feel this way? Is it a rational fear? What good things could happen from this instead?
I have a horrible habit of beating up my inner child. I’m always criticizing her like my mother criticizes me as a child. I’m always telling her her feelings are silly and she needs to knock it off. In these moments I could easily give her love and space to express herself. Instead I invalidate her feelings and make her feel worse when she’s afraid and sad.
My inner child is wounded from her past. She believes she is broken and incapable of being loved. She believes that her lover will leave her for another and that their bond isn’t as strong as it is. She believes that she isn’t good enough for anyone to love her because she’s too damaged to be whole ever again.
I know the truth.
I know that my lover loves me because I’m amazing inside and out. He adores me. He shows me all his love and treats me like a queen. We’ve been through so much together and it has made us both stronger people in and outside of our relationship. I trust my lover and I trust myself because I know what is real and what is not.
The belief that I am unlovable is a lie.
The belief that I am broken is a lie.
The belief that my lover will leave me for another is a lie.
The belief that I am not enough is a lie.
The belief that I am unworthy is a lie.
Your inner child needs love. I promise you if you give your inner child space to be themselves and you nurture them, you will find that inner peace you’ve been looking for. I’m still finding the balance. I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m on track to make some big changes in my life and I encourage you to join me on this journey of self discovery and healing.
I believe in you!