Each of us has an inner child or a “true self.” This inner child is molded according to our childhood experiences. Happy childhoods produce an inner child who is contented and at peace while abusive childhoods create a lost and wounded one.
Some of us successfully manage to hide our wounded inner child. Whenever memories of an unfortunate childhood arise, we immediately deflect and hide it in the deep parts of our unconscious. We go about our daily lives pretending that we are happy and undisturbed. However, our wounded inner child has ways of subtly resurfacing. Sometimes we find ourselves talking about our sufferings and experiencing problems with connecting to other people. Having a wounded inner child has a greater impact on our lives more than we can think of. For one, we find it hard to trust and open up to others.
If you have a wounded inner child, it is important to take steps towards healing. You cannot heal yourself if you do not heal your inner child. As an adult, you have to get past your fears and face your sufferings. There is no better solution but to have courage to fight for your inner child.
There are various ways on how to heal your inner child but the first step is always to develop a sense off mindfulness and understanding. You have to be able to recognize that your wounded inner child is holding back the adult you.
Once you are able to acknowledge this, you will be determined to start your healing process. Understanding is also as important a mindfulness. It will be difficult to do but you have to learn to understand the people who have hurt your inner child. You need to grasp the thought that these people suffered from ignorance or lack of proper guidance. If you learn to let go of the hate and to forgive, your suffering will be lessened thus allowing faster healing.
One effective way to heal is to write to your inner child. Keep a daily journal where you can communicate with each other daily.
First, address your inner child lovingly. You can start by writing: “Dearest Little John” or “My little Jane.” Tell your inner child you are sorry for everything that he went through in the past and reassure him that his sufferings are over now; that he can now depend on the adult you for love and protection.
Express your love to your inner child without holding back.
Once you’re done, allow your inner child to respond through your other hand. Some angry and hurt words may come out and you have to understand this.
Your inner child has felt so much pain over the years so it is normal to act such way. Eventually, with constant communication, these words will change to ones that radiate peace and joy.
Be there for your inner child. Writing might be a simple means to solve a life long suffering but with constant practice, it can lead to healing.
Various forms of meditation can also help. You can try a form of walking meditation that you can do despite your busy schedule. If you find yourself walking in a relaxed environment like a park or by a river, you can communicate with your wounded inner child. Start by also building a relaxed environment within yourself. Steady your breathing, clear your thoughts, bring out all your affectionate feelings out and concentrate on your inner child. Breathe in deeply and say the words, “My inner child has arrived.” Then, breathe out and continue, “My inner child is home.” This is one way of assuring your inner child that he is protected in a home within the adult you. You can keep doing this practice as often as you can until healing is achieved.
Another form of meditation you can try is based on the teachings of Buddha about love and compassion. First you have to find a quiet place where you can meditate without any distractions.
Once you have found your spot, sit down and relax your body. Again, clear your thoughts, allow all your love to flow out to your inner child.
Relax your breathing, here if possible practice this Anapanasati Meditation for about 10 minutes till you have reached a calm state.
Now think of all the beautiful things happened to you in childhood, bring back all those lovely memories of your golden child. Start by breathing in and saying, “I bring love to …” Breathe out and continue, “..To my inner child.”
Breathe in again and this time say, “I bring compassion.” Release, breathe out and continue, “To my inner child.”
Breathe in again and say, “I bring joy.” Release once more, breathe out deeply and continue, “To my inner child.”
Lastly, breathe in deep and say, “I bring equanimity.” Breathe out and continue, “To my inner child.”
Like the walking meditation, you can do this meditation until your wounded inner child develops a sense of assurance, security and ultimately, healing.
Sufferings are not expected to fade right away. Like physical wounds, it takes time and a lot of care for emotional wounds to heal. Be consistent in taking measures for your inner child’s healing and free yourself from the suffering that you have been carrying for a long time. Remember, although spiritual advisors or therapists can help you deal with your burdens, it is ultimately you who can help yourself.