You have already learnt how to connect with your inner child and how to check his or her health. Today you will learn how to work with this part of yourself.
How To Work With Your Inner Child
Firstly, let me explain to you the difference between being childish and childlike because there is a big difference here:
Being childish can be thought of as behaving in an immature or naive way. On the other hand, being childlike can be thought of as a state of purity and innocence.
In the case of the inner child, we focus on its purity and innocence. However, your inner child may be wounded: full of guilt, shame, fear, hatred, self-loathing and anger. We carry them with us, suffering. To get rid of all that baggage we need to heal the child within.
And the first and most important step of this process is learning the trust of our inner child through love and self-nurturing.
1. Identify the type of your child
Although everyone has different childhoods, there are patterns common to most people. You have already learnt when your inner child is wounded.
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In the case when the relationship with your inner child has deteriorated over the years, try to identify what stage of development your childhood is in now. This will help you create a roadmap for bringing your inner child back into your life.
The Abandoned Child
This inner child grows up in a dysfunctional family, where one or both of the parents were divorcing or too busy to spare attention. Abuse or neglect are other examples. You might have the fear of being abandoned and feeling lonely or insecure.
The Fearful Child
This inner child probably received a lot of criticism from their parents, teacher and other adults. He or she experiences anxiety whenever they fail to get enough affirmation. These children want to prove their worth for every sake.
The Playful Child
This inner child is a healthy, but unfortunately, often neglected aspect of adulthood. The playful child wants to have spontaneous fun and live free from guilt or anxiety. However, in many cases, we limit him or her because of social standards.
2. Choose the Method
However, I have to warn you. Working with your inner child is a very delicate and long-term process. Do not expect the results within a day or even a month. If you were abused for, let's say 30 years, some time has to pass in order to heal your inner child.
8 Proven Ways to Work With Your Inner Child
Here are the eight most powerful ways to perform inner child work. You can pick up one or work on some of them simultaneously. Test which method is the most efficient in your case. For example, some people prefer writing while others shout.
Some of these methods may be too painful at first, e.g. looking at pictures from the times when you were abused.
1. Speak To Your Inner Child
And say all that your parents did not. Then you can heal your inner child. Acknowledge your inner child and let him or her know that you are there for them. Treat your inner child with kindness and respect.
Start by saying the things which should have been saying. We lack the following messages mostly in our lives:
.... (YOUR NAME I LOVE YOU
... (YOUR NAME) THANK YOU ... (for...)
... (YOUR NAME) I AM SORRY for...
... (YOUR NAME) I BELIEVE IN YOU
... (YOUR NAME) YOU CAN DO IT
... (YOUR NAME) YOU CAN HANDLE IT
Make talking to your inner child a daily practice. and even more. Every time you look in the mirror, tell your inner child:
... (YOUR NAME) YOU ARE AWESOME :-)
Apart from talking to your inner child in front of the mirror, you can do it by dressing up and cleaning your house. You can also record your words and listen to them while going to work. Then you will become familiar with and accept your voice, which we often dislike.
Some people feel more comfortable while writing than speaking. Then start your journal. There are some techniques you can use here:
Asking Questions and Writing the Answers
Write down some questions for your inner child. If he or she answers, also write it down. You can cry, shout or surrender to any emotion here as this might be painful at the beginning.
Use some or all of the examples of affirmations given above in my post. it is advisable to write a given affirmation more than once, at least three times. In my practice, I use nine or sometimes even twenty-seven times.
Write an apology if you feel like you have neglected your inner child and want to heal that connection. It can also be a simple letter expressing your desire to strengthen the friendship.
However, sometimes it is very hard to write and the emotions can be very painful. You could also want to write a letter full of anger, pain, and hurt - from your inner child's perspective. When you finish, read it and destroy it by burning or shredding it.
Combined Reading And Speaking
You can combine both speaking and writing. After having written a page of affirmations, read them slowly.
While breathing in, imagine yourself as a child being stroked, praised, loved, heard, understood etc. When you breathe out, release all the negative emotions of your inner child, like pain, anger, fear, guilt, and shame.
3. Look At the Pictures From Childhood
Let's go back to your childhood, and saved photos of you. Go through old photo albums and rediscover what your younger self looked like. Do your best to burn the images into your brain. They may serve you well throughout the rest of your inner child work.
For example, put photos of yourself in your wallet or bag, next to your bedside table or around the house. When you look at them, they will remind you of your inner child’s presence.
There is one more thing you can do with your photos. Find some time to sit down and actually recall the child you were then. Think about how you felt, what you liked doing, and at which moment a given photo was taken.
There might be tears, anger and even denial of looking into very painful episodes of your life, even if the photo itself might look nice.
Then you can use writing or shouting to release and pacify negativity. The next step would be visualising that all the negativity from the times captured on a given photo is gone.
Now you turn over the page of your life and stick your old photo as a new you, able to transform pain into happiness.
4. Cultivate Open Space
Your inner child is a vulnerable person. He or she needs a safe space before showing himself or herself up. Many people hide or deny the existence of the inner child because they think it makes them look weak.
They do not want to be mocked while crying or hurt again in any way. To let your inner child shine through, be gentle and affirming. Approach him or her softly, like an animal whose trust you want to gain.
Sit quietly and tell your inner child that you want to know more about him or her, that you are available to talk, and that you want her to feel safe. This may sound silly, but you assess another part of yourself and your unconscious mind in this way.
5. Recreate What You Loved To Do As a Child
Sit down and think about what you loved to do as a child. Climbing trees? Playing with toy blocks? Cuddling toy bears or eating warm porridge?
Make time to include whatever activity you loved to do as a child in your present life. Of course, you will not cuddle toys in public, yet tacking with your children or grandchildren, singing with them the nursery rhymes are possible.
It is important that you make a habit of this “play time” and explore any embarrassment or silliness you feel towards it. You will feel a bit foolish at first, but it is important to keep an open mind. After a while, you will naturally engulfed in your childhood passions and become happier.
6. Listen To Your Feelings
If you want to get in touch with your inner child, pay close attention to feelings that pop up in your daily life. These can be traced back to many of the wonderful and painful experiences of childhood when you were young and impressionable.
You will notice that your inner child's fears and insecurities, as well as his or her joys and feelings of wonder, often unfold into the emotional patterns of your adult life.
Do this small exercise every day. Check it in with yourself, asking, "What am I feeling right now?" Try to put words to these feelings. You can also write down your discoveries in a diary and then release negativity or amplify positivity.
7. Do Your Inner Journey
Making an inner journey is one of the most powerful ways to reconnect with your inner child to heal childhood traumas. You can do it through meditation or visualisation.
In order to do these inner journeys, it is important that you first gain the trust of your inner child through the previous activities. After having developed a strong connection to your inner child, you can then ask him or her to reveal what earlier life circumstances created the trauma you are struggling with today.
I will just give you a short description of visualisation and meditation. Find a peaceful place where you will be undisturbed. Lie down with your eyes closed and imagine that you are travelling to the moment presented in the photo you have viewed recently or to the moment which has just popped into your mind.
While travelling, you can look at these times from the balloon and neutralise negativity, throwing the bubbles of love.
In the case of meditation, you either focus on the parts of your body which were beaten and badly treated in the past. Use the White, Divine Light, the power of angels and other positive beings to clear the pain and bless you with happiness.
8. Be Mindful With Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is one of the biggest obstacles to giving your inner child the attention and care his or her needs. This voice can tell you that you are too old to have childlike insecurities or embrace the silliness of childhood.
Remember that the inner critic begins to develop in childhood. It is a reaction to the inner child being stifled. Hence your inner critic is a part of your inner child who has been let down or hurt but avoids buying. You need to transform this critical energy.
Start by responding to your inner critic by saying
"I understand where you're coming from. I understand that you're hurt. I'm here for you."
Another useful response may be:
"Yes, this is a little silly. But this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now. Can you please take a break and let me do this?"
However, then say
"OK, you have said what you wanted to say. Now I will tell you that this child is wonderful, I love him/her, I believe in him/her and am proud of him/her, no matter what mistakes he/she has made. We are all humans."
In A Nutshell
Working with your inner child can be painful and is not easy at times. However, by making an effort you will heal this part of yourself.
Techniques that you can use comprise journaling, self-talking to the mirror and saying affirmations. You can also play with your inner child and reflect on old photos. Good luck with healing your inner child. With lots of love and light,
Vicky is an experienced holistic writer and coach that inspires, motivates, and encourages everyone to become the best version of themselves - physically, mentally, and spiritually.
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