What is your inner child?
Your inner child is the child you were, with both negative and positive aspects. Our unmet needs, our suppressed childhood emotions along with our childlike innocence, creativity and joy are all still within us.
Our repressed emotions are are the things we learnt to do or to feel to allow our parents to love us. Examples; if you only received attention when you were good, your inner child maybe rebellious, sad or angry. If you were part of trauma or abuse your inner child would hide pain and fear to survive. By accessing your inner child you find the roots of issues or patterns in your life as an adult.
Signs of having a wounded inner child are:
- Low self-esteem, poor body image
- Mood and emotional imbalances
- Problems with boundaries being too rigid or too weak
- Problems with eating
- Harming yourself
- Psychosexual difficulties
- Identity problems being a rebel/a hoarder/ a bully/ a perennial victim or a super-achiever
- Intimacy problems
- Commitment problems
- A general lack of trust in yourself and others
- Criminal behaviour, excessive lying
- Being ‘overly- responsible’ for others
- Being fiercely competitive and a poor loser
- Dependencies and addictions
- Obsessive and needy behaviour
- Fear of authority figures
- Being manipulative, passive or aggressive
We are not born with any of these issues, they are created in our subconscious by our environment and people during our informative years. Our informative years between birth and seven years old is the time when we absorb our experiences and are unable to verbalise our thoughts.
We create masks to hold and conceal our low self-esteem, family trauma, secrets and our shame. These are often not spoken about; however, they affect how we were treated by our family and friends. We need to be able to accept that we were shamed, ignored or betrayed by our parents and how this has truly wounded our soul/inner child. Our parents were not bad they were just wounded kids themselves.
We show these masks when we have negative thoughts, emotions, self-doubt or self-loathing that overwhelms us and we are then more likely to turn to drugs, food and alcohol to numb the feelings. Therapy will help you peel off the masks that we created as children to help us survive these experiences; once we begin to do this, we can then live lives without having to numb our feeling and emotions with stimulants.
Things You Can Do Yourself:
- Take a few moments to think about the happy memories of your childhood.
- Remind yourself how special you were and still are.
- When the inner critic voice surfaces, stop… take some deep breaths reply to yourself with a soothing, comforting, nurturing inner voice.
- Tell the inner child (you as a child) how much she is loved, valued and appreciated.
- Your inner child has nothing to feel guilty or ashamed of, none of this was her/his fault.
- Watch loving mothers with their babies and absorb the loving energy.
- Imagine sitting with your inner child (you as a baby or toddler).
- Allow the true feelings of your childhood to emerge and let the emotions flow. Let the tears flow and to release the anger hit a pillow.
If doing any of the above brings up anger and shock, then you are on the path to healing, shock is the beginning of grief. Do not feel bad about feeling angry, even if none of your wounding was intentional. Your parents did the best they could as wounded adults themselves.
As victimised children, we must grieve our betrayal and shame, what may have been our dreams or goals in life, and our unfulfilled developmental needs.
We must help our wounded inner child realise there was nothing he/she could have done differently, the pain of what happened to him/her is what needs to be grieved and healed.
When we feel we are bad or contaminated, this shame can lead to loneliness. Our inner child may feel flawed and defective; therefore they cover up their true self, with their mask/defence they used to get through life, creating a false self. Their true self, therefore, feels isolated. As we work on this level through therapy we can embrace the feelings and heal the self that has been in hiding. What we hide from others we hide from ourselves also. In coming to terms with our shame, abandonment and hidden feelings we begin to embrace and love our true self/soul.
If you have more questions, then email me at https://soul-essence.com/contact/