What is an Inner Child? Your inner child is simply the part of you that represents your true self. The person you’ve always been, who may or may not have spent your entire life hidden and safe, locked inside your heart and brain. There is a part of you that is innocent and playful and vulnerable. Often that part of you is yearning to break free and be loved and appreciated by you and those who are dear to you.
The purpose of this article is to put you in touch with that inner child, and teach you how to appreciate them.
Now let’s do a little exercise:
Take a moment and think about who raised you? Name them… who were they?
Now, think about, and write down, the ways in which they parented you, both the helpful and not so helpful. Be very honest – you can’t achieve your goals by downplaying the negative or overemphasizing the positive.
An example of this exercise may look like:
“My father would give me the silent treatment, never hugged me, called me names, and physically abused me.”
“My mother was very attentive, she did everything for me, her kids were her world. She was patient, kind, and always supportive of us.”
These are very one-sided statements though.
Try to think about BOTH the good and the not so good that the people in your life lived out. For instance, your mom may have been wonderful, but she may have shamed you into eating all of your dinner, whether you were hungry or not. Try to make note of both sides of the coin. Your list can be as long as it needs to be in order to capture the whole picture.
Now, take a moment and reflect. Ask yourself:
How does your life resemble these patterns?
Do you shut down, go silent?
Do you call people names?
Are you patient?
What traits and habits have you brought into your adulthood from your childhood?
What impact has your childhood had on you, again both helpful and not so helpful?
In what ways are these traits and habits impacting your intimate partnerships?
Can you see a correlation yet?
In order to break a cycle of painful or negative behavior, you must be willing to heal your past and nurture that inner child, who needs some attention. The pain that you experienced then, you can forgive and work through NOW. Only you can break the pattern and end the cycle.
You deserve to be healthy and whole. You deserve to heal the wounds of your past. I can tell you from personal experience, when you do this incredibly important work on your inner child, it will literally change your life. Get started today – you owe it to YOU!