Healing the Inner Child
By Angel Shadow
Inside each and every one of us is an inner child. This child is either healthy, happy and adjusted or it's unhealthy, frightened and in chaos. It should only take you a few moments to realize if your inner child is hiding, for it will manifest itself in your everyday adult life.
Simply take a look at your programmed reactions, for they are the key. These reactions are often overlooked because you won't even realize you're doing it. It simply IS what it IS. Once you become aware of that, you'll understand what part of your inner child needs healing. Issues like lack of trust, low self-esteem, not feeling safe, anger and regret most likely stem from not healing an area of your childhood. Your "adult" self is simply reacting the way it's always reacted and it had to start somewhere.
A healthy inner child equals a healthy, well-adjusted adult. We all have issues that come up in life, but an emotionally healthy adult can deal with these issues in an emotionally healthy way. There is no blame. No pity party. No drama. No constant need for acknowledgement. Emotionally healthy adults know exactly who they are and do not need outside acknowledgement from others.
To heal this wounded, inner child, you first need to locate them. This is not always easy because they are the masters of hide and seek. Many times, you'll breeze right past them, not even knowing they're there. Part of them wants to reach out and say, "I'm here! Please find me!" While another part says, "Be quiet! Don't let them find your hiding place! It's safe here!" So become aware. Stay alert and find that inner child.
Once you find them, the task of getting them out of their hiding place takes time. You may have to sit with them for hours at a time, day after day, for months, just to get them to take a step. Slowly, but surely, a new trust will begin to develop and eventually, they will take your hand and walk out of the darkness. At first, you may do most of the talking, but eventually, with patience, they will begin to open up and a new world of understanding will be released. After talking to this inner child, everything will begin to make sense.
Think of this "little" part of yourself as a lost, restless spirit, wandering the same area of time and space. Reliving the same trauma and chaos that they couldn't escape from. Because they are a part of you, their reactions to these unhealed events will have carried with you into your adulthood and will continue to dictate your emotional responses to the life you are currently attempting to live. Once you get them to come out of hiding and open up, you can build a new reality together. One based on trust and an understanding of "why."
Healing the inner child requires you to take the following steps:
- Find the child. Tune in to them and your search will be an easy one.
- Acceptance of what you find and learn about this "little" one. The knowledge you gain from this inner child will most likely be painful. Accept it and work through it.
- Talk to the child. Dig until you find the core issue.
- Have patience! It may take some time for them to open up. They've been programmed to remain hidden and silent.
- Get them out of their hiding place. Hold their hand and prove to them you can be trusted. Remember, they are a part of you and what's really happening is you are not trusting yourself.
Complete healing will take some time. It's alright to keep this wounded inner child with you... actually, I encourage it. Remember, they ARE YOU! The more time they spend (with you) healing the issues of the past, the more adjusted and healed you (as an adult) will become. So don't be afraid to locate that lost, little part of yourself. They have been in hiding for a long time...waiting for healing and understanding to come. Listen to them, for they hold the answers. Be willing to accept what they have to say or they will retreat into hiding once again. They need to feel that they can trust again... that they will not be abandoned.
With time and patience, that wounded inner child will become trusting and full of life once again. Treat them the way you wish to be treated... remember, you are literally healing yourself.
My childhood was full of abuse and neglect, which lead me to my volunteer abuse work. It also lead to anxiety and panic attacks, which I suffered from for years, so I'm dedicated to helping others in that area as well. I have now found my own personal freedom, based on my own personal truth and nothing could be more liberating.