You may feel disconnected at times and experience an abrupt surge of emotions. It is possible that your inner child is acting out and asking for your attention. Inner child work is essential for thriving in various aspects of life. Recent studies have revealed that reconnecting with the lost part of your childhood provides a greater ability to cope with trauma or disappointments in life. It will make you more resilient and capable of facing difficulties head-on without feeling overpowered by them.

John Bradshaw, in his famous book “Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child,” emphasizes that addictive and destructive behaviors are often caused by dysfunctional family systems. The toxic family system leaves dark imprints on your personality, which are carried along into adulthood unknowingly.

A toxic family or trauma is not your fault, but you can take control of your life by doing inner child work and fostering healthy relationships. I would recommend John Bradshaw’s book as it deals with multiple stages of life and has helped me understand the root cause of my irrational behaviors.

If you are not a book lover, then the following post might give you some ideas about reparenting your inner child and reclaiming the lost part of your childhood.

How to Heal Your Inner Child?

Healing is a non-linear process. It is frustrating and time-consuming. Yet, it is the best gift you can give yourself. Inner child healing involves diving deep into your past and addressing the scars. Some things that you can do to heal your inner child are:

1. Acknowledgment:

Acknowledging and accepting emotional wounds requires courage but is the cornerstone for healing. Acknowledge and embrace your past. Identify that there is an inner child within you who is feeling lost and carrying unresolved emotions from the past. Your current behaviors and struggles might be related to those emotions.

2: Connection:

Find a quiet corner where you can easily relax without being disturbed. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and imagine yourself as a child. Visualize yourself meeting with your child version in a safe environment. Allow the emotions to arise and feel them. Don’t try to bottle them up or stop them. Whatever you are feeling is valid.

3: Validation:

Are you being too harsh on yourself? Or do you not pay attention to your own needs? It’s time to listen to the voice of your inner child without judging. Validate the pain, fear, sadness, or hurt that he/she may have felt. Be kind and compassionate, just as you would be to anyone else in the same situation. Be mindful of not criticizing the child and be patient.

4: Identification:

Identify the past wounds by reflecting on your childhood experiences. Try to find the painful events and what your emotions were at that time. This may involve evaluating relationships with caregivers, past neglect, abandonment, or any other traumatic experiences. I would suggest working with a therapist if you feel deeply disturbed by the past. A qualified professional will help you navigate the past without feeling overwhelmed.

5: Self-Care:

Treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Engage in activities that make you happy to nurture your inner child. It can be any hobby, creative pursuit, a walk in nature, or seeking support from your loved ones. Remember that you are worthy of living and you have every right to enjoy your mere existence. Don’t let anyone or anything take that away from you.

6: Re-parent:

Be a kind, loving parent to your inner child. Be supportive and communicate with him/her. You can write letters to your inner child and provide much-needed comfort. It is often recommended that you use your dominant hand to write letters as your adult self, while the non-dominant hand can be used to write as the inner child. Constantly remind yourself of your value and how you make this world a better place to live in.

7: Healing Techniques:

Various techniques can help in healing the inner child, such as visualization, journaling, art therapy, meditation, or somatic experiencing. Make a habit of journaling and writing your heart out without bothering about grammar or spelling mistakes. Write freely and read it aloud afterward to understand your feelings. Explore and try various options until you find the most suitable technique.

8: Forgiveness:

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. Forgive the past and don’t dwell on what could have been. Past failures and guilt will make damage your self-esteem. Self-hate and self-blame will keep you stuck in negative thoughts. Letting go of frustration, resentment, anger, and self-blame will be liberating, as you will have more emotional energy available for healing.

9: Mindfulness:

Cultivate mindfulness as it will reduce stress, improve concentration, and help you be more present. Keep checking your emotions and thinking patterns to ensure that they are not harming you. Mindfulness will also regulate emotions so that you are not feeling overwhelmed by them. It brings clarity to thought and improves self-acceptance.

10: Professional Help:

Seek professional help as it will provide you with the essential tools for overcoming past traumas. A therapist can help you explore the inner child’s needs in a safe space and address them accordingly. Please remember that you need to do the work and don’t expect the therapist to reparent your inner child. You are going to do the heavy lifting, but a therapist is there to help.

Conclusion:

Remember that healing your inner child is a gradual and ongoing process. Don’t expect huge changes overnight. It may take months, years, or even decades, depending on your circumstances and commitment. Don’t feel disappointed if you feel stuck. Hang in there. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Most importantly, allow yourself the time and space needed to heal and grow.

Have you ever tried to reconnect with your inner child? What worked for you? I would love to hear about your experiences as it will boost my motivation to keep navigating this tricky path of healing. Looking forward to your comments.