Five Steps to Healing Your Inner ChildJan 16, 2023
As a woman, you deserve it all. You deserve to have healthy boundaries, emotional well-being, and healthy relationships. But for many women, childhood wounds and hurts keep them from experiencing healing and bliss.
Sometimes, a woman might have so much success in her life - professionally, academically, or in business - but she may struggle with her emotions and relationships in a way that makes her feel like a hurt or sad little girl again.
You're not alone if you are struggling in this area. Inner child wounds - those hurts from childhood - are real. You probably have been hearing about inner child work, inner work, self-work, or healing your wounds. It simply means working through past hurts so that, as an adult, you're not acting from a place of hurt or constantly being triggered by past experiences.
So, what are some of the things you can do to make your inner child feel safer? To begin to make your inner child feel healed? How can you begin to let go of the past, be present, and look forward to the future?
Here are five practical tips that can get you started. Remember, this does not replace therapy, but rather it's a way for you to work on feeling whole and happy.
1. One of the most important steps for healing your inner child is acknowledging the pain, the wound, what happened, and how it's affecting you.
I cannot emphasize enough how important of a step this is. So many of us have had to learn to cut ourselves off from our feelings growing up, so acknowledging those feelings is essential.
This step is often the most challenging, especially for women raised to be strong. Many people say to me, "I don't have time to acknowledge stuff that happened in the past. I don't have time to think about who hurt me, and I don't want to write this stuff down."
Those feelings are normal, but you have to start by giving yourself permission to go through this process and stop running from what broke you in the first place.
2. Next, you have to start listening to your inner child. And usually, our inner child will talk in its own code or language, such as the emotions or bodily sensations we feel when triggered. So you want to listen to your emotions and your body.
Some things to pay attention to are:
- Are there times or situations where you feel like something isn't right in your gut?
- Or do you start to get sweaty or feel your heart race?
- Do you suddenly feel angry or sad without knowing why?
These are often signs that your inner child is trying to communicate what it's feeling or needs. You don't have to do anything initially except notice and pay attention. This is the listening stage.
3. The third thing is you also want to start a dialogue with your inner child. Journaling is a great way to do this. (BTW, I developed a journaling course where I walk you through how to work on some of these past issues using different journaling exercises.) I tell my clients to take themselves back to that six-year-old child who felt unheard and unseen. Ask her what she needs and wants to say to the adult version of herself.
This kind of inner child dialogue is about allowing yourself to write freely. Your goal is to be authentic and let the words flow.
4. You also want to develop a practice that will keep you focused in the present. And this is where mindfulness and meditation come in. Because these practices keep you grounded in the present, you are less likely to become overwhelmed as you explore some of the things you experienced in the past.
Once you start learning to be more present, you can learn to tap into your joyful inner child. This part of us is happy and still experiences the childlike wonder and excitement we often lose touch with as we age. We all have a lively inner child that we want to share again.
5 . Finally, you must reach a point where you learn to care for, nourish, and re-parent yourself. Whatever and whoever failed you when you were younger will not rescue you now as an adult. While it is unfortunate that you were hurt or didn't get all you wanted and deserved as a child, you have to take responsibility for your healing as an adult.
We must face the reality that we can no longer use the past as an excuse to neglect ourselves in the present.
Reparenting and caring for yourself can start with scheduling time to do small things that are relaxing and bring you joy.
- Coloring - I mean, who doesn't remember coloring as a child? I love those adult coloring books or other fun books that have nothing to do with work
- Taking a bubble bath and having fun playing in the bubbles
- Putting on some fun pajamas and eating ice cream in bed
- Walking in the rain
- Anything else that is fun and will take little effort
It's important to be very intentional throughout this process because doing this work can take emotional energy. So you have to be intentional about:
- Increasing your self-care
- Getting enough rest
- Eating well
- Moving your body
- Practicing breathing exercises
These five steps will give you awareness, acceptance, and healing. And THAT's how you honor yourself and heal your inner child.
I would love to hear what steps work for you and how your journey progresses. Drop a comment below.
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