I’d like to share with you what I have learned from Inner Child Healing, from both studying it and using it as a healing technique for myself.
I believe we are all little children trapped inside adult bodies just yearning to be:
Visually, we appear to be grown-ups. We may even believe that we are maturing into a fully fledged adult with every passing birthday, but unless you do some work on healing the subconscious wounds your inner child is hanging onto, then you will sadly continue to live out the same patterns, beliefs and behaviours from your childhood. If we’re not careful, we go through life on autopilot, without realising we have an issue.
If you’ve ever wondered why you feel so rejected when you don’t get the attention or acceptance you desire from someone, then that’s your inner child yearning to be accepted. It’s looking for the acceptance, attention or love that it didn’t receive from your parents as a child.
So, what exactly is Inner Child Healing?
In short, Inner Child Healing is all about pointing a light and shining it directly on those fragmented parts of ourselves. We have to acknowledge them and call them back in, to give them love so that we can integrate them, allowing ourselves to show up fully.
If we refuse to recognise these parts of ourselves, they are left to fester in our shadow. This shadow is what forms our conflicting unconscious behaviours, and where we often find ourselves reacting in ways we don’t understand, or perhaps are not even aware of.
Pulling back from intimacy.
Sudden bursts of anger.
Escapism by depending on alcohol or smoking.
These behaviors are responsible for holding us back from showing up and fully being our authentic selves.
Making the decision to do this type of work means that you must first be able to accept and process your own healing journey.
These parts of who we are live deep in our subconscious. They can be difficult for us to become aware of by ourselves, which is why you need to be able to work with someone who can help you to acknowledge and express your feelings around your childhood traumas.
Your Inner Child is part of your subconscious mind – this part of our brain is responsible for around 95% of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Most of us think we are consciously in control of what we think. However, the truth is by the time we are 35, our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are highly predictable and essentially pre-programmed. Most of it is completely outside of our control on a day-to-day basis.
And often, because our Inner Child has been so neglected/suppressed, many of our thoughts are actually fuelled by feelings of judgment, rejection, abandonment or being misunderstood.
Low self-esteem and confidence can be traced back to the formative first 7 years in early childhood. This is where your brain is primarily functioning in the subconscious mind. This makes it susceptible to internalise whatever is happening in the external environment around you.
So, if you grew up in a hostile environment with emotionally unavailable, volatile or abusive parents, it is highly likely that your inner child does not feel seen, heard, held, felt, understood or worthy of love.
Ironically, I grew up believing that there was nothing wrong with my childhood.
I received messaging like, “you have to be strong for other people”, “don’t be too emotional” and “place others before your own needs”, and as I began diving deeper into my own childhood and healing, I kept uncovering layers and layers of trauma that had been masking who I truly was as a person underneath all the conditioning.
Tell me, how many of these can you relate to?
Do you now see what I mean by all of us walking around with childhood trauma and carrying it into our adult lives, perhaps without even knowing it?
By the time we are 8, around 85% of the neural pathways in our brains are completely hardwired. Meaning that those predictable thoughts, feelings and behaviours in our sub-conncious mind are almost fully developed, before we’ve even hit double digits. Crazy, right?
Typically we are completely unaware of the things going on in our heads, hence why we end up reacting to new situations (even as adults) the same way we probably would have as a kid. We do this, even if the same threat or need for validation doesn’t exist anymore because it’s all our brains know.
This can also explain why any success that we feel is sometimes short lived. Our brains immediately start preparing for the next defence once the safe moment has passed. It’s quite frankly exhausting and explains a huge amount of the societal issues we are now facing as a collective.
So, by doing this Inner Child Healing work, it helps you to be connected to the parts of you which were traumatised. Being able to unearth these developments around our past traumas can help release our Inner Child from threats that no longer exist and take back the reins.
Healing allows you to understand and recognise your own patterns so that you can begin to live a fun, free and fulfilled life.
You can come back to this work whenever you feel triggered. It’s a continuous journey.
Listen to yourself, because you know you better than anyone. Start to really pay attention so that you can be aware of when, how and why certain feelings arise. Take note of when you have a scary thought or feeling and how it shows up in your body. Whenever you notice that there’s an aspect of yourself that may be holding back, what is your younger self trying to tell you?
It also works the other way. When you are feeling overly positive or good about something, that Inner Child is jumping around inside you. Full of excitement and happiness for being seen or heard.
Be gentle with yourself because this kind of healing can be very triggering and there may be things that have been buried deep for a long time. You’re ultimately reparenting yourself, finding a connection and healing those needs and desires that were not fulfilled as a child.
There are some things that may help you once you begin this journey.
If you are a book lover, there are some wonderful resources out there. Author Susan Anderson explains in her book The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, how there are three parts to healing when working with our inner child. She has several other books on the topic.
I also came across some beautiful meditations when writing this blog post. This one is an easy-to-listen-to guided meditation by Great Meditation.
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I am a Soulful Confidence Coach on a mission to help ambitious, driven women unearth their limiting beliefs and step into their power. I work with women who are are ready to shatter their fears and self-doubt so they can express themselves confidently at work and in relationships.
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