What is your inner child telling you?
Is your inner child scared of everything? Is your inner child a little brat who wants everything done their way? Does your inner child convince you that you’ll never be good enough?
I know that the idea of having an inner child is foreign to many people. When I start to do inner child work with my clients in my counseling and hypnosis practice, they are often a little hesitant to embrace this idea. But whether you like it or not, you have a part of you that never fully grew up or fully healed the pain of the past.
Think about all the emotions and behaviors that you try to change, but seem to stick around no matter what you try. These emotions and behaviors are rooted in an experience or belief from long ago and are not easy to let go. From birth until about 7 years old, we are at our most open and easily influenced stage of our lives. Our beliefs about ourselves and others are formed during this time based on what we experience.
What did you learn until the age of 7, and beyond? Were you given the feeling that your home was a safe place? Were you ignored? Were you abused? Were you valued and cared for? The answers to these questions can give you an idea about how your inner child affects you.
My inner child tells me that I have to be perfect in order for people to love me. She tells me that my worth is based on what I do for others and that my needs are not important. She tells me that I need to try to please others in order for them to like me.
My childhood and life experiences lead to these beliefs which in turn lead to emotions and behaviors that accompany them. When I am not perfect, I feel anxious, worried. I say yes when I mean no, otherwise I feel guilty and ashamed.
My adult brain logically knows that none of these things are true. I know rationally that I should take care of myself, that I am important and that my friends and family will love me no matter what. I understand that I should set boundaries in order to be healthy and happy.
The trouble is that my inner child never learned this and she is still trying to get me to go along with her program. She doesn’t feel safe with me following my logical brain.
Do you relate to this? Do you have beliefs and behaviors that you know rationally don’t make sense, but you do them anyway?
So what are we supposed to do with this inner child then? If my inner child has made a permanent impression on my psyche, how can I ever change?
The answer is that I need to heal her. I need to tell her what she didn’t know back then. And by tell her, I mean tell myself. I need to say all the things that I needed to hear as a child. When I am afraid, I need to remind myself that I am safe. When I feel guilty, I need to let myself off the hook and support my own needs. I need to tell myself that I am worthy, loved and important.
I can’t reason with my inner child and because of that I can’t talk myself into stopping the perfectionist and people pleasing behaviors.
My inner child doesn’t need to a reality check, she needs comfort and safety. She needs acceptance. Healing my inner child means that when I am weak, scared or sad, I get to be the source of my own strength. I can convince my inner child that she is okay through my self love.
The amazing thing about my inner child is that she also a source of fun! When I am dancing, painting, playing or creating, my inner child is at her best. I choose to let her come out when it’s time to play and then tell her to take a rest when it’s time to get some hard shit done.
Because children don’t know how to get shit done. And when they do, it turns out badly.
The next time you are under pressure, feeling anxious or insecure check in with you inner child. Is it messing with you? Is it making life more difficult because it doesn’t know any better? If you can answer those questions, you can find out what kind of comfort your inner child is seeking and provide it.
Curious to learn more about this or schedule an appointment to get in touch with your inner child? Email me or drop a question in the comments!