How to Move Forward by Reclaiming Your Inner Child
“In my soul, I am still that small child who did not care about anything else but the beautiful colors of a rainbow”. ~ Papiha Ghosh
You are enough. You are beautiful. You are meant to be in this world. But somehow this gets lost, downplayed or even muted from circumstances outside our own. As children we’re young and naïve, simply yearning to feel loved and supported. But if your infancy needs were not met this wounded inner child ultimately stays with you emotionally, mentally and energetically. And while
we may not remember everything about our childhood the body remembers.
This can manifest in adult life in a multitude of ways such as trust and intimacy issues, addictive/compulsive behaviours, narcissistic disorders and depression. Without a healthy inner life we look for fulfilment outside ourselves. We live a life believing something or someone else can complete us, make us happy and at peace. When in fact, to move forward in life we must reclaim and heal our own inner child, because true fulfilment and peace must come from within.
Sometimes we can get caught up in the blame game, making excuse for why we are the we are or why we think the way we think, which usually includes reflecting on our childhood and how our parents raised or didn’t raise us. But truth is, most of the time, our parents did the best they could with what they knew and had themselves. And believe me, as a mother, I’m doing the best I can with what I got! But there comes a time in your adult life where you must stop playing the victim and take responsibility for your own happiness.
If you want to free yourself from the past you need to do the work to reclaim and heal your inner child.
From my own personal experience of doing inner child work as well as my coaching clients, I’m here to tell you it’s never to too late to heal yourself and move forward towards a healthy and happy life. It’s never too late to acknowledge him/her and start to give them the love and attention you so innocently craved for. Those childhood emotions that have been repressed need space and time to flow freely, to become unstuck so that your body, mind and spirit can truly let go and free itself from the pain and grief.
To address the unmet needs of your inner child you can create a dialogue with him/her. Here is an exercise to reclaim and heal your inner child and move forward in your life. You will need a pen, paper, a photo of you as a child, and a box of tissue.
1. Focus on a photo of yourself as a child for a few minutes.
2. Feel and see what the child part of you wants.
3. Just observe your reaction without any judgement.
4. Writing with your dominant hand as the adult you begin the dialogue with your inner child like so,
Dear little ENTER YOUR NAME HERE,
What’s it like to be you? Is there anything you need from me? Tell me how you’re feeling.
5. Then with your non-dominant hand reply as your younger self
6. Continue having a dialogue between your younger self with the adult you are now interchanging, asking/writing with your dominant hand (adult) and responding/writing with your non-dominant hand (younger self).
7. The adult you always address your younger self:
Dear little ENTER YOUR NAME HERE, …
There is no time limit and I encourage you to write freely, pen to paper, without editing as this keeps the flow.
Here are some suggestions you can use as a prompt when speaking with your inner child. Remember always use your non-dominant hand when replying as your younger self. The inner child often communicates with images and pictures and colours so do not limit yourself to words and have some coloured pencils accessible.
Getting to know your younger self:
- What do you like to be called?
- What do you like to do?
- Where do you like to play?
- What is your favourite toy or game?
- Who do you think is really fun?
- What is your favourite food?
- What makes you laugh?
- Whom do you like to be with the most?
- Whom do you miss the most?
- What makes you feel sad?
- Who do you love the most in the whole world?
- What do you daydream about?
- Who’s your best friend?
Your childhood story:
- Describe your childhood in 3-5 individual words
- Sit in stillness and reflect on feelings or memories associated with these words.
- Take the next 15-20 minutes to write out your childhood story using words, pencils, drawings, and colours – including a drawing of yourself.
- Are there any people or situations that make you feel unsafe, scared or sad?
- What is happening in your body?
- What do you feel?
- What do you need from me?
Complete this exercise by writing out a promise and commitment to your inner child about how and what you will do to meet his/her needs.
Some of us may have spent many years living with pain and grief from our childhood and so it may take time. Transformation and healing is not overnight, but you can be assured that any small step in the right direction, moving forward, will have an exponential effect on your life, your peace and your happiness. Be gentle and kind with yourself – your inner child and your adult self.
As always, I’d love connecting with you and hear how your experience of how you’ve reclaimed and healing your inner child. Head over to the comments section below to share your thoughts.
With love and gratitude,
P.S. Join my FREE private community On Purpose Collective so you can connect with a global group of like-minded people and where I facilitate live weekly & multi-day trainings.