An inner child healing may be something to pursue if you find yourself engaging in much self-sabotage. That is often the result of past traumas causing us to protect ourselves in ways that may actually be keeping us from our dreams.
We all have an inner child... we also have an inner parent we can call on to heal past traumas experienced in childhood.
We all have an “inner child” inside of us, no matter what our current age is. Some of us are more in touch with it than others, but it’s there in all of us. Hurts and traumas that we experienced as children can often stay with us as adults and block us from experiencing our highest good. In that case, we may need to do some inner child healing to be able to progress past those emotional blocks.
Years ago I was in an inner child healing group led by a wonderful counselor named Cristi Cubito. She taught that we have three parts of ourselves inside us: the Parent/Adult, the Child, and the Critic. You have thoughts and feelings that come from each of these parts of you. For example, if someone hurt your feelings, you may have a gut reaction of feeling bullied like when you were a child. Painful experiences you had as a child can linger on inside you as an adult if the injury isn’t resolved. Various events, people, or things someone might say to you can trigger a memory of that original injury and bring up the pain all over again, preventing you from living your best life in the present. It’s helpful to realize that it is your inner child that is in control of your emotions when you relive these past pains. Your Child is hurting, feeling victimized or bullied, and then your Critic chimes in to chastise you for being so weak. But you can call on your inner Parent/Adult to be in charge and begin to heal this situation.
I experienced a powerful inner child healing meditation that I want to share with you. In your relaxed, meditative state, visualize your Child... the age that you imagine your Child to be might be the same age that you were when the trauma or injury actually took place. Go with whatever comes to mind when picturing your inner child.
If you detect any commotion from your Critic, such as thoughts like “what is wrong with you” or “why are you being such a crybaby” or whatever it is, just visualize your Parent/Adult saying lovingly but firmly “be quiet now... thank you for your input but you need to hush now.”
Now picture your Parent/Adult asking your Child “how are you?” Just let your Child express whatever emotion comes naturally,. Maybe your child is happy - if so, let your Parent/Adult acknowledge and support that. If your Child is sad, scared, or angry, visualize your Parent/Adult gently comforting your Child. Tell your Child that you (your Parent/Adult) are here to protect the Child and that you love and cherish your Child. Give the Child all the nurturing support that you can imagine a good loving parent would give. Hold your Child until the Child is comforted and it feels ok to let go. And tell that Child that you can easily come back here again any time the Child feels bad, and that you will be there for comfort and to say “it’s all going to be ok.” And when your Child is calmed down, you can visualize him or her going out to play, newly encouraged.
This is an extremely powerful exercise and goes a long way to allowing yourself to become fully self empowered.
Written by Tony and Cristi Cubito, Couple's Journey is a journal to help couples grow in love and support, including inner child healing exercises. The book is currently out of print, but you can find used copies on Amazon. It's a beautiful book worth seeking out.