We all have an inner child. This is the playful, light part of ourselves that is often carefree and happy. When we are in touch with this inner child, we tend to walk through life with more joy and ease.
For some people, this part of themselves is easy to access. For others, this can be more difficult. Many people experience childhood feeling hurt and unsupported. The challenges they face today are the resurfacing of their deeply buried emotional pain.
It’s hard to allow your child-like sense of playfulness and wonder to emerge if all you’ve ever known is to suppress it — to protect it from the pain of trauma or neglect. Still, if we want our happiest, freest adult selves to emerge, our inner child is someone we must learn from.
When you can connect with your inner child, it can positively influence how you carry yourself in your adult life. So if you are ready to begin healing your inner child, here are five ways to start:
The first step is acknowledging the presence of your inner child. This may seem obvious, but for many people, it’s not. Once you’re able to identify this part of yourself, you can start working on developing a relationship with them.
Listen to them.
Listening to your inner child means listening to the emotions and feelings you experience today.
Be present and allow the strong emotions and discomfort to surface. Whether it’s feelings of anger, shame, insecurity, or rejection, it’s never easy to sit with our childhood pain. However, listening to these emotions is the best way to understand them.
Tracing these emotions back to childhood helps you see why you act certain ways today. For instance, a constant need for approval might be connected to not feeling valued as a child.
This process – which you can try through mindfulness meditation or journaling – can be painful at first. But just as you would with a friend, try to listen to your inner child without judgment. They may have some things to share with you that are difficult to hear. Ultimately, your pain can transform into relief once you realize just how much was out of your control.
Talk to them.
Once you’ve established a connection with your inner child, talk to them. Imagine yourself sitting down with your inner child and having a conversation, or consider writing your inner child a letter. What do they want to tell you? What do they need?
Share with them the things you’ve learned today as an adult. For instance, “I know now that it wasn’t your fault that mom and dad got divorced. I’m sorry you had to go through that.” Reassure them that they are safe now and that you’re there for them.
Many of us need reassurance as children but never receive it. We may have been ignored, neglected, or told we were worthless. As adults, we can give ourselves the compassion and understanding we needed as children.
Give them what they need.
This step is about giving your inner child the love, attention, and care they needed but didn’t receive in childhood.
You can do this in several ways. You can do things that make you feel good, like getting a massage, taking yourself on vacation, or buying yourself flowers. You can give yourself permission to play more and have fun.
You can also work on building healthier relationships with the people in your life. This includes setting boundaries, learning to communicate effectively, and developing a support network. These things will help you feel more connected and less alone.
Finally, you can work on developing self-compassion. Practice being kind and understanding towards yourself, especially when you make mistakes.
Create a safe space for them.
Find a safe space for both your inner child and present-day you to work through the pain while feeling seen, heard, and valued.
Working through the pain of your childhood is not easy. It takes time, patience, and often outside help to work through these emotions. However, it’s so worth it to be able to heal your inner child finally.
If you’re not sure where to start, therapy is a place where you can express your innermost thoughts and feelings without judgment or criticism. But even with a modern talk therapy approach, it can still be a challenge to understand and love ourselves today when our pain and triggers are so deeply rooted in our past.
When our inner child is one we don’t necessarily want to emerge, we sometimes need more guidance — a positive shift in our mental state that can allow us to see things more clearly. This is where Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) comes into play.
KAP is a modern approach to psychotherapy that can safely and effectively help you open the doors to your past to open new doors to your future.
Healing your inner child is a lifelong process. It’s not something that happens overnight. But with Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, you can begin to develop a more compassionate relationship with yourself more quickly – and start living a happier, more fulfilling life.
If you’re interested in learning more about KAP and how it can help you heal your inner child, contact us today.