Inner Child Healing

A Guided Meditation

Get comfortable and let’s try this guided meditation together: Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it, then blow out through your mouth. Do that four more times. Next, I want you to think of a time when you were younger and you felt like you needed someone. Think of where you were living at this time. I want you to picture this house you were living in. Stand outside of this house. Now, take a look around. For example, see the color of the house, notice the yard, the cars in the driveway. Additionally, listen to the sounds of the neighborhood. Finally, walk into your childhood house. Look around. Notice the pictures on the walls, touch the furniture, find your favorite knickknacks, smell all the smells. Walk around the house, trace the walls with your fingertips.

I want you to find your old bedroom. The door is closed. Behind that door is a younger you. A younger you who is having a hard time and needs someone. I want you to open the door to your bedroom and see your younger self. What does younger you need? Someone to hold you? To hug you? To tell you that everything is going to be alright? Do you need someone to make you feel protected? Safe? On the other hand, do you need to be seen? To be heard? To be told that you matter? Do you need someone to just acknowledge you and play with your toys with you? Or do you need someone to help you? Do you need to feel loved?

Spend some time with younger you, doing whatever it is you needed at that time in your life. Sit here for a few moments, holding space for your younger self to feel the things they so desperately crave to feel. After you have sat with younger you for some time, I would like for you to say “goodbye for now” to little you. Take one last look around your bedroom before you leave, closing the door behind you. Take a few last moments looking around your home, smelling the smells, and touching the walls. As you leave your childhood home and find yourself closing the front door, look around your neighborhood one last time. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it, and let it out through your mouth. Come back to the present time.

 

Carl Jung and Inner Child Healing

Last week, during a group, we did this exact meditation with the clients. With Halloween being this past weekend, it was a perfect time to shine a light on those inner children. Candy, decorations, costumes, games, pumpkin carving. All things that tickle the kid in us! Carl Jung first proposed the idea of inner child healing after he examined his own childlike inner-feelings and emotions. When wounded, these inner children negatively influence who we are as adults, holding enormous power over our relationships and decisions. However, your inner child can also lend you strength. In fact, regaining youthful feelings of wonder, optimism, and simple joy in life can help with confidence and your well-being!

 

The Little You Inside

Your inner child is exactly what it sounds like. Specifically, little you inside of adult you. In other words, the you that comes out when you see a rainbow, go to a theme park, play a board game, etc. Everyone has an inner child. However, if your inner child is wounded, they may not feel safe enough to come out and play. Your inner child may feel damaged or forgotten about. “Inner children are the lens through which injured adults make their decisions.” The first step in healing your inner child is to acknowledge it is there (like any child) and that he or she is wounded. In fact, the harm done to your inner child directly correlates with the ways you feel unsafe in the world. For example, here are some signs that you have a wounded inner child.

  • A deep feeling that there is something wrong with you
  • Being a people-pleaser
  • Rebelling and feeling alive when in conflict with someone else
  • Being a hoarder
  • Not being able to let go of possessions and people
  • Experience anxiety with something new
  • Feeling guilty for setting boundaries
  • Driven to be a super-achiever
  • Being ridged and a perfectionist
  • Having problems starting and finishing tasks
  • Exhibit constant self-criticism
  • Feel ashamed at expressing emotions
  • Ashamed of your body
  • Having a deep distrust of anyone else
  • Avoiding conflict, no matter what the cost
  • A fear of abandonment

If you ignore it, your inner child can manifest in anxiety, depression, PTSD, emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, addiction, difficulty functioning, and isolation from others.

 

Allowing Ourselves to Heal

Our inner child wants to be happy, but we have to make it safe for them to do so. Try exploring new and old things in life that may excite and bring joy to little you. Additionally, allow yourself to explore these new or old passions with a childlike wonder and intentionally find ways to bring more laughter into your life. When we allow our inner child to come out and play, we allow ourselves to heal and be truly, genuinely happy from the inside out. So, whether you focus on the wounds or look for the glimmering sparkle of optimism and hope, let little you come out and play.