Do you miss your childhood? Wish you were able to go back and re-experienced the best moments of your early life? Maybe you constantly find yourself thinking about days when life was free from worries, adult problems and all of this everyday stress… At times like that, you probably say to yourself, If only time travel were possible… What if I tell you that it’s not only possible but absolutely achievable…? With the right conditions… obviously… Don’t take my word for it… just try… Take a deep breath, make yourself comfortable, close your eyes, let yourself go and project yourself into the past.
Do you see where I am going with this? Through the power of imagination, you can easily create a mental image, imaginary picture from the album of your early years and relive the best moments and feelings from your childhood.
But what if somebody didn’t have a happy and careless childhood and almost every memory from that time is extremely painful and triggering? Well, there is a solution to this. Even if you experienced horrible things as a child, your situation is not hopeless. Because there is a lot you can and you SHOULD do to heal your wounded inner child. There isn’t such a thing as a magic pill that could erase painful memories BUT we can free ourselves from their destructive power and eventually believe me or not we will find our inner peace. It takes time, effort, patience, and courage. What we are definitely not missing. You do have all of these qualities even if you don’t believe it. Sometimes we have to dig really deep to find them but I can assure you that they’re in there.
I am not going to lie, it won’t be an easy ride but a rollercoaster one. So, put your seatbelt on, hold on tight and you will see what can happen. Don’t worry, I can assure you that everything will turn out fine! Just hang in there, okay? Because we are about to start our emotional healing journey. So, take your inner child by a hand, take a deep breathe and prepare yourself for a brand new chapter of your life. Something magical is about to happen…
If you suffer from Childhood Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety Disorder or any kind of mental health issues please always remember that there is no quick fix for any mental health issue. In order to overcome it, you have to address your problem and ask for help a mental health professional. There are many mental health institutions where you can find professional support. Suffering in secret is never a good idea. Mental health professionals are out there for help people with any type of mental health issue. Don’t minimize your problems, sometimes everyone needs help and there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you find it difficult to go to the mental health institution just call a helpline (you can easily find a number online and it’s free!)
Remember you are not alone even if you feel this way. Many people have mental health problems especially in today’s world where it becomes more and more difficult to cope with stress and anxiety.
Having said that, let’s get to our main topic which is:
How we can and why we should embrace our inner child.
First, I want to focus on the second part of the question because it seems slightly easier to respond on it. Personally, I think, that there are many different reasons why embracing the inner child is crucial for our physical and mental health. However, the most important and quite obvious one is, that our inner child accompanies us throughout our entire adult life, protects us and keeps us grounded. If you find it hard to believe me, just try to observe how your inner child manifests in your everyday life. I mean, all of these moments when you laugh, get excited about something, feel genuinely happy, careless and free… and of course, the most evident example is when your dreams come true! Just think about how you feel when you fulfill your dreams, especially those from your the childhood years! Yes, that’s right, is the exact moment when you can genuinely feel the presence of your younger self.
Of course, this kind of spiritual contact between our adult and younger self does not happen only when we are in high spirits. That would be too easy and kind of surreal. The truth is that our inner child is always with us, especially when we feel anxious, depressed, embarrassed or we desperately need a hug. I believe, that those are the exact moments when an inner child is in charge of our life. Obviously, it mostly happens on a subconscious level, and it manifests in those situations when we choose to react instead of responding to the situation we find ourselves in. Furthermore, it definitely creates more chaos in our life… not always the creative one. And in consequence, we get in trouble… Sounds familiar? Anyone?
And then, when things calm down a little bit we fell into a state of a great confusion.
If you think about this, it makes insanely good sense, unless to me. Why? Because if we grow up into adulthood without integrating our inner child into the new chapter of our lives everything seems to be out of our control. As if some invisible hand of a weird puppet master is pulling our strings. If it was true, we would have any influence on any aspect of our lives. We can easily notice that this simply is not true.
“Life is the sum of all your choices.”
and in almost every moment we are able to change the trajectory of our lives.
From my personal experience I can tell you that the process of inner integration and healing of wounded inner child it’s hard, sometimes really painful and extremely frustrating and in other moments it brings us joy and pure happiness. In other words, it’s crucial and necessary for creating a healthy mind, body and spirit balance. Furthermore, embracing our inner child gives us this incredible opportunity to connect with our intuition, higher self and live fulfilling and purposeful life.
Honestly, I believe that there is something spiritual and almost purifying experience that takes us closer to the secret of life. Just think about this for a second. Life is a great mystery; we all know that there is a purpose of our existence and we are given the time to find this it… and what’s even more interesting, is that this magical connection between our adult self and our inner child can be the key to this sacred knowledge…
And let’s get to the point: If you currently working on integrating your inner child with your adult self – don’t give up! The prize is worth sacrifice because your inner child is the real source of creativity, spontaneity, happiness, wellbeing, and honesty in our life.
Now, let’s move on to the next point. How to embrace your inner child?
- Connect with your inner child
They say that time travel it’s impossible but what about the magic of memory? What about the infinite power of imagination? Well, I believe that it confirms that we can actually move through time. Furthermore, we do it all the time without even recognizing it. Do you need a proof of it? Ask yourself this two simple questions; How often do you recall memories from my past? How much time do you spend planning my future in details? If the answer is: “a lot” you know exactly what I am talking about. It’s wild, crazy and insane but at the same time, it’s possible, therapeutic and extremely beneficial to our health. Moreover, it’s the exact moment when rationalism and empiricism almost blend together in order to create an integral whole. This is exactly how connecting with our inner child works. We can create a dialog with our younger self by recalling our memories from the past. Trying to figure how to do it? Explore your childhood memories, both beautiful and painful in order to nurture and heal your inner child. Use our senses; visit places from your childhood, go through the photos from your childhood, talk to your childhood friends, treat yourself with your favorite childhood snack, play your favorite childhood sport. Read again your favorite fairy tale, try to recall the smell of your favorite cake, watch your favorite cartoon. Did you keep a journal when you were a child? Do you still have it? Read it!! And this is how your journey begins…
- Nurture your inner child
Do you miss your childhood days so much that you want to live in the past? Maybe you lack some important experience form your early years? In both situations, there is a lot you can do to attain inner peace and satisfaction. Honestly, I think that all of this things fall into the category of “Nurturing the inner child”. It may sound strange but the best way to do this is to develop your Inner Nurturing Parent and Reparent yourself. Again, it’s a process, not a quick fix but it can and should be done, especially if your inner child is wounded. Everyone carries the pain on the inside but it does not have to be a destructive force. Both pain and suffering have an incredible way of purifying. Indeed, we can choose the experience of suffering to inner development and personal growth. If you choose this path you will not only show great grace and dignity but above all, you will find your peace.
- Fulfill your childhood dreams
Give yourself those experience your inner child would love to have.
Do you remember your childhood dreams that have never come true? Is there any possibility you could fulfill even one of these dreams now, in the present moment when you become an adult? If you answer “yes” do not hesitate! Think about this dream, analyze it, plan everything in details and just DO IT!! Trust me, if you manage to fulfill even one of your childhood dreams it will bring you the greatest joy and happiness you could imagine.
- Develop Self-love
Self-love is the most important ingredient you need to add to your life because it plays a key role in your personal growth and self-awareness. Since, a real, authentic and transparent love is simply a state of awareness. Love is a state of mindfulness, a sign of being an authentic human being. It’s not about feeding your ego or meeting somebody’s expectations but about self-compassion, self-respect, kindness and genuine affection… Love is when you can see yourself in someone’s else eyes… self-love is when you can look at yourself in the mirror with benevolence even if life is not perfect… because it’s never is…
- Heal your inner child
Is your inner child wounded? When you were a child did you feel rejected, invalidated, criticised, abandoned, lonely, hurt and just unloved… If you experienced these feelings and emotions in your childhood I am so sorry. You did NOT deserve this. Every child deserves to be loved, happy and safe. Childhood should be free from worries, adult problems, worries, and pain. But as we all know, it’s not always the case. But, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family and most of the memories from your childhood are bad and full of pain remember that you can heal your inner child. There is NEVER too late to start your our own healing and personal growth journey.
Reconnect with your childhood through mindfulness and allow yourself to feel emotions from the past, listen to your inner child’s voice and forgive yourself for all of this things you couldn’t do because you were simply a child dependent on adults.
For me personally, the most therapeutic method to reconnect with my inner child is writing letters to my younger self… and you know what? Little Kate always writes me back!
- Be mindful with your inner critic
Learn how to work with your inner critic. It’s not true that our inner critic is some kind of evil force designed to destroy us. If it was true most of us wouldn’t be able to anything right without going insane. It’s just not how it works. The dual nature of our inner critic, the creative and destructive one, make us again in charge of our own life. It depends only on us what kind of relationship with our inner critic or inner voice – how I like to call it, we will establish. Furthermore, if you feel that your inner critic works against you, change this! Yes, you can change this, anytime you want! It’s our inner voice that should work for us, not the other way around. The best way to do this is through mindfulness. Because if you want to truly connect with your inner critic and be able to distinguish between your intuition and this nasty self-hatred voice you need to develop self-awareness first. Take my advice and start practicing mindfulness and you will find the answers to your questions.
- Set healthy boundaries with others
People who grew up in dysfunctional families often lack healthy boundaries. They can even become people pleasers and at the same time forget completely about their own life, their own reality, dreams, goals, plans for the future… Yes, I know exactly what I am talking about because I’ve been living this way for most of my life… If you can relate to my story you should know that your situation is not hopeless. You can and you should change this for your wellbeing. Healthy boundaries are necessary not only for creating ownership and protecting yourself but they are also fundamental for your integrity, your individuality, and your personal goals. If you think that you have poor boundaries there are many ways to reinforce them. For instance, you should definitely name your limits, make self-care a priority, focus on your goals and your personal growth, practice self-awareness, be honest with yourself and direct with others and learn about assertiveness. It may seem too much at once, but remember that you’re doing this for yourself. It’s your path to your personal growth.
- Be honest with your inner child
Now, when you are an adult you can be honest with yourself because you’re the only one who can control your own life. You are in charge of your future no one else. Never forget about this. Is there something you want to tell your younger self? Maybe you want to ask some questions, make some particular observations or just spend some time together in a perfect silence… Take your inner child by a hand and see what will happen… Okay, so how are you feeling now? Are you happy, peaceful or sad, angry, and frustrated? Do you feel betrayed or rejected? Observe your feeling and emotions and talk about them with your younger self. Trust me it’s not only extremely therapeutic but also pretty awesome! You can learn a lot from this magical experience… Don’t take my word for it, do it!
- Take care of your spiritual self
Make space for your spiritual self-care! Create your own sacred place, an internal alchemy in order to heal from negative effects of difficult feelings and emotions. I’m sure that it will come as no surprise to you if I tell you that the best and the healthiest way of practicing spiritual self-care is through mindfulness techniques. Remember that dealing with negative emotions is extremely hard and requires time and patience. However, healing from their negative effects is crucial to our mental and physical health and definitely worth the effort. Start from breathing techniques to regain your focus and silence a bit the intrusive thoughts. Accept every emotion that comes to you with kindness and understanding. Don’t rush, take a deep breath and start your spiritual journey. Open the door to the new realm of possibilities. The real adventure begins where “the really real world” ends…
- Own your reality
We all create our own reality, our vision of the world, our understanding of the situation we find ourselves in. It’s incredibly important to acknowledge your reality and preserve it from those who want to force you to conform to their ideas. In order to live an authentic and fulfilling life we need to follow our own guidance, Of course, we are talking here about setting healthy boundaries that will protect your own reality from any danger. Well, it won’t be an exaggeration if I say that threats come in various forms. You name it. We can pretend that life is fair and everyone is a beautiful human being who wishes us all the best… but it would be irresponsible, crazy and just ridiculous. We all know that life is not fair and there are many disgusting people around… It’s just how it works. That’s everyone should develop self-awareness, set healthy personal boundaries and preserve their own truth. Because it’s your truth that creates your reality. That’s why you should: Acknowledge it. Protect it. Let is become your own guidance.
P.S. Never forget that your inner child is your best friend, your guidance, and your biggest strength!