What is the Inner Child?
Your Inner Child is the echo of the child you once were.
Inner child represents the part of you that is Alive, Exuberant and ultimately joyous!
We each have our own life story and we have all been influenced by our environment, events and the significant people around us. Our inner child has stored those memories, and their impact upon us. Although its true nature is to be on absolute love and joy, its been tarnished over the years.
Up to the age of six years, our brain was functioning at a relatively slow pace —the Theta brainwave frequency of 5-7 cycles per second—which is a very ‘receptive’ brainwave state, and we would have been profoundly affected by our experiences.
We make ‘decisions’ at a sub-conscious level, about how we ‘should’ be and what we ‘should’ do in order to be seen as OK, and to be allowed to stay around and to ‘survive’ in our families.
Our later experiences in life will have reinforced these beliefs and formed our own ‘Script’ for how our life ‘should’ be. We carry these immature scripts and decisions with us into adulthood — when they run our lives more than 90% of the time.
It therefore makes sense that we should revisit the experiences of the child we once were, and to find out what our own script says about our life and the unfolding drama we have been re-creating and repeating.
Not being able to do so, will result in our playing out of the same unexamined script and drama over and over again in our lives.
We cannot change the script by talking about it, or by conscious effort alone. It was designed to keep us safe—albeit in ways that now hinder us—and so it isn’t given up that easily!
Most of the time we are living life like a child inside a grown-up’s body – and the child within us yearns for attention, understanding, care and support.
We may try to silence these deeper longings with food, alcohol or drugs, by promiscuity, gambling, over-spending, over-eating, workaholism, self-harming and other ways of avoiding the real and deeper needs we have. Needs which we haven’t allowed ourselves to become fully aware of, or to find a way to have sufficiently met.
Where does it begin?
We have all been influenced by our environments since the time we were in our mother’s womb.
The sounds around us, our mother’s stress levels, the abundance or deficit of the ‘feel-good’ hormones and neuro-peptides, our nourishment or lack of it, complications, birth trauma, twin pregnancies, drugs, alcohol, and infections will all have played their part in how safe we felt even before we were born.
Then the actual birth experience, and our early infant care, and the ‘emotional availability’ of our mother will have either reinforced or soothed the impact of those first pre-natal influences.
As small children we will have been absorbing a great deal from our extended families, our caregiver(s), friends, pre-school and early school years, and religious institutions.
We may not have had words for these experiences but they will have been ‘logged’ in our sub-conscious minds and bodies.
This all creates the pool in which we float, or sink. Inevitably, the water will be a bit dirty – or it may even be like thick muddy sludge.
In this pool resides our self-esteem, body-image, family trauma, shame and secrets (even if not spoken about—as they all affect the quality of the care our caregivers are able to show to us).
We will sink down into this pool, or mud, whenever we are overwhelmed by our negative thoughts, emotions, self-doubt or self-loathing.
In Inner child healing therapy, the main aim is be to sensitively lift out this dirt and mud, bit by bit, until we are left with just a mark of what was once there. Acceptance and letting go then happens naturally.
We must also learn how not to ‘top-it-up’ with more mud—either by doing that ourselves, or by being around other people who want to dump some of their own mud onto us, instead of dealing with it, and cleaning it up, for themselves.
Signs that your Inner Child is wounded
The Inner child wounds will be shown in low self-esteem, poor body-image, mood and emotional imbalances, problems with boundaries being too rigid or too weak, problems with eating, harming yourself, psycho-sexual difficulties, being ‘false’ and wearing ‘masks’, identity problems, being a rebel/ a hoarder/ a bully/ a perennial victim or a super-achiever, intimacy problems, commitment problems, a general lack of trust in yourself and others, criminal behaviour, excessive lying, being ‘overly-responsible’ for others, being fiercely competitive and a poor loser, dependencies and addictions, a lack of genuine friends, obsessive and needy behaviour, fear of authority figures, being manipulative, being passive, or being aggressive.
That’s a long—and not exhaustive—list. To repair and heal the wounds caused by parents, and others, who didn’t know any better. It is always about the unmet needs of the Inner Child – the place of both our early wounding and the most profound healing!
What can we do to help our wounded Inner Child?
We can learn how to meet, rescue and ‘adopt’ this wounded child who still lives deep inside us. After all, you are the only person who you can guarantee never to leave you!
We can then emotionally contain and soothe our Inner Child, and allow the Competent Adult inside us to ‘attend to business’ out in the world.
However, we must regularly keep in touch with what our Inner Child still needs from us—which is, to be truly cared for by someone who wants the very best for them—that’s you! The journey of Inner Child healing and integration is a very profound one and has a lot of power to transform the quality of your life.
Book a Inner Child session series now!