If you answered yes to ten or more of these statements, working with your inner child should be at the top of your priority list. If you answered yes to five or more of these statements, you should seriously consider reconnecting with your inner child.
How to Support Your Inner Child in Feeling Safe
Hold the hand of the child that lives in your soul. For this child, nothing is impossible. – Paulo Coelho
We all have an inner child. When was the last time you spoke or connected with yours? How often do you take the time to tune in and listen to your needs? Do you regularly make space to play and enjoy life?
As human beings, we are not linear or two-dimensional creatures. We are all multi-faceted and have multiple selves. Think about it for a moment: the ‘you’ currently reading this article is very different from the ‘you’ joking around with colleagues, isn’t it? The ‘you’ in the middle of the night is very different from the ‘you’ going to the movies with your partner or friend. The ‘you’ talking to your parents is very different from the ‘you’ talking with your boss.
Your inner child is an essential part of the intricate patchwork that makes up your identity. When you ignore or deny your inner child, he/she is doomed to wither away within the deep dark vaults of your unconscious mind.
Disclaimer: there is so much pain to be faced with inner child work. But there is also so much joy and so much vitality to be experienced. One of the most exciting and miraculous parts of inner child work is that often hidden gifts and aptitudes that we’ve long lost touch with emerge. Not only that, but many of our relationships improve, our addictions/habits lessen or fade away, and our connection with ourselves deepens. Self-love and acceptance are finally possible. I’m not saying you will experience all of these benefits right away, but you will most certainly experience something beneficial so long as you’re committed!
Also, I want to say here that these exercises are not intended to replace therapy, programs or groups for the inner child or child abuse. If you’ve gone through child sexual abuse, severe emotional abuse, or have a mental illness, seeking professional help is essential. This article is only meant to be a supplement. Finally, if you experience strange or overwhelming emotions while practicing the advice below, please stop immediately. Seek the help of a professional counselor before proceeding.
Remember that everything takes time. The practices below are not quick fixes. They’re not sparkly wands that will immediately make everything better. But they will give you the basic tools you need for feeling safe, secure, and protected at a core level. I truly hope you find something below that will nourish you and your relationship with your inner child. And remember, if you need more in-depth help, I recommend finding more inner child healing exercises in our Inner Child Journal.
Here are the summarized points:
- Reflect on the timeline of your childhood
- Write a letter to your inner child
- Write a letter from your inner child
- Share your pain with a trusted person
- Loving and supportive affirmations
- Do an inner child visualization/meditation
- Be your own protector and nurturer
I’ll go more in-depth into these points below:
1. Reflect on the timeline of your childhood
You might like to get a piece of paper or document on your computer and divide your childhood into the following stages: Infant Self (0-9 months), Toddler Self (9 months to 3 years), Preschool Self (3-6 years), and School-Aged Self (6 years to puberty).
Within each stage, try your best to recall how you felt, what life was like, and how safe, supported, and accepted you felt. Keep in mind that feeling safe as a child didn’t always have to do with the family environment. Often the school or other environments that we spent a lot of time in shaped our inner child. Record any memories or physical sensations you had, even if they feel fragmented.