Healing Your Inner Child: Nurturing the Past and Reclaiming your Present

Written By Jessica Lamar, Psy.D, LMHC

Our childhood experiences shape who we are today, and sometimes those experiences can leave wounds that continue to impact us as adults. Healing your inner child is a powerful path of self-discovery and compassion. Healing your inner child involves acknowledging and addressing the pain from your past experiences, by doing this you begin to create a foundation for personal growth, emotional well-being, and a healthy relationship with yourself and others.

So, what does “healing your inner child look like?”

Understanding Your Inner Child:

Your inner child represents the vulnerable part of you and time in your life that experienced joy, innocence, and pain and sadness during childhood. Your inner child holds memories, emotions, and beliefs that are formed during those formative years. When you begin reconnecting with your inner child, you can gain insight into patterns or behaviors that may be rooted in unresolved childhood wounds. This connection to your inner child allows for the opportunity to grow and change by gaining more information to how your past has impacted you.

Recognizing Unhealed Wounds:

Take time to reflect on the recurring unhealthy patterns or emotional triggers in your life. Your patterns or triggers could be a response to fear of abandonment or rejection, difficulty trusting others or yourself, low self-esteem, or self-worth. To heal your inner child, explore how these triggers show themselves in your life. Identifying these unhealed wounds is an essential step towards healing them. Without identification and acknowledgement, you won’t know what to heal. Begin to ask yourself “When did I first begin to feel this way?”

Creating a Safe Space:

To begin healing your inner child effectively requires creating a safe space within yourself where vulnerability is welcomed without judgment, shame, or minimization. Practice self-compassion by acknowledging that any pain experienced during childhood was not your fault; Rather it was a result of circumstances beyond your control.

Reconnecting with Your Inner Child:

Engage in activities that allow you to reconnect with the essence of joy and playfulness within yourself. This could involve engaging in creative pursuits like drawing or coloring; spending time outdoors; revisiting favorite childhood hobbies; or simply giving yourself permission to have fun without judgment, look at pictures of yourself when you were a child, listen to music from when you were a child, and connect with the feelings you experienced during these times.

Emotional Release and Expression:

Allow suppressed emotions from past experiences to surface through journaling exercises or talking with a trusted friend or therapist about your childhood experiences. By giving voice to your emotions, you can validate your emotions, release repressed feelings, and gain a deeper understanding and acceptance of your inner child’s needs.

Reparenting Your Inner Child:

Imagine yourself as the nurturing parent figure that your inner child needs. Offer love, compassion, and support to yourself in the same way you would provide it to a young child. Practice self-care rituals, affirmations, and positive self-talk to reinforce feelings of safety and worthiness.

Seeking Professional Support:

Healing your inner child can be a complex and emotional painful process t may benefit from professional guidance. Consider working with a therapist or counselor who trauma informed and retains certification or has completed training in treating trauma. They can provide valuable insights, tools, and support tailored to your specific needs.

Healing your inner child is an act of self-love and empowerment that can allow you to break free from the limitations imposed by past wounds. By acknowledging and nurturing this vulnerable part of yourself, you pave the way for personal growth, emotional resilience, healthier relationships with others—and most importantly—with yourself. When you are ready, embrace yourself and the process with patience and compassion as you embark on a path towards healing and wholeness.


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