Exploring Inner Child Healing
by N J Howell
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When traumatic events occur during what is called our formative years (ages 4-7) and especially if these traumatic events reoccur often, a part of our beingness often gets shut down. We protect ourselves the only way we can, as children, by cellularly encapsulating moments of pain and trauma, and forgetting them consciously. That aspect of us, the young being who changes at that moment, is called the inner child. Once we've closed down the child within, how do we integrate all aspects of ourselves, including the damaged child we've hidden away, as a happy, balanced adult? How do we heal the wounds of our past and release the hold of emotional trauma on our present?
Question on spiritual healing: I have recently been exposed to the concept of the inner child and feel strongly that this is the work I need to do. My life is in shambles. I am an extreme co-dependent ... staying in relationships simply because I am terrified of being alone. I need others to feel validated and am overwhelmed with feelings of emptiness and helplessness. I need for my life to change. I am so tired of everything being so difficult. Where do I begin?
Healing facilitation response: I have deep empathy for much of what you shared. I have had those same feelings so often. I know your life is not where you want it to be, but I encourage you to feel good about being who and where you are right now because it takes a very strong person to learn the lessons you are learning.
It takes a strong person to shut down a part of themselves in self-defense and to keep those aspects closed off until they feel safe enough to heal. There is that indomitable child inside you who will not let you be satisfied until that part of you heals, so terrible as you may feel, it is actually a sign of healing that you won't settle for co-dependence and these feelings you describe. Every day, spend some time going within. This can simply be sitting quietly for a few minutes, as long as feels comfortable, and asking what the innocent child within needs or wants, and listening for the answer. In my own healing, it has become necessary to voice feelings that were not very God-like. I've had feelings of rage, bitterness, resentment, hate, and I often found that releasing those in a safe environment were necessary before the deeper feelings of sorrow, shame, guilt, fear and hurt could surface.
The Importance of Sacred Space: One of the most important aspects of healing for me was finding a safe place where I could express and know that whatever was there was alright with God. Un-God-like feelings only affect our relationship to source if we hold on to them or act them out against others. Releasing feelings of anger, rage and even hate in a safe environment, is something I believe the Universe supports. Seeking out a counselor or healing facilitator can be a frightening prospect for an abused person, even if that person is now ready to start dealing with childhood abuse. Take your time in choosing your mental and emotional health support team. Talk to healing facilitators before giving yourself into their care; make sure they are willing to hear the rage, allow the anger and hate. Be also patient with that inner child aspect of yourself because the inner child will not come back into your awareness until a level of trust with yourself is realized.
If you feel like cursing the universe, or giving up, or loving - God still remains - listening, loving, supporting. God even remains if we turn that rage toward Godsource - if we rage that we weren't saved from the experiences we had to endure. The point is that releasing those feelings that have been bottled up for so long leaves us free to get to know ourselves again, including the child we once were. God remains, and supports release of any feelings of self-blame or guilt. I encourage you to stop beating yourself up in any way for the past, even the moment just past where you may have behaved in what you feel is a bad way. Look ever forward, forgiving as God forgives, and moving toward clarity. On a practical level, you can do things you used to love as a child .... as a way of waking that part of yourself up. But I do suggest finding a healer you feel safe to work with because it's inevitable that feelings and emotions will surface that may be hard to deal with alone.
Are You Ready To Connect with Your Inner Child?
Emotional Health Disclaimer: The information on healing the inner child presented in this mental health / emotional healing article is not intended to take the place of needed counseling of medication. If you have, or suspect you have, childhood abuse issues, or emotional trauma from your past that is affecting your present, please consult with your chosen healthcare professional, to assess your needs with regard to emotional health and mental well-being.