These traumas could vary from having your favorite stuffed toy thrown in the trash, to being abandoned by your best childhood friend, to being physically or emotionally abused by your parents.
Inner child work is a vital component of inner work (alongside shadow work) because it reconnects us with a wounded element of ourselves: the child within. When we reconnect with this fragmented part of ourselves, we can begin to discover the root of many of our fears, phobias, insecurities and sabotaging life patterns. This is where true healing happens!
Likely, you’ll be surprised by what you discover through inner child work. Instead of simply looking at a symptom of your pain, you’ll go right to the core and reveal when a fear, phobia or certain life pattern first began.
We’ve previously written about reconnecting with your inner child in the past, and how childhood trauma impacts you on a physical, emotional, mental and even sexual level. In this article, I want to expand on some powerful healing techniques that I’ve used before to soothe this delicate place within us.
What is your inner child?
The idea was first developed by Carl Jung, who called it the “divine child archetype”. It was also popularized by New Thought leader Emmet Fox, who called it the “wonder child.”
In popular psychology and analytical psychology, inner child is an individual’s childlike aspect. It includes what a person learned as a child, before puberty. The inner child is often conceived as a semi-independent subpersonality subordinate to the waking conscious mind. The term has therapeutic applications in counseling and health settings.
In laymen’s terms, the inner child is aspects of yourself that were defined when you were very young.
How do we heal the inner child?
There are many ideas and techniques surrounding the idea of healing the inner child. Most of these techniques involve the idea of creating a nurturing parent or protective parent, this is sometimes called reparenting yourselves.
As children learn to navigate the world, they form an inner dialogue that often mimics what their parents say. Children who grow up in a dysfunctional home, can often develop an overly critical inner dialogue that recreates their family dysfunction in their inner dialogue.
Our meditation is aimed at connecting with your inner child. With a quiet mind one can imagine they are meeting with their younger self, they can then begin to build a connection with that inner child. When we listen to our inner child and let them know they are safe and loved, we can heal some of the trauma we endured as children and begin to change our critical inner voice into one of a loving, healthy parent. We treat ourselves the way we would lovingly treat our own child.
If you suffered a lot of trauma as a child, from dysfunctional, alcoholic, or addicted parents there are 12 step support groups available, such as Adult Children of Alcoholics, that focus on healing the inner child through learning to reparent yourself.
We would also like to remind you that our meditations, and the meditations listed below, do not replace treatment from a licensed therapist.
What is an Inner Child Healing Meditation?
A Inner Child Healing Meditation, is a type of guided meditation that aims to unite the listener with their inner child. The experience of lovingly and compassionately uniting with your inner child may have profound effects on the listener.
How did we choose our list of the best inner child healing meditations?
We spoke to our team and got everyone to compile a list of their favorite inner child meditations on youtube. We then asked everyone on the team to listen to each one during their usual time for meditation practice. We also had everyone rate their experience and report back to us.
Types of Childhood Trauma
Firstly it’s important to understand that there are different types of childhood trauma. These include the physical (including sexual), emotional and mental variety. Also, when a childhood trauma is severe or repeated enough, it can result in soul loss. This is why you might need to undergo a process known in shamanic circles as “soul retrieval.” Soul retrieval is literally the process of “retrieving” the hidden, or inaccessible parts of your soul. Read more about soul retrieval.
However, not all childhood trauma results in soul loss — but they do result in a wounded psyche. This can result in issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, phobias, destructive behavioral patterns, and even chronic illnesses.
Examples of childhood trauma could include:
- Being hit or smacked by your parents/grandparents
- Having an emotionally unavailable parent who withholds affection
- Being “punished” by kicking, shaking, biting, burning, hair pulling, pinching, scratching or “washing out the mouth” with soap
- Being the recipient of molestation, shown pornography, or any other type of sexual contact from a parent, relative or friend
- Being the child of divorce
- Being given inappropriate or burdensome responsibilities (such as caring for your parents)
- Not being fed or provided a safe place to live from your parents
- Abandonment (your caretakers leaving you alone for long periods of time without a babysitter)
- Emotional neglect, i.e. not being nurtured, encouraged or supported
- Being deliberately called names or verbally insulted
- Denigration of your personality
- Destruction of personal belongings
- Excessive demands
- Car accidents, or other spontaneous traumatic events
There are many more examples of childhood trauma, but I just wanted to provide you with a few to give you an idea of what inner child work deals with. It’s also important to remember that our parents weren’t the only ones responsible for provoking childhood trauma — our grandparents, brothers, sisters, extended family members, family friends and childhood friends may have also played a part
Unfortunately, we live in a society that forces us to repress our inner child and “grow up.” But the truth is that while most adults physically “grown-up,” they never quite reach emotional or psychological adulthood. In other words, most “grown-ups” aren’t really adults at all. This leaves most people in a state of puerile fears, waves of anger, and traumas that fester away in the unconscious mind for decades.
When we deny and snuff out the voice of the child within we accumulate heavy psychological baggage. This unexplored and unresolved baggage causes us to experience problems such as mental illnesses, physical ailments, and relationship dysfunction.
In fact, it could be said that the lack of conscious relatedness to our own inner child is one of the major causes of the severe issues we see in today’s society. From the brutal way we treat the environment, to the cruel way we talk to ourselves, we have become completely separated from our original innocence.