I realized I had been neglecting my inner child in the middle of a counseling session. Counselor and I had spent considerable time delving into my childhood, and at first I wasn’t sure I even needed this kind of therapy. I naively thought I had already accepted and dealt with the pain of my childhood. When I looked back on it all, I would shrug it off dismissively. I’d think, Whatever happened, happened. I totally moved on.
How wrong I was…
I knew I had to confront the pain after noticing the tears I repeatedly held back while speaking about my earlier hardships.
The time came for me to finally, deeply confront the loneliness, the manipulation, the betrayal that my inner child (or child-self) endured. And young, courageous Valery endured it with compassion, with grace. I am so proud of my child-self for making it out without becoming severely hardened by the world.
The exact kind of healing I experienced as a result of that confrontation wouldn’t have been able to happen any other way.
If you haven’t already, I hope you too will open up your heart to your child-self.
Here are 3 reasons why you should:
1. Connecting with your inner child fosters compassion for yourself.
Feeling compassion for your child-self opens up another dimension of healing. Your child-self was deeply influenced by her caretakers, her surroundings.
And, if you’re like most of us, your childhood included pain, and probably lots of it.
We were just small, innocent humans trying to get by in life in the only ways we could.
You didn’t deserve to hurt.
Consciously make the decision to love your child-self. Forgive that child, accept that child. Do not judge that child. Invite your child-self to enjoy life with you, right by your side.
Showing your child-self compassion is an important step in self-healing.
Remember, you are not a separate entity from your child-self. Your child-self is always within you. Showing compassion for the child is showing more wholesome compassion for the adult you are now.
If you can love, forgive, and accept that child, you are doing the same thing for your adult self.
Next time you think you fucked up, think of your child-self. Would you be so hard on her? Probably not, so why would you be so hard on yourself now?
Remember that she is always within you.
2. Connecting with your inner child fosters compassion for others.
Everything is interconnected. All humans, all of life. Feeling compassion for yourself comes full circle into your daily exchanged energy with others.
Connecting with your inner child is also connecting with the world.
Imagine the next difficult person you come across…as a child. Perhaps they are difficult because of childhood traumas. Perhaps not. But can you forgive this child anyway? Can you accept this child for who they are? If you can, you are demonstrating true compassion for others. You are changing the world.
(It all begins from within.)
3. Connecting with your inner child allows you to finish the transition into adulthood.
As adults, we are held accountable for our habits, thoughts, and actions, no matter how unhealthy. Some, or even much, of this unhealthiness can easily stem from childhood traumas. (Note: Do not be afraid to admit that what you may have endured was traumatic for you. This is acceptance and is part of the healing process.) These buried traumas inside us can only be worked through by connecting with our child-self.
To be the healthiest adults that we can be, we must acknowledge and begin to heal our traumas. The pain in our childhoods contribute to the ways in which we interpret and interact with the world.
Now, a fair warning: Confronting our child-selves will probably come with a lot of pain—pain we may not have even realized was ever there. This is important to do though because, frankly, our pain really muddies up our lives. Our pain stifles our creativity, our ambitions, our love for ourselves and others. It is a fog that surrounds our eyes and our hearts.
Charge into your pain.
(Repeat as needed.)
I’m sure your inner child would be so proud of how far you have come. Be proud of them right back for enduring so much and still turning out to be so lovely, in spite of it all.
Each of us is both a child
and a parent of that child.
You have got to honor this connection within yourself and make that child feel seen, heard, understood, and loved.
With love and gratitude,
❤️ Tell me: What is one way you plan to honor your inner child?