There are many different interpretations out there as to what the “inner child” really means, but this is the one that I resonate with the most: Your inner child is the seed of who you are.
Your inner child is always within you, it is the seed you started as, the essence of your soul, and the person you were before the world told you who to be.
This is not to say that the inner child is the ultimate you, rather it is the beginning point of you. It is the seed in which you came from, the seed that gives rise to the flower you continually blossom into and become.
There are other external factors that affect the quality of the flower, such as its location, how often it is watered and so on, but essentially the birth of this flower, the person you are today, all began with a seed.
When we are fresh into this world we soak up our experiences like a sponge until around the age of 10 years old. After this time, the seed we are begins to sprout and we begin forming our own opinions and getting ready to go our own separate way. Puberty is about to hit and we are preparing to make that rite of passage from child to adult.
Up until the age of 10, we are busy absorbing and processing everything we think, feel, smell, hear, and touch, into our subconscious mind. During these years, we start laying the framework and foundation for the patterns of our mind and the programming of our seed.
If we experienced any type of trauma during this time, whether it was abuse, the loss of a parent or sibling, the changing of schools, or losing a precious childhood toy, how we reacted and dealt with it and how we were treated in return is all stored and programmed into our subconscious or into this seed.
During these formative years, it doesn’t really matter so much what happens to us, it’s more how we deal with it and how we are supported and nurtured as we are dealing with it that counts. Whatever the result may be, these events and our reaction to them become the blueprint for our seed and inner child.
When something emotionally disturbing happens, most children lack the cognitive awareness to understand it or work through it.
Their parents may get a divorce and through their limited cognitive understanding at that age, they may interpret their emotions and sadness to mean that it was their fault.
Just the same, if they were abused they may interpret the emotions they feel to mean that they did something wrong or bad.
Without this being addressed, any type of trauma both big and small, will often end up being interpreted in a sensitive child’s mind as if it were their fault or they are to blame for what had happened.
This programming of “I am bad” or “something is wrong with me” or “I am always a bother” then gets placed into the seed or subconscious mind.
Even as the child grows up and realizes that it was not their fault their parents divorced or that they were abused, or they had to move school, this level of programming can still remain in the inner child, in the seed of the mind, where it can slowly seep out into other areas of life long into adulthood.
Many people resist doing inner child work because it can seem quite tedious to drag up the past.
As an adult, it is also easy to judge your younger self and chalk up your sadness or traumatic experience as just part of growing up, but it doesn’t mean that your feelings at that time weren’t real.
It’s important to also mention here that inner child work is not about blaming your parents, as they were just doing the best they could with what they knew at the time.
Even abusive parents were probably victims of abuse themselves or experienced great trauma in their own formative years. Not that this excuses abuse, but it does help to shift out of blame and into a more proactive mindset.
We all have traumas, each and every one of us. But traumas and our emotional responses at this young age tend to shape us more than most. They tend to be a blueprint of our subconscious programming, and unless we go in there and resolve it, these patterns can continue to show up in all areas of our lives.
Working through traumatic inner child patterns are best done with the support of a therapist, but if you are curious as to what is going on for your inner child, here are a few things you can start to do-
- Think about a traumatic memory or even life-changing event that may have happened between the ages of 1-10. Now see if you can go back to that event and work out how your younger self was feeling. See if you can pinpoint what your emotions were. Once you have pinpointed that, see how those same feelings may play a role in your habits and choices in your life today. To break it down:
- Think of a traumatic, upsetting or life-changing event that happened as a child
- Figure out how that event made you feel as a child
- Look to see how those feelings lead you to make certain choices in your life
- Write a letter to your younger self just after this traumatic or life-changing event occurred. What would you have wanted your younger self to know? What would you have wanted your younger self to hear at that moment?
- Set an intention to be more conscious of your actions and behaviors moving forward and to check that your decisions in life are being made with love rather than fear.
- Know that you are already healed and perfect just as you are. it doesn’t matter what you experienced as a child, you are whole and wonderful and you are healed. Remind yourself of that every day, until you begin feeling the truth of it.