Lesson 3 - Inner Child
Why Reparent Yourself?
It’s Not Just About The Past
Reclaiming and healing the wounded inner child is not just about healing the child of the past.
The inner child needs to be seen, heard, and loved every moment of the day.
If the child doesn’t feel loved in the present, then inner child work won’t create a real change.
The goal here is to become the loving parent you always wanted every moment of the day.
This is where conscious self-reparenting comes.
Who Is Your Inner Child?
The Inner Child is the right-brain, emotional, creative, subconscious mind.
It is the aspect of our personality that is vulnerable and feelings-oriented. It is referred to as our “gut” instinct.
The psychologist Carl Jung is the first to have coined the term “inner child.”
The right brain is largely formed by experiences in the first five years of life and is the part of our brain that is responsible for our emotions. That’s why we call it the inner child.
Who Is Your Inner Adult?
The Inner Adult is the left-brain, logical, analytical, conscious mind.
It’s the part that has collected knowledge through our life.
Whereas the inner child is the part of us that is feeling and being, the inner adult is the part of us that is thought and action.
Just as it is in a family, it is the Adult’s job to take action on behalf of our Inner Child.
Conscious reparenting is when the adult takes a loving action – one that takes into account how the inner child feels.
Let's pause here for just a moment...
Notice how closely the idea of inner child (emotional freedom, creativity, subconscious knowing and gut instincts) relates to our intuition – the very thing we are trying to reconnect to and strengthen our connection with today.
Notice how closely the idea of inner adult can compare to the ego mind, taking on logical, analytical and protective roles in order to “keep us safe” or “keep us inline.”
Is there a connection between your Ego mind and the Inner Adult? Could this be is preventing you from truly embrasing your abilities? Are the words of your Adult Inner Mind the same as the words that once hurt your inner child? The ones that brought self doubt, lowered your self esteem and told you not to trust yourself?
The inner adult voice which strives to “keep you safe” and “keep you in line” may be harshly influenced by an inner child wound that came from an adult in your childhood. This is common, as most children are eger to please and do not want to upset anyone around them.
When someone is trying to reconnect with their soul gifts, they often over look the healing journey that includes understanding all parts of them, not just the supernatural, spiritual magical parts. Can they be intuitive without doing this work? Yes. But eventually they will find themselves feeling empty and trying to chase one mystical experience after another. There will never be enough classes, teachers, opportunities for them to fill the void that is missing.
Doing The Work
The following section is filled with exercises that you can use to meet and work with your inner child.
I highly recommend that you do this after a nice walk in nature or a grounding meditation. This will help you engage with this experience without being all up in your emotions. When we are spending time in our heads, it allows our emotions to take over. Emotions are there for guidance only. When emotions are given too much freedom to run amuck, they will misguide you, making this work less effective.
If you become emotional during any point, that is ok. Do not judge it, simply take a breath, thank your body for bringing this up to be acknowledged and/or released, and refocus on your intention. This takes practice. There are many times that acknowledge and release will come in handy, so think of this as multitasking practicing skills.
Real life examples of witnessing emotions and refocusing :
- Psychometry Read this blog post for my first experience!
- Being an empath and connecting with energy of person, place, thing, spirit (Check out Are you an empath? and I am an Empath! What does that even mean? for more in-depth info)
- During a mediumship connection- ether feeling what the spirit is feeling, what the sitter is feeling or what the spirit felt during a specific time or event.
Exercise 1. Describe The Inner Child
Become curious about your child part by asking yourself the following questions:
- How old is he or she?
- What does he or she look like?
- What expression is there on his or her face?
- How is he/she feeling? stressed? Anxious? Angry? lonely?
Then, you want to ask the inner child: how can I validate and reassure you?
Describing your inner child helps you feel empathy and compassion toward the child, while validating his or her experience, as you “see” the child as innocent.
Try not to ask the inner child “What happened to you at this age?”, instead ask him or her “What kind of things has this child experienced?” as to not trigger reliving these experiences.
Exercise 2. Affirm the Inner Child
The purpose of this exercise is to Affirm and love your Inner Child.
1. Write down names of your most cherished friends, family members, and loved ones. These are people who make you feel safe and loved.
2. Find a place to sit quietly where you won’t be disturbed for about fifteen minutes and take a few relaxing, deep breaths.
3. Imagine yourself as a child, surrounded by these loving people. You can imagine having parents, as you would have liked your parents to ideally be. Allow yourself to daydream, watch and witness the loving exchanges that were between you and them. What do they say to you, the child, that invite acceptance, support and unconditional love?
As a child you needed to hear the words that follow. Imagine yourself hearing the following statements alternately from a male voice and a female voice:
I’m happy that you’re here with me
I see you
You are special to me
I respect you
I love you
Your needs are important to me
I am here for you
You can rest in ME
I’ll keep you safe
I enjoy you
You can also create your own affirmative messages by asking your inner child what messages he/she wants to hear.
Exercise 3. Uncover Your Inner Child’s Beliefs
1. Think of a least one experience from your childhood where you felt hurt or neglected.
2. Brainstorm keywords based on this experience. How did your parent treat you?
The following are some examples:
Mean, cold, indifferent, domineering, overprotective, very strict, inconsistent, unpredictable, self-centered, moody, pretentious, arrogant, not very empathetic, loud, aggressive.
3. Consider some of the things your parents would usually say, like “It’s all your fault,” or, “Just wait till Dad gets home,” or, “Why can’t you be like your sibling,” or, You’ll never amount to anything.”
4. Think about the relationship your parents had and the difficult aspects of their relationship, such as “They fought a lot,” or, “Dad made every major decision by himself.”
5. Once finished, try to establish contact with your inner child by examining what negative beliefs your parents’ behaviors stir up in you.
A child who witnessed his/her parent as overwhelmed most of the time, may internalize the message that they’re a burden.
To uncover your negative beliefs you can use the following formula:
“I am______” or “I’m not ______,”
“I can ______” or “I can’t ______,”
“I’m allowed to ______” or “I’m not allowed to ______.”
What follows are some examples of beliefs
I’m not important
I’m always to blame
I’m so small
I’m so dumb
I can’t do anything
I’m not allowed to feel
I’m a burden
I’m overly dramatic
I’m not allowed to defend myself
I have to do everything right
I can’t show any weakness
Try to create a distance between the belief and yourself. You can even imagine cutting a cord that connects you to that person, the words and/or the belief.
Instead of saying, “I am worthless,” say to yourself, “The wounded inner child within me feels like she/he is worthless.”
Notice the thought without labeling it as good or bad, right or wrong.
This will help you see your thoughts as what they really are – thoughts.
Thoughts are just that- thoughts.
They are in no way shape or form FACTS just because we THINK them. (Maybe we should read that again?)
Unfortunately it is super common for us to not seperate the two. Especially during childhood, if words were spoken upon us or abouts us and used as facts. (even during early teen- late teen- into early adult- heck even into adulthood!)
We are impressionable as children or when we are not sure of who we are as adults.
We allow the words of others to stick to us without much thought.
When you do not know who you are, you may follow the lead at whatever cost- just to have some sort of identity.
This is not something we accept on purpose, maybe not even consciously at first. However the messages were delivered and received without considering important details. Details we don’t often consider until we are ready to heal.
For example, who said those words to you? Are they someone we would go to for support? Are the words they said really true, or are they a reflection of that person’s own pain? Hmmm….
The following are some examples to help you decide.
False messages from childhood
False messages from childhood that demean you..
- There’s something wrong with you.
- You can’t do anything right.
- You are such a disappointment to me.
- You’ll never amount to anything.
- You’re the reason I have so many problems.
- No one cares what you think.
- You’re nothing but a burden.
- You’re more trouble than you’re worth.
False messages that unfairly burden you..
- You are my whole life.
- You’re the only one who cares about me.
- You’re the only one who can keep the family together.
- We’re so close we have to share everything; no secrets.
- You’re my best friend.
- You’re the only one I can count on.
- Ineed you so much-| couldn’t make it without you.
- You have to help me figure out what to do with the rest of my life.
False messages about your role..
- It’s your responsibility to make me happy.
- It’s your job to earn my love.
- It’s your job to respect me, obey me, and take care of me.
- You should never get upset with me.
- You have no right to disagree.
Exercise 4. Accept the Wounded Inner Child
The more we fight against ourselves, the more suffering we inflict on ourselves.
However, self-acceptance doesn’t mean you have to like everything about yourself.
Self-acceptance means acknowledging what there is—the good and the bad, the strengths and the limitations. It’s only when you acknowledge these limitations that you can work on them, if you choose to do so.
1. Close your eyes and try to recite your negative beliefs or it may be easier to recall an incident where your inner child was very reactive.
2. Allow yourself to feel whatever comes up (fear, rage, insecurity, or sorrow.)
3. Take a deep breath and say to yourself “Yes, that’s my dear wounded child. You’re allowed to be here, just as you are. I welcome you.”
Witnessing your emotions will help you reduce the intensity of those emotions.
The more your wounded child feels seen, accepted, and understood, the calmer he/she will become.
Exercise 5. Understand Your Wounded Child’s Perspective
Understanding your wounded child’s perspective will help you separate your inner adult from the wounded child’s perception, allowing you more freedom in your decisions and actions.
1. Choose a problem you’re struggling with. Place two chairs facing each other. Sit down on one chair and try to channel your inner child. (ether physically or imaginatively) Or you can do this exercise in writing, using different pens for the wounded child and the inner adult.
- Allow the inner child to describe the problem and express his/her feelings and thoughts about this problem.
2. Then switch to the other chair to summon your inner adult and try to analyze the problem using your own rational mind.
- If you have a problem saying no to someone, you may discover that you’re not trying to be polite and that it’s the wounded child’s fear of rejection that’s preventing you from asserting yourself.
Exercise 6. Non Dominant Hand Exercise
In this exercise, you’re going to communicate with your inner child using both hands.
Here is how to do it:
1. Find a place where you won’t be interrupted and allow yourself to relax and clear your mind by taking a few deep breaths.
2. Take an exercise book. Use your usual writing hand to write as the inner parent part of you on the page that matches that hand. (i.e. right hand – use right page)
- Then change your pen over to the opposite hand and write your response on the opposite page.
- If you’re left-handed, simply reverse all the above directions.
1. Begin with your usual writing hand and try writing something positive about your inner child ‘You are …….’ or simply write a reassuring welcome message to your Inner Child.
2. Then change your pen over to the opposite hand and let the pen do whatever it wants to do, be it writing, drawing, or even doodling.
- Keep a non-judgmental, compassionate attitude as you do this and allow yourself to take as much time as you need.
3. Change your pen over to your dominant hand and respond to whatever the other hand said or drew on its page. Then try asking an easy question in the way you would for a child.
- Avoid logical or “why” questions that would distress a small child.
4. Keep going backwards and forwards from one side to the other and for as long as you or your inner child wants to.
5. When you end the sessions, close with reassuring, soothing statement from your dominant hand, especially if the Inner child has expressed fear or vulnerable feelings.