The concept of inner child work, in the field of psychological healing, increased in the 1960s, particularly due to the theory of Transnational Analysis developed by the Canadian born psychiatrist, Eric Berne.
Discovering and developing a relationship with your inner child is similar to concepts and ideas such as making the unconscious conscious, getting to know myself, being my own best friend, re-parenting myself, my wounded-child, healing my childhood wounds, self-acceptance, self-love, or listening to my emotional-self.
When we were children, we often experienced painful or traumatic events while not having the resources to debrief and assimilate the experiences. The events often triggered unconscious beliefs and memories that were stored in our bodies. Eckhart Tolle refers to the body memory, while Bessel Van der Kolk’s book is called, The Body Keeps the Score.
Use a process to deeply relax. If you don’t have one use How to Create Your Place of Inner Peace to prepare yourself to welcome your inner child. Then follow the script below or change it to better support you.
Or you can use this version of the guided meditation by me on my YouTube channel:
Meet Your Inner Child Script
Be in your Place of Inner Peace. Notice how you feel. Notice if feelings of fear or curiosity or love surface. Notice if you harden or soften when imagining your inner child entering your awareness.
Notice if your inner child is a familiar part of you or whether this meeting is different or uncomfortable. The word for the feeling or emotion is not as important as noticing your body sensations or images that may rise.
If disturbances rise in your emotions and body, inhale and remind yourself of your anchor-word.
Now, from the back of your mind, allow an image of your inner child to surface. Merely notice whatever comes; a faint figure, a photograph, maybe a child you don’t recognize, a baby, a teen, a little child who smiles and runs to you, or a child who looks scared or even ignores you.
As you notice this child, notice your body, and if any feelings surface. Notice if you have tried to ignore and forget this part of you . . . your time of being a vulnerable child. Notice if you have denied, criticized, and judged this child of your past.
Sense what emotions might be evoked in you . . . dis-ease or ease, ashamed or pleased, strict or delighted, indifferent or curious, impatient, or patient, judgmental or accepting, critical or appreciative, distant or affectionate, or even loving.
Notice if any memories surface of the adults, your parents, or caretakers, expressing similar feelings. Realize that these feelings did not begin with you. They were passed on to you. You can keep them or let them go.
Sense if these feelings, and attached beliefs are true of your inner child. Notice if now, as an adult, they serve you and make your life better. Just notice.
Invite the child to be with you. Notice your inner-child’s response. Notice if your inner child, as yet, trusts you to see, hear and acknowledge unconditionally. Just notice. All is well.
Explain that this is a special place, a Place of Inner Peace. Here you feel, think, and do what you wish. Your inner child may have been forced to pretend in the past. Here it is important for inner experiences to be seen, accepted, and validated.
Let the voice of your inner-child, your emotional-self, speak to you. Notice if your inner child is trusting and ready for a new experience.
If your inner child is not ready, just notice. You will create another time where you can invite your inner child to join you in your Place of Inner Peace.
Notice if your inner child does speak to you or does come closer to you. Invite your inner child to be touched, hugged, or held on your lap. Feel the warmth and weight of the child’s body, its size compared to your adult self. Notice your inner-child’s hand, skin, hair, and facial expressions. Notice if any feelings surface in your adult-self and in your inner-child.
If your inner child came to you quickly and easily, express your interest, support and love. You might say something like, “The adults in your life did the best they could, and you did not get everything you need. I want to love you. I want to learn from you. I want to give you what you need to do and to be your best.”
Notice your inner-child’s response. If your inner child feels confused or scared say something like, “I want to help you and love you. I will protect you. I want to know what you want and need.”
If your inner-child’s response is feelings of comfort, curiosity, or excitement say something like, “I look forward to loving, protecting and seeing you bloom into all you want to be.” Give your inner child a name such as Little Patsy. That is my inner-child’s name.
Check if your inner child is willing to come and be present in your every day life. If so imagine tucking the essence of your lovable inner-child in your heart, your chest, or in the palm of your hand. Inhale awareness that this part of you is present in you; that you can become aware of and attend to your inner child when needed. Inhale and anchor the presence of your inner child.
As your time together ends, remember that whatever you have noticed – your memories, thoughts, body sensations, feelings are now part of you. Your inner child is a part of you. You will increasingly come to know, trust, and help each other.
If the presence of your inner child becomes weak during daily busyness you can return to your Place of Inner Peace to reinforce your commitment to your self-discovery.
Begin to notice your breath. Inhale some energizing breaths. Count to three as you exhale and open your eyes.
To help bring you back to the present moment, please look around the room and name out loud three objects.
Notice the part of your body where you anchored your awareness of your inner child.
Now is a good time to make notes, perhaps in a journal of your memories, images, thoughts, body sensations, and emotions.
Inner Child Debrief
Your inner child is now a known part of who you are. You can protect and encourage your inner child. Consider making a regular date with yourself and your inner child. As you do so, your relationship will deepen.
Of course, you are free to choose to let go of relating to your inner child. However, my hope is that you decide to demonstrate the courage to do your inner-child work. Please be patient with yourself. Many people choose to engage with a helping professional, such as a therapist, to facilitate this kind of healing. Informed support of inner-child work typically, speeds and deepens the experience and healing.
As you proceed with your inner-child work be prepared for memories and images of your inner-child to surface. Once you earn the trust of your inner child, your unconscious mind, may relax into showing you forgotten memories. Inner-child work makes unconscious beliefs, patterns, emotions, and body blocks accessible to the conscious mind.
As you spend time with your inner child in daily life, images of rooms and people, once lost to your conscious mind, may surface. Old memories will probably rise from different ages and stages of your childhood. You will start to notice old, inappropriate self-talk, beliefs, and dysfunctional patterns; all of which helped protect you as a child, but no longer are appropriate, helpful, or empowering. Actually, they probably now sabotage you doing and being your best.
The good news is, as you become more and more conscious and accepting of your past, you will integrate your inner child into your present life. By the way, at 70 something years of age, I can still be heard saying to myself, “Nicely done, Little Patsy.”
With practice you will be able to connect and support your inner child without being in a meditative, Place of Inner Peace state. You will be able to notice, guide, comfort, and help emotionally regulate your inner child. You will eventually embrace that you deserve to know yourself as lovable, capable, resourceful, and resilient, just the way you are.
As the Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote:
Just by holding this child gently, we are soothing our difficult emotions and we can begin to feel at ease.”
It is as if you are reentering your past as your own parent, yet an informed, protective, and caring one. You will guide your inner child through reactions that surface from old and past events. You will remember what the conscious mind once buried. You will embrace all of it because you alone know better than a best friend, a partner or even your biological parent what you have experienced, what you have felt, what you have believed about yourself, and what you want to do and who you want to be.
A relationship with your inner child will help reveal the truth of you and your desires.
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Patricia Morgan MA CCC helps her readers, clients, and audiences lighten their load, brighten their outlook, and strengthen their resilience. To go from woe to WOW call 403.242.7796 or email a request.
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