Let’s be honest with ourselves – most of us did not come from a childhood that made us become the unwounded adult we all aspire to work on being. And chances are, many of us have an inner child that has wounds carried from our childhoods. The wounded inner child can become one of the greatest challenges in this life, but it doesn’t mean there’s no way around it and to heal from them.
I’m not a professional therapist at all. I’m just a woman who, admittedly, struggled a tremendous amount in her life but is constantly finding life’s treasures, including being a fan of this world and exploring gorgeous places. You see, when I began this adventure travel blog, I made a pact to myself it’d become my lifelong personal project where I get to share my adventures to help others adventure on too. Many of them were simply an outlet to remind me that I can control the up-and-down emotions I was feeling through my early 20’s to now and that I deserved a world of my own that looked and felt peace to me.
My adventure travel blog then became a place for me to write about personal development as I began to be vulnerable about those doubts, moments of sadness, and insecurities that needed to become a safe space for those who can relate. Ever since reaching outside of my main niche, I’ve become more inspired by having the ability to share my wisdom, my stories, and I know it’s not something everyone is up to doing, but I personally love using the gift of writing to fulfill my mission in life and that is to inspire whomever.
No, I did not come from a perfectly put-together childhood; there was turmoil there but I still look back with fondness on the times it shaped me and the times it did make me this positive, bright woman. Through the years of me doing my work on this blog, I have gone through several transformations and most of them were about healing. Healing can take so long to do, but as long as we try, we can find the balance we need internally to live a healthier, happier life/lifestyle.
So, here are my tips on how I started healing the wounded inner child as I am still finding a way to cope with them! As this can be an ongoing process for your life like I mentioned it can take a long time.
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First off, what is a wounded inner child?
If you don’t watch a lot of personal development/self-help videos or read blogs/books on them, you most likely won’t be familiar with this term. It is basically a deep feeling of thinking there is something wrong with you and there are repetitive patterns you may see when something traumatic or triggering occurs in your adulthood.
Like I said, most of us are going to have an inner child in us and it will come in unexpected forms because we all derive from experiencing different backgrounds. There are a few signs of when your inner child needs healing or would feel wounded:
- Reacting to unmet needs
- Having low self-esteem
- Having harsh inner criticisms
- Abandonment or commitment issues
- Having immaturity
- Lacking to set boundaries
- Feeling unheard/unlistened to/misunderstood often
- Having difficult relationships with your family/partner/friends
…and more! Those are just some of the common signs of a wounded inner child. So generally, if you ever go through situations and your reactions seem to be one or a few of these, it’s time to look in the inside and see how we can start achieving change through healing.
Identify our triggers and work on self-awareness.
Having self-awareness is always the first step to recognizing your wounded inner child and how you can effectively start healing it. You may gain self-awareness when you identify what your triggers are and those triggers may come about when you experience certain situations that test your reactions to them. You can ask yourself, “how do I display my emotions when X (event) happens?” or “how do I feel when X (event) happens?”.
You could also recognize what happens as a result of those triggers from the list I made above and know there’s a wounded inner child there. By recognizing too what creates those triggers, you’ll start to build self-awareness and self-awareness is having accountability to know there is something to be healed there. Our inner child will communicate with us, and by listening into that, it creates the self-awareness too.
You may have to parent yourself.
Some of our wounded inner child problems start from our childhoods and from those who were our caregivers. We may have not been able to learn the best way to manage problems when the people we looked up to did not help us learn how to or there weren’t the best examples we can pick up from. Our caregivers, whether it’s our parents or from others, may never get to that point. In that case, we may have to parent ourselves.
To parent ourselves means to give yourself the care and attention like your parents would do for you. It would become your responsibility to make sure all your needs are being considered. You would do what it takes to be seen, heard, and listened, and truly fill in the gaps that your caregivers were not able to do for you. You can also work on building your self-worth and self-esteem by parenting yourself while modeling good behaviors to yourself. For example, I had to really be strict on how I should have boundaries and use them as I felt I was being too nice to every one in every situation, which should not be the case at all.
Change your narrative to be a “happy” inner child.
Instead of seeing yourself with this narrative that you are ‘damaged’ or there’s a lot of healing you need to do, you can change that narrative to a positive one. Your happy inner child can come to pass if you can face your fears, accept the mess-ups, not need approval or validation from anyone, and knowing your truth and living by it.
Another thing I see as living your narrative as a happy inner child is by seeing the advantages of your own disadvantages. Maybe you did go through major trials earlier than others, but you are able to handle any trials that deem smaller and incomparable to those as easier situations to overcome. You know what it feels like to be a survivor, and you can say your skin is thicker.
Involve yourself in activities that make you feel good and make it part of your routine.
I’m always an advocate for doing activities that help you move and activities that can help you reconnect with your inner child. And you know that as I mentioned before of why I love blogging about getting out there and exploring and how those have created it into this lifelong project that really did wonders and healing to my wounded inner child.
Doing activities that help you move such as exercising, playing a sport, or joining a competition or a marathon can help you gain endorphins that may be lacking and help you feel like you can accomplish something, which can help you be motivated to change your narrative. Just doing activities that give you structure and steady patterns can be beneficial for your inner child.
Reduce your anxieties by processing those painful memories.
Processing painful memories may be challenging, especially if you are presented with PTSD, but reducing your anxiety around triggers coming up can help you heal. A big way to reduce the anxiety while processing the painful memories is by sitting with what happened, not doing anything about it or reacting, just sitting with it. As you sit with it and process the wounds, you are working towards acceptance. You start to feel empowered and not fearful as you really gotten into the acceptance stage of your wounds.
Try a few of these helpful things to help you heal:
With everything that comes in life and society commemorating independence and self-reliance, we may have thought everything is up to ourselves to handle it all and to work on resolving our wounds, but sometimes, we just need a boost or someone to help us.
Some helpful things would be EMDR therapy, finding a therapist and a life coach, and practicing meditation. Having professionals to help you heal through your inner child wounds may be necessary for this journey of yours, and I always recommend that it’s the best way to heal.
As you learn these few steps on what you can do to get to healing the wounded inner child, you will gain clarity in how to become the person you always aspired to reach and it will improve your day-to-day and your relationships. Have you tried any of these things to help you start healing the wounded inner child?