Do you know the feeling when you suddenly get hit by intense negative feelings just because a person said one “wrong” word to you? When you don’t understand why you’re reacting so intensely to something seemingly small? Or when you feel sad, lonely or depressed for no apparent reason? It is in these moments that your injured inner child is probably making itself noticeable. In this blog post, I would like to show you what it’s all about and how you can deal with it.
What does it mean to have an inner child?
When we´re born and gain our first experiences, we initially live the core of our being in a completely unadulterated manner. We are strongly connected to our senses – we live out of our intuition and let our impulses guide us. As we get older, become more and more aware of ourselves and our thoughts increasingly determine the upper hand of our actions, a second part develops (you can read more about this in the overview): our inner adult. However, the child in us lives on as we get older. The child within represents our experiences of the right brain hemisphere and it is often referred to as intuition or gut feeling. The experiences we collect as children are stored inside of us and can be felt in our emotional world during adulthood – for example as an emotional overreaction.
“You don’t see the world as it is. You see it the way you are.”
Through the experiences we´ve made, we develop certain beliefs about ourselves, our fellow human beings and the world in general. If e.g. as a child, we only felt loved when we were well-behaved, hard-working and frugal and – in return – experienced rejection when we felt angry, a pattern of faith develops in us, its only purpose: to ensure love. We think that certain feelings are not allowed and hide them from the environment and mostly from ourselves. However, most people are not aware of the fact that we can only be healthy by learning to accept and love all aspects of ourselves. We try to cultivate feelings and behaviors that supposedly secure the love and care of the outside world. The experiences and resulting beliefs shape the world as we experience it later. Consequently, how we react to events and words is very subjective.
Different parts in us
Depending on the situation, we either act with the part of the inner adult or with that of the inner child. The following overview should give you a few pointers, making it easier for you to better classify your own behavior:
The inner adult
The loveless inner adult:
This is the part in us that can also be equated with the ego. It acts rationally and pushes all feelings and intuition aside. It thinks it knows how to act in order to survive in the world. It also thinks that it cannot bear the pain of the inner child, distracts itself from the emotional life with addictions and thus feels supposedly safe. So to speak, the loveless adult has left the inner child.
The loving inner adult:
This part is also rational, but wants to learn from the feelings of the inner child instead of avoiding pain. It comes into contact with the inner child, accepts it as it is without evaluating it and wants to understand its feelings. In addition, the loving inner adult enlightens the child about the truth by putting false beliefs into the right light.
For example: Inner child: “I am not worth being loved. I am not good enough.” Loving adult: “You are infinitely valuable and no action or opinion of another person can determine your value.”
The inner child
The injured / abandoned inner child:
This proportion arises from painful experiences and the resulting pain-avoiding behavior that we develop so that we never have to experience certain experiences and feelings again. In this mode we literally act “childish” and may experience ourselves as defiant or manipulative.
The loved inner child:
This is the part of us that represents the core of our being completely unadulterated. Our natural feelings, our sense of humor, our gentleness, our talents, our wisdom, creativity, playfulness, intuition, curiosity, spontaneity, sensitivity, sensuality and our feeling for miracles.
In every moment of our life, our inner child either feels loved or unloved by our adult. We usually feel lonely, empty, sad, fearful or full of shame when our inner child is separated from the adult. If we learn to lovingly restore the connection between these two parts, we are able to flow within our creativity, passion and joy.
Why are we so afraid of our feelings?
As a little baby, we´re completely dependent on other people. We would die if no adult took care of us. Even if we can no longer consciously remember the first months or years, this primal pain and primal fear are stored deep within us. We think it could be life-threatening if someone rejects us. And so we use all our strength to avoid having to relive these painful feelings again. We hide parts and feelings from the environment and mostly also from ourselves. We lock them into a dark room and try to encapsulate them completely from us. They step into the shadow and from there haunt us again and again.
The truth is: we´re perfect and lovable as we are. With all our feelings, thoughts and actions. Nothing and nobody can change our value. However, if we make our feelings dependent on the outside for the rest of our lives – by measuring our worth by the opinion of others – we will always feel insecure and often worthless. If we reestablish the connection between our inner adult and inner child – which is also called inner bonding (I’ll tell you more about this in the next article) – we can experience true healing. You can experience that you´re capable of giving yourself everything you long for and learn to be there for yourself, fill your own emptiness and heal old pain.
Now that you know what the inner child is all about and may have recognized some of your own behaviors, I want to show you how to deal with them better in everyday life. I´ll give you tools for reconnecting with your inner child and healing old injuries. In the next post we’ll look, among other things, at inner bonding. And you will learn how important FEELING is for the healing process.