“You need to heal your inner child.” I told my husband one night as we stood, our bare feet on our front lawn, cars racing by on the small highway we live on in the Pacific Northwest.
With steaming mugs of tea in our hands, a blanket of stars over our heads, the full moon cresting over the mountain facing our home, and the sounds of our children playing on the hill above us, we really do have an idyllic life.
We have manifested all of our dreams up to this point, and we will continue to do so, but the hard stuff starts now.
There is a certain level of success you can achieve in the material world without having to do the deep spiritual work that each of us is called to do.
You can ignore the call for decades.
But at some point, if you want to aim higher, and maintain the idyllic life you have built, you will have to do the spiritual stuff, too.
Sure, it is possible to become a billionaire without ever serving your soul’s purpose, but you will likely lose the things that really matter to you.
You will likely sacrifice the love and trust of those closest to you.
You will likely find yourself alone, or ill, or both.
I do not know of, nor have I ever heard of, anyone who has achieved great heights of success, either materially, mentally, or in relationships, without meeting the needs of their spirituality.
And that spirituality will, at some point, call you to heal your inner child.
What Is an Inner Child?
Dr. Bruce Lipton, cellular biologist and author of the book You, Happier, has researched the subconscious and happiness for decades, and he teaches us a profound lesson about the inner child.
You see, Lipton has shown us that the subconscious is basically on record for the first 7 years of our lives.
We record everything we see, every experience we have, and every model in our lives with great influence.
Then, we spend the rest of our lives on playback.
We play out the traumas and abuses, the love and the kindness, all the lessons we learned.
Untouched and undeveloped, many humans still have the emotional intelligence of that 7-year-old child.
We never learned to build healthy relationships, what with the divorce rate in the US having reached more than 50% and 40% of children today being born to parents who never got married at all, we don’t even know what a healthy relationship looks like.
How on earth could we possibly model that?
Our inner child was most likely raised by parents who were emotionally unavailable, and even if we were loved, we were raised in school systems that do not value children, perhaps in daycares that function as warehouses for neglected kids, in a society that values money over human life.
We are, in the western world, and especially in the US, a broken civilization that has its priorities all upside down.
And our inner children are suffering as a result, playing out old cycles, responding to triggers in reactionary ways that only continue unhealthy cycles.
And those unhealthy cycles have damaged our inner children in ways both mental and physical.
Even if we were never victims of physical abuse, and even if we were never subjected to sustained verbal and mental abuse, little “t” trauma is stored in our psyches and in our bodies as well.
It simply is what it is.
As humans, the ideal is that we are raised in happy, healthy, loving homes by parents and extended family members and friends invested in our well-being.
We are not neglected, our feelings are valued, and we are encouraged to find our path and soul purpose in life through the support and guidance of our wiser elders who understand how to help us connect to our own inner voice.
If you were not raised in an environment like this, you like have some work to do to heal your inner child.
Trauma and the Old Ways of Thinking
It has been thus for centuries.
Parents suffer, they pass that suffering on to their children, the cycles continue.
As villages have broken up and families move away from each other, we have even fewer support systems.
The American way, a direct descendant from the Western European way, is to shove our feelings down, put our heads down, and struggle for survival.
A select few can rise to the top, ascend class restrictions, and build on “the American dream,” but those select few often also must reject all notions of feeling and family along the way.
They die rich, but alone.
And their deathbed laments are often for having abandoned family and love in favor of money.
This is not a lecture on the sins of wanting money or having it.
It is a lesson that you can have it all, but you have work to do to get there in a way that will have you leaving a legacy behind of love and laughter and joy.
You must heal your inner child.
Healing from Trauma Today: How to Heal Your Inner Child
The first steps to heal your inner child require self-awareness.
You have to recognize that you are living a largely reactionary, unconscious life.
Your subconscious is on autopilot, playing out old cycles, and you are likely self-medicating in one way or another.
And realize that self-medicating takes on many forms – drinking or drugs, risky sexual behaviors, overeating, too much social media and television, and even exercising excessively can all be forms of self-medication.
If you have feelings you are shoving down and escaping in some way, you are likely self-medicating.
It is time to face your feelings and release them.
Eckhart Tolle tells us that once we become aware that we are not our feelings, we are not what happened to or happens to us, we are not the thinking mind, but the consciousness behind the thinking mind, we begin to heal.
So the first step is to acknowledge that you are broken, that you have an inner child who needs to be healed and reparented.
Then, you do the work of healing.
Be really clear as you enter this healing journey that it will likely take the rest of your life, but that the first few steps are the hardest.
Once you clear those, you are well on your way. After that, it is really just a matter of consistency and faith.
I cannot say which is harder to heal, the mind or the body, but I know that once you begin healing both, you feel almost immediate relief.
The mental aspects involved in learning to heal your inner child require you to, as Joe Dispenza puts it, break the habit of being yourself.
It is all about retraining that subconscious that was poorly trained in those first 7 years of your life.
Yes, there is hope!
You are not stuck with the brain you have.
To spiritually heal your inner child on a mental level, you will need to break your bad habits, and the only way to do that effectively is to transfer them to healthy habits.
Replace crap food with healthy food.
Replace screen time with exercise.
Replace late nights with early mornings.
Replace bad relationships with a healthy relationship first and foremost with yourself and then with others who live well and do well, likeminded individuals.
Build one healthy habit into your life at a time, and the first one is always going to be meditation.
Sit for 20 minutes each day, before you do anything else, and quiet your mind, still your thoughts, and allow yourself to sink into your higher self.
When you connect to your higher self, to God, you show your whole body, mind, and spirit, what you are capable of.
Remember, always, that you are an infinitely powerful, loving, wise, spirit form in a temporary human vessel.
Wake up to that, and anything is possible.
But you cannot forget the physical aspect of healing.
Especially if you have experienced great, capital “T” Trauma, your body is storing it. All of it.
We are trained from a very young age to suck it up, to shove it down, and to hide our feelings.
Those feelings are held tightly in our bodies, and they will insist on working their way out.
Often, we develop cancers and other internal illnesses from holding onto so much trauma.
You will have to let it out.
Develop a healthy exercise routine, walk outside for an hour a day, plant your bare feet on the bare earth for an hour each day, dance, chant, and consider engaging in TRE or EMDR to cycle out the trauma you have stored in your body.
That inner child is begging you to help her grow up and develop.
And you, and your spirit, will be so glad you did.