“My inner child is coming out and it hurts.”
Those were the words that read at the top of my screen as I scoured the internet one night in search of keywords for my new e-course on self-love.
I thought I was the only one who knew that kind of pain, I said to myself as I continued on with my work. This is the sh*t that no one talks about, but many of us are speaking upon to some degree. So, I just want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the giant elephant in the room.
Psychoanalyst Carl Jung suggests the archetypal nature of the inner child is the creative aspect of our being, though I believe to some degree, it is perhaps that eternal innocence we are all born with.
This is the part of us that came to this world undeniably perfect. The part that was a pure, clean slate with no traumas to speak of, no wounding inherited from others, and no belief systems in place. We were just the essence of pure love sent in these tiny bodies, fresh outside of our mothers’ wombs.
Some of us were born into situations and environments that were healthy and safe. Others had to learn way too quickly how to care and fend for ourselves, and we may have been forced to grow up much faster than our peers.
I’d just like to add that this post is not intended to be a “who had it worse” comparison sheet. For starters, I believe that every single person in the world has experienced some form of trauma in their lives to some degree, as trauma is defined as any event that was too much, too soon, or too fast for us to process.
This is about you and your story and it is not up for comparison with other people. My stance is: if it caused you pain, your pain is valid and it deserves a voice.
But I digress.
This innocence within us gets buried a little deeper every time we experience traumatic events. So, if someone is raised in a home where there is consistent abuse, neglect, rejection, alcoholism, scarcity, hunger, parents incarcerated, bullying, or racism, more than likely that inner child will get buried under harsh situations that began at home—and that trauma stays with us long after we leave the nest. It is theorized that we then become the inner child or buried inner child or wounded inner child masquerading in adult-sized bodies.
We take our pain out on others, subconsciously or otherwise, and we disconnect from the creativity within us. Some of us continue numbing with substance use and abuse, while some of us find comfort in abusive relationships with ourselves or others. We overeat, we overindulge, and we never find the thing that fills the void for us, which is ultimately the love we never received but so desperately needed as children.
So now let’s say that we have this big spiritual awakening and we start uncovering all of these buried aspects of ourselves.
If you are anything like I was, you might have absolutely no clue who your inner child is. Perhaps you never had the chance to fully embrace this part of yourself, and you start to recognize all of the ways you have carried on the abuse, neglect, and rejection within you right from childhood. You see all of the things or opportunities you missed out on, the parts of yourself that were never fully developed, and the ways in which you were subjected to things that feel unfair, and all of this pain that’s been shoved down begins to make its way into your consciousness.
The reason why healing the inner child hurts so much is because you are finally allowing healing to happen.
You are finally setting this part of yourself free. You are digging into your roots and nourishing or re-parenting yourself, perhaps for the first time ever. You are learning how to forgive yourself for carrying on certain abuses, you are recognizing the pain that you unconsciously kept inflicting, and you are learning how to forgive those who hurt you from their own deep, unhealed wounds.
None of this is easy.
I believe that if this work was easy, more people would be doing it, and our planet as a whole would be much better off in the long run.
I want you to know how brave, courageous, magical, and amazing you are. I want you to know how strong and capable you are, and most importantly, I want that little child within you to know how lovable you are simply because you are.
And if no one has told you today: I see you and I love you.