A Glimmer A Day

Healing Your Inner Child and Finding the Glimmers

We all have ‘stuff’ we carry over from childhood that influences our thoughts, behaviours and self-worth as adults whether we realise it or not, even if overall you believe had a great childhood, where your physical and emotional needs were usually met. Carrying the negative effects of childhood into adulthood is especially prevalent for those who would describe their childhood as being from less than ideal to downright abusive. Perhaps they dealt with physical, emotional or sexual abuse and trauma, maybe they were neglected or they had emotionally immature parents who were unable to give them the emotional stability required due to their unresolved issues. Either way, to prevent the cycles of negative ‘stuff’ being carried from generation to generation, it is up to us as adults to look within and begin to start healing our inner child.

So what is your inner child?

It may sound like psychological hokum but think of it like your inner child is the person you were when you were little being looked after by significant adults. That little child never grew up but is still living somewhere deep in your subconscious. The negative words and accusations such as you are ‘lazy’ ‘greedy’ or a ‘disappointment’ that you were told by trusted adults subconsciously stay with you throughout your life and become your inner critic.

According to Integrative Psychotherapy:

Your ‘inner child’ is a part of your subconscious that has been picking up messages way before it was able to fully process what was going on (mentally and emotionally). It holds emotions, memories and beliefs from the past as well as hopes and dreams for the future.

What is your inner critic?

Our inner critics are the voices we have absorbed of those who perhaps were critical, angry, judgemental or non-compassionate with our younger selves. It could be the voice of a parent, other relative or teacher but always someone who was in authority and whose opinion mattered to you. The inner critic often berates us when we are less than ‘perfect’ and we relive the old feelings of shame, guilt and even fear when listening to these negative thoughts. These negative thought spirals contribute to poor mental health as we can never feel we are good enough or doing enough when the inner critic is so loudly telling us the opposite.

How do we start to heal our inner child and silence our inner critic?

It might sound weird or out of your comfort zone but try speaking to that little girl or boy inside you as this can help begin to heal old wounds and present-day insecurities. Give ‘little you’ the love, the compassion, and the validation that you needed when you were young and that you didn’t receive from those whose responsibility it was to provide. Regularly tell ‘little you’ that you are lovable, you are a good person, you are smart, beautiful, brave, kind, enough- whatever it is you needed to hear and the opposite of what you were lead to believe.

If you do this often maybe when cleaning your teeth or when you realise the intrusive inner critic thoughts are occurring, you will notice that your inner critic becomes less loud and vocal. You will start to notice when you are being unkind to yourself and tell yourself it is not true- you are not stupid, ugly, an idiot or whatever your inner critic likes to tell you. You are a good person, you are worthy of love, and you are more than enough. This is called re-parenting yourself, giving yourself the emotional parenting you needed as a child and it will go a long way towards healing your inner child, improving your mental health and relationships with yourself and others. It will also make you aware of how you speak to the children in your life as you don’t want your voice to become their inner- critic in the future.

Things to tell your inner child
  • You are beautiful inside and out
  • It’s not your fault
  • You are loved and matter
  • Your opionions are valid
  • You are more than enough
  • I see you, I love you.

How to use your inner child to find your Glimmers

It’s time to get reacquainted with your inner child and have some pure, unadulterated fun! Be silly, blow bubbles, swing as high as you can in the park, dance, play tag, roll down a grassy hill, fart and laugh…remember that old feeling of freedom and joy?

We all need to take time out from the problems and mundanity of this adulting malarkey and find our glimmers. Watch your mood improve and the heaviness that weighs you down lighten.