As we grow through life, we inevitably collect inner child wounds. Wounds that are hurts, upsets, inflictions and challenges that we face at every stage in our lives as we grow older.
As we grow older we face many challenges and often we are not equipped with the tools that we have as adults to deal with situations. Therefore it can leave us feeling hurt and not understanding what is going on. The inner child is resolving the hurts that were not resolved as children. The hurts stay with us as children and as we develop into teenagers and adults we shape our lives around these hurts and beliefs that we form because of these hurts. These hurts can cause you to turn to food, alcohol or drugs to help you soothe.
Here are 4 inner child wounds
- Trust – You may have been let down as a child and therefore now find it hard to trust people.
- Abandonment – You may have been left by a parent, given up for adoption or put into the care system. This can cause you to fear being left alone.
- Neglect wound – You may have been treated poorly and or abused by your caregivers. This can cause, deep-seated anger, and difficulty in forming relationships.
- Guilt wound – Were you blamed for things as a child? Were you manipulated to feel guilty for things you did? This manifests as you now blaming yourself and feeling guilty for the slightest perception of doing something wrong.
How these wounds manifest in adult life
You may find it difficult to trust people. This could be at a micro level where you believe people are not telling the truth to a bigger level where you believe partners are cheating on you when theey are not. You may experience trust issues with different aspects of your life, such as money, partners and friends.
You may find it difficult being alone. The prospect of being alone scares you. This could be a partner leaving you. It could cause you anxiety at the thought of losing friends or losing relationships. This could cause you to be co-dependent. You end up in relationships that are detrimental to you because you do not want to be alone.
You may have deep-seated anger residing in you. Maybe you get angry or upset very easily and you may find you turn to substances to help you manage your emotions. You may find abusive partners or people who don’t treat you very well, replicating your childhood.
You will feel guilty for the smallest perceived wrongdoings. Your perception will be viewing small behaviours as wrong or bad, when they are small slights, such as eating unhealthy food or having a poor habit. It can cause you to behave in a way that you are ‘good’ all of the time, scared to state how you feel in case you rock the boat. Scared to be the real you. You may find yourself with manipulative partners or friends.
How to start healing your inner child wounds
Healing is not a straightforward or easy step. Many times, we do not know where to start. How do we know what behaviours we have that are left over from our childhood or connected to our childhood in any way? It is good to get into daily habits of healing your inner child.
How do we know healing our inner child is going to change the way we are now? Is our eating going to get better? Will we stop turning to alcohol and food?
Where do we start with healing our inner child?
- Compassion. Start bringing in compassion to yourself. This is understanding why you might do certain behaviours. This is starting to be kind to yourself. At the core, you are a good person and iit is believing that you are.
- A picture. Have a picture of the younger you. Start telling you in the picture, all the good things that you see in her. How lovely she is, how beautiful and kind she is. Telling her something specific that you like about her. We are opening a door to kindness.
- Seeing good. It can be easy to spot all the bad things we have done, or where we have not done so well. We are often our harshest critic. Start turning that around to be our biggest cheerleaders. Even if we do not do something so well, give ourselves some support by acknowledging something that we did well.
You may be surprised at how small acts of kindness and compassion can transform the relationship that you have with yourself and others. Many people find life gets easier and more enjoyable and because of that, they notice, not having to turn to food, alcohol or drugs or other bad behaviours.
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