A coach once told me that all our problems stem from 2 people in this world: mommy and daddy and our relationship with them.
At the time I didn’t think much of all he said because it seemed so much like psychobabble but after all the work I’ve done to heal myself I know that to change your life, you have to let go of the past and heal your inner child.
All psychology books will tell you that the child learns behaviour, including financial behaviour, from their parents or tribe (extended family and close family friends).
We treat ourselves and discipline ourselves the same way our parents treated us.
Meeting the inner child
According to the model of transactional analysis, developed by Dr Eric Berne, we have 3 parts to our personality – parent, child and adult and these constantly transact or communicate with one another.
According to Berne, there are 2 types of parent:
- the nurturing parent, who is very supportive of the child and
- the controlling parent who is very critical of the child.
And there are 3 types of children:
- The little professor, who is always exploring the world
- The adaptive child who adapts to situations by either rebelling or fitting in
iii. The natural child who is carefree and happy
At any stage in our relationships with others or ourselves we either in the adult, parent or child role. When we’re in the parent role we tend to take on our parents’ role and treat ourselves and those around us the way our parents treated us.
This isn’t a problem if your parent role is nurturing and tells our inner child that everything will be okay and we do not have to worry.
If your parents were critical, there’s a high probability that you’ll criticize your inner child and stunt your own growth.
The cycle of criticism continues and can even give rise to feelings of shame and make you feel like you’re not good enough or deserving.
How to Heal Your Inner Child & Change Your Life
But there comes a time when we can no longer suppress the needs of our inner child. The child then starts to rebel and rule our lives, which leads to self-sabotage.
1. Get to know your inner child
Before you can heal your inner child you need to understand their needs which, means you have to take time getting to know them.
I usually take clients through a guided inner child meditation/ visualization where they get to meet their inner child and then based on where they are on their journey I have them ask their child questions and just start to build a relationship with them and just ask them what they need.
The inner child meditation is simple: close your eyes and in your mind see yourself at the age of 4 or 5 and just observe this child, now approach the child (as the adult) and start talking to him or her and ask questions about how they feel, what are they doing etc.
2. Heal the needs of your child
Once you’ve met your inner child, start giving them attention every day and just hug him or her if they let you.
It may take a while for the child to trust you but that’s only because they are hurt. This distrust may be more pronounced if you have played the role of the critical parent for too long.
Give your inner child love and attention during the visualization process by simply hugging her and telling her that he or she’s beautiful and perfect as is.
Many of us, didn’t hear this growing up and have an innate belief that to get love we have to do something or be something or meet certain expectations, which would explain why we’re workaholics and obsessed with achieving.
When you’ve started to develop a more trusting relationship with your inner child ask him or her what would make him or her happy and go out and do it.
Louise Hay in her book “The power is within you” suggests that you should visualize yourself giving your inner child what they want, and then try to give them that in real life as well.
For example she says her inner child needs to feel safe so she visualizes her in a pent house with a butler and 2 dogs but she also pays attention to what makes her inner child unsafe in the real world and talks to her to let her know that it is okay and she is safe.
What came up during the inner child healing exercise?
Let me know in the comments section.