Healing the Child Within
The wounded child within us is always present, waiting for us to turn our attention inwards towards its needs.
Most people have experienced some type of trauma as a child. These experiences may vary, i.e. having your favourite toy thrown in the bin or experiencing detachment through being placed in childcare. More significant and painful experiences are incurred by parental separation or divorce, abandonment, rejection or abuse.
Whatever the degree of the trauma, the painful experiences are unknowingly repressed by us when we come into adulthood. These psychological wounds remain in our cellular memory during our lifetime – the impacts of the wounds are long lasting. The wounds of childhood may reveal itself in adult years through: relationship difficulties, trust issues, self esteem, anger issues, physical ailments, depression & anxiety – it may even impact on a sexual level.
We have all had times of difficulty as children. If any uncomfortable childhood memories arise, we push these feelings and memories deep down into the unconscious mind. Yet the wounded child within is always present, demanding our attention. He/she will show itself in our later years with: feelings of helplessness, insecurity, anger, a cry for love, a cry to be noticed, a cry to be whole, strong and worthy. All the child within asks for is for care and love, but most often if not always, we do the opposite.
Thich Nhat Hanh – Zen Master and Spiritual Leader has presented many talks on this subject. He emphasises that : “By simply becoming aware of the wounded child within, we are beginning to reconnect with this forgotten part of ourselves, we can then begin to feel great compassion towards our inner child and generate the practise of mindfulness”. (Thich Nhat Hanh.2010). Through the art of ‘loving ourselves’, with understanding and compassion for our wounded child, we can reconcile with our inner child and allow ourselves to open our hearts to others. When we are able to allow people to love us, we can release the previous suspicions of everything and everyone
Nhat refers to this self care and self-love as being a very “pleasant practise”. Instead of fighting your emotions, you are nurturing yourself with tenderness and compassion. He terms this as being gentle with yourself and “smiling on the inside”. Although the difficult emotions will still be present, the suffering will gradually decrease. It becomes more stronger the more you practise”.
Just by holding your wounded child gently within, you are already bringing calm and ease, you are soothing the difficult emotions. You are allowing your stronger, positive and nurturing emotions to shine through with the practise of mindfulness and concentration, you are then able to see the roots of these mental formations which arise from the unconscious. By being more aware of where your suffering has come from, this brings a sense of peace and acceptance. This mindfulness allows you to recognize, embrace, and relieve.
The simple practise of awareness and self love, is the first steps to honouring and healing your inner child. Thich Nat Hanh has dedicated a book on this subject with a depth of understanding and beneficial practises. “Reconciliation: Healing The Inner Child” . Thich Nhat Hanh.2010
Noticing and listening to the call of the inner child is the is the first steps towards reconciliation.
In regard to healing the Inner Child, there is a broad range of therapists, counsellors, healers and coaches which have different approaches to inner child healing. All of these therapists would agree that if you make an effort to contact, listen to, communicate with and nurture your inner child, you can find and heal the underlying issues and bring peace, harmony into your child self.
In my own experience of “healing the inner child”, I have applied some of the lessons which Thich Nhat Hanh offers. In times of stress or not coping, I don’t beat myself up about it, but look to nurturing and encouraging my inner child. It’s ok to make mistakes, we all do. It’s ok to feel vulnerable, we all experience this. I will mentally speak to my inner child and hold compassion for her. Often in times when you need support, love and understanding, sometimes that genuine regard can only come from your self – your mature, responsible, wise, loving self. This part of you, that which is love, is the great quality for healing your inner child.
I have also found that meditating on the chakra’s and mentally activating and harmonising the 7 Chakra’s has been beneficial for health and wellbeing – mentally, emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually. When I meditate on the 7 chakra’s, I invoke an Archangel for each Chakra. The base chakra in particular is significant for healing the inner child. This Chakra is what brings a strong sense of safety and security, it grounds us with a sense of belonging and establishes our deep trust of our place in the world.
In order to align, balance and activate the 7 Chakras:
Visualise each Chakra in turn, giving adequate time for each individual Chakra. Visualise and breathe in the associated colour of the Chakra and visualise it’s vibrant colour gently spinning in rhythm with your breath. After attuning with and activating all 7 chakra’s, come back to the Base Chakra (Muladhara). The colour of the Base Chakra is Red, the Archangel associated with this Chakra is Archangel Gabriel.
Archangel Gabriel is the patron Archangel of all children, including the child within you. His healing colour is white, representing the “Purity of Love”. As you invoke Archangel Gabriel’s healing powers into your Base Chakra, visualise “Pure White Light” entering into your chakra, and stirring gently anticlockwise in a spiral.
The healing qualities of Archangel Gabriel, aligns you with your self worth…..to know that you are worthy and have an important place in the world. His healing qualities allows you to transform your past memories (conscious or unconscious) and insecurities of the child self. Your fears and doubts are transforming into love, peace and acceptance.
The practise of invocation is best done on a regular basis; either daily or once a week.
“In the name of Archangel Gabriel, I refuse to engage my energies in anything less than the perfection of Love”
I AM the Purity of Love I AM the Purity of Joy
I AM the Purity of Grace I AM the Purity of Hope
Lo, I AM worthy of the Purity of Love (3 x )
We all have the capacity to heal ourselves, our past wounds and conflictions. The Sacred Child Within, deserves the warm embrace of our love & self-nurturing. Every suffering of our wounded child can be healed through positive qualities of love.
Your child self is your True essence of Happiness, Pure Love, Joy, Enthusiasm, Playfulness, Creativity, Imagination, Adventure and Inner Beauty. All of these qualities should be present within in you, from your childhood and all through your life. The gift of the Sacred Child within is for you to embrace and love life in it’s fullness. The inner calling is for you to embrace your true nature and become whole.
Reference & Recommended Readings
“Reconciliation: Healing The Inner Child” Thich Nhat Hanh.2010 Parallax Press, California.
Inner Child Meditations & Healing:
Chakra’s : associated qualities and colours