I’m aware that “healing the inner child” is not high on the average guy’s to-do list, and probably isn’t a hot-topic among most people. However, whether we know it or not, we all operate from limiting subconscious beliefs that formed during our childhood experiences.
It is possible to discover and unravel what these beliefs are, because they get triggered during times of stress. More accurately, they cause our stress. For instance, underneath anxiety about school might be an early life subconscious belief of, “I must get a good grade” or “I can’t make a mistake.” These mind programs guide our lives behind the scene. Some others might be: “If I open my heart, I’ll get hurt.” “If I speak my truth, I’ll be ridiculed.” “It isn’t safe to share my deepest emotions.” “I’m responsible for other’s feelings.” These are just a few examples of our fear-based subconscious assumptions.
Healing inner child wounds is not only for severe abuse cases, but also for individuals awakening to their mental and emotional programming and conditioning that formed at an early age. It’s a natural part of being human. In fact, becoming aware of our negative belief system lessens stress and enhances our lives. Anais Nin wrote: “We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.”
As children, we are completely dependent on our parents not only for food and shelter, but also a sense of security, love, connection and value. They are like our gods. If there’s disharmony in the home, and a child does not experience these feelings often, they may assume that they are the cause of the problem.
If a circumstance causes them to feel hurt or unwanted, a deep unworthy mind program can develop to match their feeling. They often take negative feelings personally. If they feel unloved they don’t have the capability to say, “Dad’s inability to express love has to do with his own baggage.” Instead, they silently assume it’s all about them. These wounds continue to be turned inward and later contribute to anxiety and depression. The subconscious mind programs from these wounds then influence the way we respond to life until we liberate ourselves from these self-defeating beliefs by becoming aware of them as adults.
The messages we receive as children go directly into the subconscious mind. The body then feels those hurtful messages, and because they are not able to be articulated and expressed, or “emoted” through us, they become stuck emotions, or stuck “energy in motion” in the body. As a result, when we enter adulthood, though we can intellectually understand that it’s not our fault, that we really are worthy of love, and that our parents did the best they could, those mind programs continue to work on a subconscious level as stuck energy in the body which sabotages our present life.
One way to begin the journey to release this energy is simply to become aware of any negative feeling the next time you’re emotionally triggered. Feel in the body the sensation whether anxiety, fear, or any other one that starts to bubble up into your consciousness. Begin by tracing it back to the earliest time you can remember, then let the story of the past drop, and focus on only the sensation of the emotion in the body with pure awareness.
Be fully present with it for about 30 seconds with a curiosity of what the sensation of that particular memory or emotion feels like in the body. Breathe oxygen into the sensation to help dissolve it. Eckhart Tolle writes that this will bring about an alchemical reaction that will dissipate the knot of that emotion like the sun melts an ice cube. In this manner, we can be liberated from the false beliefs that held us captive.
Letting go of inner childhood wounds does not have to involve years of therapy. It really needs your focused attention for a while. Instead of something to battle against, think of them as a nagging 5-year old trying to get your attention so it can be released and healed. Healing is about making the unconscious conscious so we are no longer governed by the hidden mind programs that limit us. As a result, we become increasingly freer, more awake and able to be more fully present in the here and now.