Many of our anxieties and fears come from our inner child rather than our adult self. Sometimes it is difficult to realize that the emotional upsets we feel are actually feelings left over from childhood fears, traumas, and experiences. When unhealed, they remain with us into adulthood, causing emotional distress over issues that competent "grown up" people feel they should be able to handle. For example, fear of the dark, fear of being unlovable, and fear of rejection often originate in early dysfunctional or unhappy experiences with our parents and siblings. While many of these deep, unresolved emotional issues may require counseling, particularly if they are causing anxiety episodes, there is much that we can do for ourselves to heal childhood wounds. The next exercise helps you to get in touch with your own inner child and facilitates the healing process.
Exercise: Healing the Inner Child
Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Breathe slowly and deeply.
Begin to get in touch with where your inner child resides. Is she located in your abdomen, in your chest, or by your side? (This may actually be the part of your body where you feel the most fear and anxiety, such as your chest or your pelvis.) How old is she? Can you see what clothes she is wearing? What are her emotions? Is she upset, anxious, sad, or angry? Is she withdrawn and quiet?
Begin to see her upset feelings flow out of her body and into a container on the floor. Watch the upset feelings wash out of every part of her body until they are all gone and the container is full. Then seal the container and slowly watch it fade and dissolve until it disappears completely, carrying all the upset feelings with it.
Now begin to fill your inner child with a peaceful, healing, golden light. Watch her become peaceful and mellow as the light fills every cell in her body. Watch her body relax. Give her a toy animal or a doll or even cuddle her in your arms.
As you leave your inner child feeling peaceful, return your focus to your breathing. Spend a minute inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly. If you like working with your inner child, return to visit her often!