11 Things Your Inner Child Wants To Hear From You
Dan is stuck in life. He gets up every morning and puts a smile on for his work peers, but inside, he’s depressed and angry. He’s 28 and thought by now, his life would be a lot different.
He thought he’d be married with children, have a nice house in the suburbs, and enjoy fishing and family time on the weekends.
But that’s not his reality.
Dan is enduring a toxic relationship with a woman who is controlling, bitchy, and cold. He wants out, but he’s scared. He fears being alone and hurting her.
At a family gathering, Dan’s aunt (who is pretty intuitive) notices what’s going on with Dan and his relationship. She pulls him aside and offers a safe space for him to open up about how he’s “really” doing.
“I’m miserable. I don’t know what to do.”
Thankfully, Dan’s aunt understood how important counseling can be. How valuable it can be as an adult to go back and see what the heck happened that created the present circumstances. What cultivated the depression? Anger? No boundaries? Lack of self-love?
Inner Healing Work 101
She encouraged him to attend therapy with a counselor who would do some “inner healing work” with him.
Feeling rather desperate, he followed through with it.
And it was through a year of counseling that Dan learned about inner child wounds, emotional healing, and broke through some really tough stuff in his life.
Was it easy?
There were times in therapy he hated being there. He hated learning things about himself that he was ashamed of. He hated becoming conscious that his childhood wasn’t as “perfect” as he thought it was. He learned about codependency characteristics. He was terrified of being vulnerable and showing emotions.
But he kept going. He knew he wanted to experience a better life and believed that Inner Child Healing work was his path toward getting there.
What Is The Inner Child?
Everyone of us has an “inner child”. The parts of us that we started forming the day we arrived here on planet Earth.
Some parts are absolutely glorious. Pure, innocent, joyful, playful, curious.
Others are wounded. They’re hurt, confused, enraged, sad, scared, lonely.
Dan got familiar with those parts of him that were wounded with some insights from therapy. Those parts of him that felt small, lost, afraid, insecure, and not good enough.
One of the most important things he learned besides the actual inner child healing work was learning how to talk to his inner child. How to affirm that little boy who always did the best he could at dealing with what came his way in life.
Have you been doing some inner healing work?
If you can relate to a wounded inner child – those parts of you that suffer in silence, shame, anger, resentment, fear, etc., here are some valuable things you can say to nurture and heal your inner child.
- I’m Sorry
Dear inner child, I’m so sorry you had to go through some really tough, painful times. I’m sorry for my part in this – like overworking, numbing out negative emotions, and consciously stuffing feelings. I’m sorry I ignored you for so long.
- I Adore You
Dear inner child, I love you so much! Maybe you didn’t feel lovable at times when you were young, but you were ALWAYS loved. I will always show up as LOVE without conditions for you. (Look in a mirror and tell your inner child, “I love you” often.)
- I Hear You
Your wounded inner child will try to get your attention. They want to be heard. Who knows how many times they were told as a child to “be quiet!” Or worse, “Shut up!” Those words can be harmful to a child, and that hurt doesn’t just disappear. That negative energy gets zipped up into a little fragment that the child carries on over into adulthood. But it wants you to unzip and unpack it. Deal, feel, and heal it.
So, when you’re feeling negative emotions (and positive ones too!), say, “Dear inner child, I hear you. I am listening. What is it you’re wanting to tell me? I open a safe space for you to share and delight in really listening.”
- You Never Deserved This
Children don’t deserve to be shamed, neglected, abused, manipulated, etc. And, they don’t know how to process and handle all that comes their way, so they tend to grow up thinking they somehow DID deserve it.
Tell your inner child, “Hey there. You didn’t deserve any of those things that happened to you that made you feel sad, bad, shame, and so on. You were not bad. You didn’t do anything wrong. Please hear me on this: You did NOT deserve any of it.”
- You Did Amazing!
Tell your inner child, “Whoa, you did AMAZING! You were a survivor – even when you were scared and feeling alone, you did what you had to do to get through. You were a warrior. A true hero (heroine).
- Thank You
Dear inner child, thank you for everything you are. For what you went through. For being authentically you. For not giving up. For protection. For holding it together even when you were so scared and confused. For still trying to protect me today. Thank you. I am so grateful for ALL OF YOU. Today, tomorrow, always.
- I Forgive You
Essentially, with this one you are forgiving yourself. Do you know how many people live their entire life beating themselves up, feeling shame? Hating themselves for things they did and things they didn’t do. And, things they THOUGHT were their fault.
Forgive yourself, dear one.
Dear inner child. I know you didn’t do everything perfectly and made some mistakes along the way. I forgive you. I mean, I really forgive you and from here on out, I commit to staying in the present. Living in the moment, not getting all caught up in “what ifs” or “I should have…” Let’s let the past go, and breathe a big sigh of “all is well” relief!
- Let’s Do This!
Reparenting the wounded parts of myself, healing them, has helped me develop a closer connecting with my inner child. Instead of walking around with all these “splits”, we’re more unified. There are still some wounds that get triggered. There’s more work to do around them, and that’s alright.
It’s a journey.
But more and more, I’m having this internal dialogue with my inner self and we’re both saying, “Let’s do this!” It’s a together effort, Little Me and Big Me. My inner child wants to feel free, laugh, enjoy life. Play! Sometimes she has to remind Adult me of this.
Sometimes I have to remind Little Me to step back. That she can let go and allow mature, healthy “me” to handle life.
It’s a partnership. So, say to your inner child, “We got this!”
- What You Want And Need Matter
Dear inner child, what you want and need matter.
This is important to say to yourself often. No more making decisions based on everyone else around you. Pause and go within. Check in with your whole self before making decisions. Affirm your inner child that they are important. That they are valuable and validate what they want and need, and perhaps didn’t get as a child.
- You Can Let Go
Dear inner child, you can let go.
When you say this, notice how your body relaxes. Your shoulders drop. Your stomach relaxes. You can breathe deeper.
Your wounded inner child wants to LET GO. They want mature, healthy, healed you to take the reigns and live more in the present moment. They want to experience peace and joy. And this is possible when you contend with the wounded parts once and for all.
- You Will ALWAYS Be Enough
Tell your inner child, “You will ALWAYS be enough.”
Say it every day!
Reparenting Your Inner Child
Inner child healing may be a foreign topic to some people, but the concept has been around for a long time. I can attest to the therapeutic value in the work. It has helped me heal some wounds in the past and – even recently is helping me work through some other wounds that I’ve never consciously dealt with.
Reparent your inner child, with the goal of healing and integrating pent-up, negative energy that’s been keeping you feeling sad, depressed, anxious, fearful, alone, shameful, and more.
Let your inner child hear from you often. Affirm and love without conditions, because you matter. Your well-being matters. You are enough and you deserve to live a life full of peace and joy – transcending the illusion of suffering.
Dominica Applegate is an author, writer, and transpersonal spiritual teacher. Her teachings have helped millions of people experience emotional healing, relationship repair, and spiritual awakening. Earning her BA in Psychology and MA in Counseling, she worked 12 years in the mental health field before diving full-time into writing.
She runs Rediscovering Sacredness, an online portal that offers inspiration, essays, resources, and tools to help heal inner pain and experience more peace and joy.
Her books include Recycle Your Pain: It Has a Purpose, Into The Wild Shadow Work Journal, and a collection of poetry entitled, The Pain, It Shapes Her World.