Inner Child Healing Exercise
Childhood Photograph Dialogue Exercise
Yes, that’s me at five years old. That little girl is who went through some scary things and didn’t understand why. That’s the little girl who figured she better be a “good girl”, because maybe if she was “good”, Mom and Dad would get along better. Maybe Dad wouldn’t drink as much. Maybe Mom wouldn’t be so sad. Maybe they would be more emotionally available.
Here’s a chance to work with your inner child. Here you will go through some old photographs and choose one that resonates with you. It could be when you were a baby, six years old, or even a teenager. Place the photo in front of you on a table and grab your journal.
You’re going to dialogue with “little” you in this exercise – your Inner Child. This will help you get more in touch with the emotions you were feeling back then and allow you to begin separating yourself from the past and integrating old wounds or that energy that’s been locked deep within you.
Now, the first part of this exercise I want you to look at the picture and go back to that time and think about what was going on in life then. Answer such questions as:
- How old were you?
- What was going on in your life at that time?
- Do you remember feeling happy, sad, scared, etc. at that time?
- Do you like looking at that picture? If so, why? If not, why?
Now, acting as Little You, start free writing to Adult You. Feel the energy of being a kid again and just let the pen start writing. For example, you can begin by writing,
“Hi. I am (your name). I am six years old and I’m at school. This is me getting my picture taken. My mom curled my hair this morning and picked out this pink shirt. I like this shirt. I think I look pretty today and I really liked how my mom spent a lot of time this morning helping me get ready for school. I’m a little nervous…..”
Don’t be concerned about what you’re saying. Just let it come out as it does. It can be short or long. For me, I got such a good feeling writing about how I felt about my mom taking the time to curl my hair and pick out a nice shirt for me to wear. I felt her love. It was a special time for sure.
Now, I want you to begin writing from your Adult Self to your Little Self. Write whatever comes to mind and ask questions if you like. Let’s look at an example:
“Hi Little Dominica. You look so cute in the picture! I love your hair and that blouse is adorable! I think YOU are adorable! I can tell you are a little bit nervous and shy in that picture. You are not quite sure you trust whoever is taking that photo. You feel a bit self-conscious, as I see your head is slightly down and you’re smiling half-heartedly. I wonder how you like school and what it’s like to go home every day. What do you do when you get home? Who is there? Is Mom there when you get home? Is Dad working? Do you have friends at school?”
You can then dialogue with Little You. Let the conversation go however it goes. There is no right or wrong here. By dialoguing, you may be able to pinpoint some issues or feelings that were going on at that time and perhaps begin to see how those feelings or situations may be affecting you as an adult.
Spend time with your Little Self or Inner Child sometimes. That precious part of you that is pure, innocent, and free.
This is the way your spirit is. Pure. Innocent. Free.
You may have lost touch with that part of you, as you may have been living life based on a false sense of self or disconnected from your ture self and perhaps even God. You’ve been looking “out there” for many years trying to find happiness and discover yourself.
But darling, it’s within. God, peace, joy, and love are within.
Luke 17:21 “The Kingdom of God is WITHIN you.”
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.