Loving Your Inner Child

November 11, 2012 — 4 Comments

One of the most powerful exercises you can do to overcome anxiety, depression or other dysfunctional family issues is to love the wounded little child inside of you.

Loving Your Inner Child

Remember that all of us were wounded in one way or another, whether it was done by well-meaning parents who simply didn’t know what we needed emotionally, or whether we were abandoned, abused or neglected.

A Simple Exercise

Loving your inner child is a simple exercise that anyone can do. You can start by just imagining yourself as a baby or a young child and ask yourself, “If this little person was my son (or daughter), how would I show him (or her) that I love him?”

Would you hug him or hold him? Would your show a genuine interest in him or spend some quality time with him? Would you laugh and play with him?

What kind, loving words would you say to this little person? Would you want to say some of these things?

“I love you just the way you are!”
“You’re handsome (beautiful), special and important to me!”
“I understand better than anyone what you’ve been through!”
“I’ll never leave you, no matter what!”
“What could I do to make you happy today?”

You could also say some of the words you always wanted to hear from your parents. If you take a moment, you’ll probably think of what some of those words or phrases would be.

Practice Regularly

It’s also a great idea to practice loving your inner child on a regular basis, for example every morning when you first wake up. Sometimes it helps to write a letter to your inner child and tell him (or her) how sorry you are for what happened and how dedicated and determined you are to helping him (or her) overcome the past and make a better life in the future.

Be aware that when you first start trying to love your inner child, you may find it challenging. Clients often tell me in counseling that they don’t want to love their inner child or somehow they believe that they just can’t. I’ve found that this is often because they are still blaming themselves for what happened in their childhood.

It’s not Your Fault!

It’s never a good idea to blame your child self for what happened to you back then. It’s never a child’s fault that he (or she) was hurt or abused. It’s always the responsibility of the adults in the situation. However, it’s very common for children to think it’s their fault and blame themselves. That’s actually where guilt, shame and self-hate come from.

Children are egocentric, or in other words, they believe the world revolves around them. If a child was loved and cherished every day of his (or her) life, he believes it’s because he is a special and wonderful human being. If, on the other hand, he (or she) was abandoned, neglected or abused, or not emotionally supported in the ways he needed, that it’s because he did something wrong.

Children honestly believe that when they are treated negatively, it means that they are bad children or ‘not good enough’ to be treated with love and kindness. When a child suffers extreme trauma, neglect or abuse, his (or her) guilt, shame and self-hate will also be extreme.

If you are struggling with any of these issues, you may want to consider finding a compassionate counselor or psychotherapist to help you face the truth of what really happened to you and how it has affected your adult life. It really helps to have someone you trust validate the truth of your experience.

Keep Loving the Child Within

Whatever you do, don’t stop loving your inner child! Stay persistently focused on it until you can really imagine this little person becoming a healthy, happy child.

It’s very important to understand that you were just an innocent little boy or girl who was hurt or neglected. By doing that, you can begin to let go of the guilt, shame and self-hate that you have carried.

Loving your inner child helps your bright, beautiful future to really begin!

Leave a Comment or a Question

I’d love to hear your comments and questions.

Have you experienced anything like this in your life?

What would you like to hear more about?

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More Information:

For more information, you may also want to read some of Kari’s other posts:

10 Simple Ways to Love Yourself

How to Practice Emotional Healing

Why Emotional Healing Far Surpasses Medication

Why Does Emotional Healing Transform Your Life?

50 Long-Term Benefits of Emotional Healing

100 Best Psychology/Self-Help Books


4 responses to Loving Your Inner Child

  1. What a wonderful resource this site is and what a wonderful article this is. Kari, your sharing in this way is such a generous and compassionate gift to those suffering.

    The healing journey for me is a wonderful process of continual personal successes. You highlight my success knowing it was not my fault I was abused and neglected.

    I have also learned it is not my responsibility and therefore guilt is not an option, to enable family who are still dis-empowered, through neglecting their own needs and keeping the abuse under wraps.

    I see my recovery as an example for others to find the courage to reach out for all the very best they desire. I know that I deserve the best in life as does everyone who is willing to move beyond the concept of fear, being a good boy, girl or person, and keeping the bad behavior of their ‘elders’ quiet.

    Wisdom does not always come with age, it may, but it is a choice to heal, learn and grow and make a positive difference through living your life.

    Writing this warms my heart and brings a smile to my face. Bless you! I know that life is what you make it and mine is wonderful and ever-changing for my benefit.

  2. I found something like this elsewhere and really enjoyed. Some more of this please! Thanks

  3. This inner concept came to my life many years ago. But when I revisit it, it refreshes me and enlightened me a lot. Ben Loh

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