No matter how old people are, everyone has an inner child. That simply means there is a little person living inside our big self. Even so, we should strive for the adult to be the dominate one. However, most people have found that if an issue was not dealt with as a child, it will come to the surface in one’s adult life. For an example, if a small child was rejected, the adult will still go through periods of rejection. Unfortunately, the rejections won’t stop until that inner child is reckoned with.
According to Jack Plotnick, it is up to you to monitor how you treat your inner child. You should get in touch with your inner child so you can enjoy your adult life without the same problems you had as a child. If a child had a problem that was covered up and never resolved, then the adult will have that same problem.
If you were hurt in any way as a child, you hold onto the hurt long after the people who hurt you are gone. However, your inner child holds onto the past hurt until you, as an adult, go to that child and help him. If not, you are abusing your inner child just as you were abused. You should create a new reality for your inner child by nourishing him and loving him and letting go so your inner child can let go of past hurts.
You might be wondering how you can let your inner child grow up to enjoy a happy life. It is not very hard to do, but you have to be intentional about it. Imagine yourself as a small child, maybe 4 or 5, or back to a time when you were still completely innocent. See your inner child happy and carefree. Take your inner child by the hand and walk away to a happy place. When you feel safe, pick up your inner child. Promise to keep him safe. Then place the child in your heart and that is where he will live, calm, happy and carefree. You are now the parent to your inner child.
When you see a person who is still reacting to a wound in their past, it’s as if the inner child is not in the safe company of an adult. The adult isn’t tending to the child’s needs. That child feels all alone, rejected and abandoned.
Even though we have grown up, we still might have an inner child inside our heart that we have not allowed to grow up. The child is living by old rules of our past. Let your inner child grow up and be happy. Be a good friend to your inner child. Fulfill her needs as a parent. Love her as a friend. Listen to her needs, and treat her the way you wish you had been treated, with love and complete acceptance. Until you deal with your inner child, you will always have unsolved past hurts.
You can learn more about your inner child in John Bradshaw’s book, “Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child.”