I have noticed that some people resist inner child work because they think that they would criticize their parents and be ungrateful to them. That’s not what this work is about at all. It is actually about honoring the humanness in each and everyone. Primarily in yourself of course because that’s where the attention goes but also in your parents or whoever had a significant impact on your childhood.
We need to understand that we are ALL humans. As children, however, we tend to make our parents the heroes who are not allowed to make mistakes and be human. Some people end up idealizing their parents and are in denial about wounds they had experienced. Some people accuse their parents for what happened in the past and use it as an excuse to not grow up. I did both.
The ones who are idealizing tend to carry a huge amount of anger subconsciously, so it’s actually not that different from the ones who are blaming. They are both strategies to not feel what’s truly hurting inside. And that’s the thing. In order to heal we need to feel it, release it and create a new interpretation of the situation so that we can develop more compassion for all.
If you think about it a family itself is a super complex system where a few worlds just clash together and all the involved parties have to make it work without any actual instructions. There has to be conflict because the souls grow through conflict. And has anyone of us learned how to deal with conflict in a healthy way? I don’t thinks so! Or at least not the majority.
The inner child work is not about blaming your parents, caregivers or anyone else who had a strong influence in your childhood. It’s about healing parts in which your needs were not met. We are all so individual and so are our needs, even when parents do the very best to raise their children – and from my experience they always do in their own way- it doesn’t mean that the child’s needs were met.
Also, in our society we have a huge lack of information when it comes to trauma. Trauma is not only related to these big events where someone dies or gets abused, trauma is defined by the response we have internally to the external situation.
I’ll give you an example: A child who put their heart and soul into a painting shows their art work full of excitement to their dad. The dad just came home from work and is still worried about a project he is working on and maybe feeling pressured as the provider of the family because he wants everyone to be taken care of. He might just have a quick look at the art work without showing admiration or being present. He is caught in a bad moment and doesn’t think much about it.
Unfortunately, children often don’t understand this and make it all about themselves. This situation could create beliefs like „I am not worthy“, „I am not seen“, „if I share my heart I will get hurt“, “my paintings suck”. A very strong response would be that the child will never draw or paint again because it associates the experience with pain and doesn’t want to go there anymore. There are many different factors that play an important role when it comes to our internal response as we are super complex beings but I don’t want to get too carried away.
You see, what point I am trying to make?
I believe that we have become very numb to these experiences that we may think are not worth giving our attention to. But the truth is that our beliefs create our reality and most of them are stored in our subconscious. If we don’t heal these parts and create new beliefs we have programs running our whole life that we are completely unaware of and these are not exactly supportive programs to create the life we want.
Now don’t get me wrong. Of course we also need to face the very obvious traumas and that’s a big part of my work too. It’s about giving space to it all. With no judgment.
Inner child work is about healing these parts so that we can take responsibility in our lives and don’t feel like we are the victims. All that your inner child wants is to feel safe, seen and loved and be able to play and express itself. I believe that everyone of us deserves to go through life with an inner child that is full of life. And to come back to the initial topic, the more healed our inner child is the less we blame others for our own experiences and the more we can develop compassion for ourselves and others. If anything it brings healing to your relationship with your parents or caregivers.