There are many profound benefits of inner child work.
But before we get into these benefits, understand that people who didn’t build a sense of security in their childhood will need to develop their spirituality to attain this sense of security in adulthood.
This doesn’t mean you need to take on religion.
But adopting spiritual beliefs to remind yourself that you are a small part of a bigger whole is essential to integrating the inner security you didn’t develop in childhood.
With that out of the way, let’s go over a few things.
What is the Inner Child?
Your inner child, similar to your shadow, is part of your unconscious mind.
The inner child is the true, uncontaminated essence of who we are; that which is spirited, creative, authentic, and accepting.
Your wounded inner child is a part of yourself that’s stuck in a time where you didn’t fully process your emotions.
This wounding typically involves learning to disown a part of yourself and leaving it behind.
Family and culture make you embrace some parts of your Self, while completely abandoning others.
This happens when a child idealizes her parents and follows arbitrary rules for survival.
These rules implicitly embed the child with the unconscious idea that she is “bad”—which is a typical childhood experience.
When the child sees that some of her feelings and thoughts are unacceptable, she chooses to get rid of them.
(This creates the child’s “inner parent”, which encourages obedience at the cost of being whole.)
Then the rules and unconscious beliefs you learned as a child evolve and are carried into adulthood.
What is Inner Child Work?
Inner child work, or inner child healing, is becoming aware of what aspects of yourself you’ve denied and redeeming them via conscious integration.
It’s doing the griefwork to digest and process emotions that you carry from the past.
While becoming conscious of the underlying beliefs that have been driving your existence.
By doing this, you become more emotionally mature and experience universal Love.
You can also do inner child healing through shadow work prompts.
What are Inner Child Wounds?
When a child is bullied at school, feels less important than their newborn sibling, witnesses divorce, experiences racism or abuse, or anything else they perceive as traumatizing—
A child might not be getting the secure love necessary to process these life events as best they can.
Emotions that are left unprocessed and undigested can leave the child with unhealthy, unconscious beliefs about their own existence.
Some examples of these underlying beliefs include:
- Nobody can be trusted
- I’m blameless & you’ll always forgive me
- I’m always wrong
- I am pure
- I am helpless
- The world wants to dominate me
- I’ve always been a loser
- Everyone is ungrateful
You will unconsciously live out these positions in your relationships—even when it’s against your self-interest.
Until you become aware of this, your psyche is in arrested development.
Becoming aware of these underlying existential beliefs, engaging with the inner child and doing the proper grief work can help mend these wounds.
7 Benefits of Inner Child Wounds
1 – Releases Fear
During your childhood years, you either learn that you are secure in this world or not secure.
Adults who carry inner child wounds are those who do not feel secure with the world. They live with an underlying fear.
This existential insecurity causes you to try to control your life beyond sensible means.
When you perform inner child work, you let go of this need to control.
Instead, you feel secure with your place in the world. Allowing you to release your former underlying fears.
Here are signs that you’ve carried these inner child wounds into your adult life.
- Your needs are insatiable (enough is never enough)
- You unintentionally manifest unhealthy patterns in your relationships
- You’re unable to see how unhappy or abused you are
- Life is a huge episode of “hope and cope”
- You let your feelings die because you believe vulnerability will cost you what little love you get
- You believe drama is love and over-worry is caring
- You’re unable to receive the love you didn’t get in your childhood
Check out Shadow Work for Anxiety, Trauma & Fear
2 – Overcome Limiting Beliefs
All of your underlying, dysfunctional beliefs about your existence become mended.
No more limiting beliefs of humanity as a whole.
You stop thinking that there’s something wrong with you.
You stop thinking that there’s something wrong with others.
Instead, you accept the reality that everyone is who they are meant to be.
And in that sense, everyone is perfect.
Here’s the one thing I want to say about overcoming your limiting beliefs about your life:
“Anything is possible if you have enough creativity. Some people don’t have the creativity needed.”
Check out 8 Side Effects of Shadow Work
3 – Digests Emotions for Healing
People need to understand that many of their feelings are based on emotional beliefs.
The following is a list of beliefs mistaken for feelings:
Immature people believe these are emotions, but they’re not.
Instead, it’s a list of beliefs that are created to point blame.
For example, anger comes from the belief that you should be treated fairly, expected honesty, and believe yourself to be insulted by a betrayal.
Another example is the emotional belief that an adult can be abandoned.
A child can be abandoned because they are powerless and someone else’s responsibility. An adult is not powerless and has a personal responsibility to themselves.
Believing otherwise is immaturity.
Check out Inner Child Healing: Emotional Maturity
4 – Taking More Responsibility To Help Others
A good driver not only thinks for themselves but for others too.
When you become aware of how your own inner child wounds have affected your perspective, you become more conscious of how other peoples’ psyches are contaminated too.
You think more for both yourself and others.
Not in the sense that you feel the need to explicitly guide them—it’s not your job to “reparent” anyone.
But the compassion you have for the damaged individual, and even the self-love for your former self that relates to a damaged individual, makes it easier to project Love onto.
You’ll feel compelled to help a person if they genuinely seek to be helped. And after you’ve healed yourself, you’ll know whether someone is serious about getting their head straight.
You won’t be fooled by any games because, by the time you’ve done your own inner work, you’ve already seen and played these games yourself.
You won’t let them bullshit you the same way they bullshit themselves.
Remember: You are not responsible for these people. But pay attention to your inner voice. At the present moment, you may be called to be responsible to a person.
5 – Surrender Control
The need for control is an infantile need.
Yes, you need to have your house in order. Yes, you must assert your will on the world to get what you want.
But although you can control your immediate actions and move some pieces around, you are foolish to believe you can control everything.
One of the biggest stoic teachings you can learn is this:
- Focus on what you can control
- Don’t focus on what you can’t
Check out the Shadow Work Manifestation Series
6 – Stronger Boundaries
Boundaries are how you can tell where you begin and end. For example, my personal three guidelines for boundaries are the following:
(1) If it’s not your responsibility, feel free to say no.
(2) If it’s a ridiculous request, feel free to say no.
(3) If you feel unsure, feel free to say no.
From this foundation, you can develop your nuance when it comes to your personal boundaries.
Signs of a Lack of Boundaries
- You don’t know what you like, or what your preferences are
- You live a life of “hope and cope”
- Putting in lots of effort for little and fewer returns
- Changing how you act and your plans to not inconvenience the other person
- You don’t have the time for self-care or to build any hobbies or interests
- You’re an enabler who justifies other people’s actions
- You can get obsessed with other people when you’re interested in them
- Feelings of being victimized are common, but you’ve disowned your aggressiveness
- You do things you don’t want to do and don’t like yourself because of it
- You’ve pushed aside your inner voice and have probably lost contact with it
- Allow abuse to those you care about and yourself
- Feel lost, confused, and as if you’re trapped in a life you feel isn’t yours
7 – Faith to Lean on a Higher Guidance
Inner child wounds destroy your connection with your transcendent function, or intuitive “higher self”.
There are many resources to rebuild your connection with your higher self—
Here are some resources I recommend:
Shadow Work for Beginners is based on my in-depth research and personal experiences with shadow work, projection, sadomasochism, inner child healing, triggers, and all things shadow. This resource gets updated at no additional cost.
A Light Among Shadows is a guide on self-love and being. This series goes over consciousness, spirituality, philosophy, and makes sense of why people are the way they are. Recommended for anyone dealing with resentment and self-hate. Learn more here.
Shadow Work for Relationships teaches you everything you need to know about attachment theory, practical inner work, and your dysfunctional behavior. By the end of this, you will have developed your earned secure attachment style so you can put an end to your cycle of bad relationships.
Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Shadow Work Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.
Self-Love Subliminal for self-hypnotism that will help you change your behavior and gain self-love, self-awareness, better relationships, greater health, and improve your creativity.
Shadow Play (or “DsR”) is a sister website that goes over “sensual” shadow work through BDSM experiences. If you are 18+ and are interested, go here.
Mindful & Mending is a small website that’s about self-hypnosis, affirmations, auto-suggestion, and more techniques & tools to help you shift your unconscious mind. Check it out here.