There’s a wealth of information available to help with healing the inner child. For the purpose of this blog post, I’d like to share from my own personal experience.
I’m not an expert on the subject in general, but I am an expert on successfully healing my own inner child. My hope is that in sharing my experience, you will feel comfortable inviting your inner child into your life.
I first became aware of my inner child back in June 2011. One day, a friend and I were emailing each other about our inner child. My friend had a lot of experience with hers and I had next to none with mine. She suggested we spend seven days with our inner child while sharing our experiences with each other. It was a great idea, especially since my past was staring me in the face! . . . So, I asked my inner child to show herself to me, so I could meet her.
Well, in she came! My inner child became very animated, a real presence in my life. I woke up one morning and she was there. I spent a lot of time walking during those days back at home, which was great because it allowed me lots of time getting to know her.
My sister mentioned the name Sophie for her, and it stuck. I feel that it’s good to name your inner child, others may disagree. I can have a conversation with Sophie, giving her an identity and a voice, making it easier to relate to her.
Sophie had been and continues to be an amazing resource for me, and her wisdom pulled me through some down times. I was also there for her, helping in a nurturing and caring way, for example, when my mother was in a memory care home.
We were told by my mother’s doctor that she had suffered two strokes which could account for her decline. She was not comprehending much of anything and when I called her, she didn’t always recognize me.
I was feeling much sadness coming from my inner child. Sophie wanted my mother to be well and not suffer, as did I. Sophie and I were also noticing feelings of helplessness. All we could do was love my mother and keep her in our heart. Feeling unconditional love for my mother was a testament to all the healing I’ve done within myself, and with my family. It was a sign that my heart was full and no longer broken. Something to celebrate!
I’ve included chapter 1 of my book, Bridging the Gap Between You and Your Inner Child below as it illustrates my inner child awakening!
Chapter 1 Sophie
I awoke one morning and became a mother. Just like that, it was time for my inner child to be born into my consciousness. Sophie was five years old and had been living within me, dormant, for the past 43 years without making a peep. She was never fussy or insisting upon attention: she was just there, quiet and sleeping soundly. In that respect, I considered myself extremely blessed because I’d heard from others their inner child could be quite demanding.
My little Sophie was an angel. I felt her completely, right alongside me in my consciousness, amazed at how real she felt. A new sense of dedication and duty to nurture and love was ever-present. It was time to acknowledge her as a part of myself—although she needed deep healing before being received into my heart. Well, that journey, the one into my heart, is another story—which I will get to— but first, more about little Sophie, because every mother wants to talk about her precious little one.
Sophie lay very still in bed. I had to keep checking to make sure she was breathing, realizing at times that I wasn’t, I was so focused on her. I thought, That’s OK, I can breathe later: all that mattered was knowing my little Sophie was alive. I had decided, from the first moment she arrived, to remain as close to her as possible. I lay down next to her, holding her for hours, comforting her as well as I could. Never having been a mother before, all I could count on was to trust in what was coming naturally.
I was feeling increased qualities of compassion, unconditional love, nurturing, tenderness and warmth. I felt unrecognizable. Being a mother had launched me into a completely new way of being, one that I was thoroughly enjoying.
The first two days with Sophie were touch and go. Her eyes remained closed, even when she cried. I spent every waking hour with her, careful not to disturb her. I comforted her as she cried and held her as she slept. I was being with her as fully as I could, using my heart to check in with hers. I lost all desire for food and my daily activities fell by the wayside. My love for Sophie more than sustained me.
I dozed off at one point—not sure how I allowed myself to do that— but I felt glad I did because I had a very comforting dream. I was walking in the woods near our little cottage when I came upon a deer. I was patting the deer when suddenly it spoke:
“Please be gentle with yourself. This is a very fragile time for you and your little one. As you can see and feel she is in a healing crisis and all you can do is to stay with her and to be a comfort, as well as you can. The wounds are deep, deeper than you might have expected. There are many years of crust on the scars from all the survival mechanisms and defenses put into place for you to function. These mechanisms are now breaking down, which is why she is in your life now.
No more acts, no more masks, and no more pretending that everything is OK and you’re strong and tough! This must all collapse, uncovering the bareness of you and only you. Did you not think that there was really a you underneath all of this protection? Very well then, you’ll see one day very soon that there is a you, so brilliant and so bright that you’ll dazzle yourself into complete joy! You will sparkle and feel new! There will be a lightness to your step you have never experienced before. So be gentle with yourself: it’s almost time to spread your wings! Thank you for honoring my Spirit today.”
I awoke feeling a deep sense of peace and knowing that my life with Sophie would be beyond anything I could imagine. The dream felt real and I couldn’t help but sense the gentleness of the deer right there with us. I cherished those first days with Sophie. We had our little life going and it was a special gift for the two of us. I was healing my child aspect by becoming a mother identity. It made sense, in a way.
On the third morning, Sophie stirred more than usual. Her small hands moved up to her eyelids and she gave them a good rub, followed by a big yawn! She opened her drowsy eyes and looked at me with a cute little smile.
“Hi Sophie, I’m your mother.”
I touched my finger to her nose and pushed it gently. She smiled again: I felt the presence of joy shoot like an arrow from my heart. She slowly got up and sat on the side of her bed. I dressed her in a cozy outfit. She looked beautiful sitting there with her deep brown eyes and adorably curly, golden-brown hair.
She wanted cereal for breakfast, crunchy cereal that got stuck between her teeth, with a little milk. She finished her breakfast and wandered around the cottage a bit, taking it all in as she went from room to room. Then she indicated that she wanted to go outside. I thought it would be nice to visit a beach just south of our cottage. We sat on a wall, side by side, quietly enjoying watching the waves roll upon the shore. We stayed for a short time and drove home a different way, so Sophie would have something new to look at.
We decided it would be nice to sit on the couch in the family room, eat popcorn and watch nature programs. We enjoyed the shows and after a while we fell asleep for a few hours. After our nap, we went for a short walk in the woods, stopping occasionally to visit with the animals. Sophie slowly approached a deer, careful not to startle it, and held out her hand to stroke it. The deer permitted this and Sophie was really thrilled!
We sat down on our picnic blanket in the meadow under a beautiful shade tree. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and chocolate milk. Sophie’s favorite. She was enjoying her lunch with gusto. At one point, I looked up and saw a big chocolate mustache on her top lip. The sight of this filled me with delight. We laughed at her silliness.
When we returned home, Sophie took a nap. She needed the rest since it had been a big day for her: two outings, fresh from spending days in bed. I would check in with her later.
I noticed my little Sophie was recovering and healing. She had been very quiet. There was a soft innocence around her. I was happy to spend all my time with her. That evening though, I felt deep sadness welling up inside and I started to cry. The sadness felt so real— yet I didn’t know where it was coming from. Still, it felt good to let it out. There was no anger, pain, damage or wounding coming from either Sophie or me. There was healing, innocence, courage, love, nurturing, caring, and budding—she was like a rosebud, just before it blooms. Sophie was my life right now. Her life so far had been remarkable.
I was finding it very powerful to be disassociated at times, watching and observing myself interact with little Sophie. The experience had already altered me profoundly. At one point, I went to check on her. She was sleeping and holding her teddy bear. I sat down on the bed and stroked her hair. She slowly opened her eyes and looked up at me. How amazing, I thought. I asked her if she was ready for dinner and told her I’d made some soup and her favorite cookies.
Nodding, she wrapped her arms around me, “Thank you, Mommy!” It was the first time she had ever spoken!
We walked to the dining room with Teddy in tow. I served the soup with animal crackers. She giggled when she made a slurping sound. Sophie’s love for animals wasn’t lost on Teddy; she made sure to share her soup with him. After dinner, I asked if she wanted to eat her cookies while watching cartoons. She thought that was a great idea. I made her favorite chewy peanut butter cookies, complete with a crisscross pattern on the top. We sat enjoying the yummy cookies and the giggling. I wanted to remember these precious moments forever.
It was fast approaching bedtime. She changed into her footie pajamas and brushed her teeth. Holding her arms straight in front of her, she walked to her room like a robot, marching with stick legs, imitating the cartoon characters. She was adorable! “My, my, we must have some sugar in us from those cookies!” I told her.
She giggled. We finished up in the bathroom, and went into her room, where she lay down in her bed with Teddy. “I love you Mommy!”
My heart skipped a beat upon hearing and feeling these wonderful words. “I love you too, Sophie!” I answered. Then I read Teddy and her a bedtime story about a duck and a swan and soon she was fast asleep. I left, knowing my heart was still in there beside her.
She was showing progress and coming out of her protective shell. My eyes had been flung open to the depth of sadness and despair which lived inside her—and, ultimately, inside me as well. All I could do was to accept these feelings as they bubbled up and be unconditional in my love for both of us. I was committed to care for and nurture this little one until she grew up to be the expressive beauty I sensed her to be.
I wouldn’t have to wait long.
More information on healing the inner child and healing fragmentation:
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