Everyone has a past. And everyone has an inner child. That inner child needs support. That inner child needs care. That inner child needs to be acknowledged and loved.

We do not get to choose our family, our family chooses us. We grow up in different homes, some violent, some calm, some indifferent, but all very informative and real to each and everyone of us.

Our inner child can sometimes pop up in times of trouble, that signals we may need some extra help from a therapist or a 12 step group. The reality is that we need a safe environment to be heard and feel the need to be able to share and trust those around us that are ready, able, and willing to listen with an open heart and an open mind.

In order to understand our triggers, we need to identify what they are, why they occur and how they draw out. As they say, our triggers are our teachers. Refraining from acting out in an emotionally unstable way and abusing others can be one of the first steps to freedom. Giving others the dignity of their experience is key. This involves listening with intent and being in acceptance of our own feelings. When we accept ourselves, we do not need third parties approval to be who we are.

Once those triggers are identified, we can create new action plans or behavioral queues to help us respond rather than react to others. They say, does it need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does it need to be said by me now? If we are ourselves these simple questions, we may be able to redirect our emotions into a healthier place.

We need to identify and grieve our losses to move forward. This can be done under psychological supervision or with the help of a trained professional, like a therapist. Having a support group to help ourselves heal is a critical healing step to get us to a better place of acceptance.

Some internalized trauma behavior may ensue as the wounded child realizes their behaviors. This includes perfectionism, controls, disregards, envy, criticism, inauthentic with a false self that acts out parent relationships in current relationships.

Every child has the right to a nurturing environment, right? What would be contrary actions to unsupportive behaviors as a parent-child relationship rolls out?

Instead of physical withdrawal, there is physical nurturing like hugs or listening. Instead of shaming or criticizing, there is acceptance and support. Instead of blaming and belittling, there is taking ownership and building confidence. Instead of betryal, there is trustworthiness, loyalty and allegiance. Instead of manipulation, there is compassion, generosity and kindness.

Fear of abandonment, low self esteem, depression, anxiety, grief, and emotional dysregulation are all common signs of an untreated hurt inner child. Work and personal relationships could be affected, and it is our job in tandem with a mental health professional to understand how we can understand how our younger selves have been traumatized and how we can acknowledge the hurt. As we understand our hurt, we can process is and release it. We can slowly grow and have compassion for ourselves and others.

What does your inner child need today?

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