One part of me is so excited to share more with you about your inner child. Another part of me feels tired from a cold and balancing that with helping someone with their COVID. Both have room in my heart. Your inner child or inner children are components within that have parts of you feeling one way and other parts of you feeling another way, all at the same time. It sounds more complicated than it really is because it’s really just various parts of us within one body. Another great example is how a part of us may have hurt feelings from a friend criticism, while another part of us doesn’t want to be a “baby.” (First of all, babies are pretty tough, coming out into the world after about 9.5 months of cozy protection!).
Mainly, the part who is hurt may be a triggered inner child who is being reminded of an experience or sensation from before. The part who is criticizing ourselves for being a “baby” may be a protector part trying to protect the hurt inner child’s feelings from getting too much, being abandoned by the friend, etc. Once we get acquainted with our well meaning protectors and create a daily channel with our inner children we can have endless amounts of freedom from trauma points passed down to us or from our own traumatic experiences.
When my patients are trying to get acquainted with their parts I love to share a few free resources. I’d love to share these intros to your inner child here in this blog today too!
You can check out our explanation of the inner child in the Breaking the Couch podcast episode with Dr. Dowtin.
You can find Dr. Schwartz’s free meditation here (who also created internal family systems and wrote No Bad Parts). Another free meditation that’s gender inclusive can be found here. I generally prefer to do breathwork or a meditation that speaks to a protector part such as this acknowledging anger meditation by Dr. Dowtin of PlayfulLeigh Psyched in order to relax and meet with the parts of me that need to be heard.
For example, I greet my parts every morning (anywhere from 2 minutes to about an hour) and I see if they want to share anything with me. Sometimes our parts just need a hug. Other times parts of me just want to know I’m listening and no longer abandon them to be liked, loved or seen. I know it sounds funny, but when I integrate parts work with eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) in therapy with patients it feels incredible to see the gains patients make. We can even access more compassion by asking clients to bring in a picture of little them. We can send love and kind words to little them.
Parts work is not only attributed to internal family systems (IFS), but has been acknowledged by people across cultures and time. Long before we began using components of IFS in therapy people were acknowledging parts of themselves in healing ways and loving on their inner child. Today, we have several free podcasts and meditations to access and love on our inner family system. I can’t wait to learn how this inner child healing work supports your trauma recovery and I hope this week’s blog can be helpful for your healing journey.