My word for 2024 is Heal, and one of the aspects of healing for me is inner child work.
I am a product of both my environment and my genetics. As a child, I went through a lot of things that a child shouldn’t have to go through. I was witness to some things that, looking back, I realize were horrible for me to see or do at that time. When I was growing up, there wasn’t an emphasis on mental health treatment, especially for children. There wasn’t an emphasis on not damaging your kids or trying to reduce the trauma they’re exposed to. I don’t blame the previous generations. They did the best they could with the information they had at the time. However, as a parent myself and someone more aware of trauma and healing, I can say I’m doing my best to heal myself and not cause further damage to my own child.
Anyway, I’m not going to get too deep into my personal inner child healing journey. Instead, I want to help you along on yours if that’s the path you choose to take.
Who Is Your Inner Child?
To put it plainly, your inner child is the version of yourself that is carefree, fun, and innocent. This part of you is usually seen as your true self, especially when looked at through the lens of childhood trauma or negative experiences. If you experienced trauma as a child and haven’t healed from it, there is a chance that your current life path is being dictated by a wounded inner child. There is also a chance that much of your shadow work will revolve around healing your inner child and facing what is in your shadow from your childhood.
There are many type of inner child wounds that one can have. Liberation Journey lists four of them. They are the Guilt Wound, the Abandonment Wound, the Trust Wound, and the Neglect Wound. Each of these wounds has actions, experiences, and feelings associated with it. It is possible to have more than one guilt wound at a time, and these four are not a comprehensive list.
Getting To Know Your Inner Child
Meeting your inner child can be a freeing experience, but it is also often associated with pain. There is a reason the inner child needs healing, after all. A few ways to meet your inner child include going to therapy, reliving childhood memories, talking to your inner child, and looking to children for guidance. Also, just for clarity’s sake, when I say look to children for guidance I mean watching their behavior and behaving in a childlike manner – not literally asking kids for advice. It isn’t their job to help you through your trauma.
Inner Child Healing Tarot Spread
As a witch, I like to use tarot to help me both magically and mundanely. Tarot helps in multiple ways, and when I use tarot for self-reflection, I am guided by both my Gods and my inner mind.
This tarot spread uses five cards, each one connecting to a question for your inner mind and inner child. Gather your cards, set the sacred space, and let the cards help heal you.
Card One: How does my inner child currently feel?
As people with inner child wounds, we may struggle to know how our inner child feels. Hell, I struggle to know how my adult-self feels on a regular basis! Emotional regulation and knowledge? We don’t know them…. anyway, this card connects you to your inner child’s emotions as they are in the moment. This may change every time you do this reading – that’s normal. Connecting with the emotions of your inner child is the first step to healing.
Card Two: What does my inner child need right now?
Going along with the emotions of your inner child, this card gives us insight into what our inner child needs. Again, this may change on any given day. This card will help you understand the steps you need to take to heal your inner child. This card may indicate cutting ties with people, being more playful, or enjoying things that make you happy.
Card Three: How can I best give my inner child love and support?
Our inner child is still a child, and sometimes what they want or feel won’t line up with something healthy. As adults, it is our job to heal our inner child in a responsible way. This support may include affirmations of love and care, justice in a healthy way, or letting yourself feel any so-called negative emotions the inner child is carrying.
Card Four: What have I left in my childhood?
As children, we are conditioned and socialized in specific ways. Sometimes, this means we leave things in our childhood such as curiosity, emotional connection, and intuition. This card will help you see what you may have left in your childhood. Connect with this through the previous three cards – this may be the card you connect with first!
Card Five: What message does my inner child have for me?
Lastly, we can utilize the tarot as a means of reflection and introspection. This card will reveal a message from your inner child. See this card in multiple ways to connect best to the message. Notice the symbols, colors, and themes from the card as well as the traditional meaning. This is what will help you best in connecting with the message.
Healing your inner child is a process that can take literal years, and depending on how wounded your inner child is, you may need to work on this over the rest of our life. That’s okay. What’s important is that you’re taking the time to connect with yourself on a deeper level. This opens the doors to healing and a happier and more fulfilling life!
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