Healing Your Inner Child
- Dr Gemma Gladstone
- November 9, 2017
A Poem for your “Vulnerable Child”
She lives within, the child inside
She’s known the depths of sorrow,
The forgotten one, she shouts so loud
But you’re headed for tomorrow
And there are times, you cannot know
Her anger squashed, restrained with fear
When life demands the ‘adult’ you
Her cries for help, you cannot hear
A tiny child, that innocent girl
She knew no real protection,
The time is now, to bring her close
She needs your deep affection
You are the one to rescue her
Her pain you need to feel
Holding her inside your heart
Your love, she needs to heal
A part of you, you did disown
You had to, to survive
But now you need to bring her back
So you both, can thrive
She knows just why you made the break
She knows your grief was strong,
Welcome her back into your heart
It’s where she does belong
When you learn to love the girl
And see her innocence
Reality is clearer
You dismantle your defence
So make your peace with this small girl
And know that you are one
Collect yourselves to make you whole
See new life has begun
© Gemma L. Gladstone
What’s the point of this poem?
This is a message to your “healthy adult” self to take better care of your “vulnerable child” mode (or hurt inner child).
An important part of moving through and getting emotional healing from childhood trauma, grief or heartache is to see and connect with the part of you who experienced the suffering at the time and bring her back to you. This is the part of you who holds all the pain and hurt and in a sense is trapped in a time warp waiting and wanting to be rescued and finally heard. As we get older though, we develop all sorts of fancy coping mechanisms and clever ways to protect ourselves from feeling that pain.
Some of these coping defences are skilful, but most are not. An unfortunate consequence of these protective ‘tactics’ is that we cut off or disown the wounded parts of self (ie, in this case the little girl or boy within). We reject them and in doing so we abandon them all over again (again and again). They are left in a state of hopeless despair and their misery and desperate needs for affection and attention can get the adult self into all sorts of problems and unhelpful patterns, needless to mention lifelong bouts of depression.
With the help and guidance of a therapist you trust, what you need to do and what you need to remember is:
- To nurture her, love her, accept her fully and bring her wholeheartedly into your life in the here and now. Acknowledge her as an important part of you as you bring her to the core of your worldly existence. Include her in your life as it is now, at times imagine her with you, laughing, playing, sleeping, crying. Imagine that you comfort her. Correct the horrible, negative and harmful messages she heard at the time and learnt directly or indirectly from her trauma.
- Then, with loving kindness let her be, accept that you can do no more than strive to live a spiritually rich and full life. Remember that spiritual growth is psychological growth, and you have grown if you have embraced and cared for your wounded vulnerable child self.
- A full life is where you take excellent care of yourself physically and emotionally and let go of all judgements about how you ‘should’ have been or what you ‘should’ have done. Such voices are not yours anyway, they are only introjected messages from the past and belong to other people or past experiences.
- Everything that has happened around you and to you has led to who you are today. For those of you who have been abused (in whatever way), remember that you are not an “abuse victim”, you are a complex and vital human being who has experienced very real suffering at the hands of another person or persons. You have known a darker, more sinister side of humanity that most children simply do not encounter. You have encountered fearful times, alone times, and despairing traumatic and painful times.
- But you are here today because you have within you a vital life force with a natural proclivity towards healing, goodness and regeneration. This force or energy or spirit (or whatever you want to name it) is stronger than any experience you have ever had.
- Also, remember that no one can take away your soul, your inner strength or your life force. Our minds and bodies are evolving and changing all the time, and each life experience has played a role in shaping the person who you have become and the value and kindness that you bring to the lives of others. So no matter what the nature of the suffering the little girl faced, ultimately you need to let her be heard and you need to accept her and her reality so that healing can begin.