The Blog

Befriending the Inner Child as a Path for Personal Growth

There is a great power in cultivating self-love.  This is the key to understanding our true needs.  It is the isolation and pain the of the inner child that creates so much personal and global suffering. Discovering our inner child offers us a chance to act in the world with increased awareness. The inner child shows us where we are hurting.  Most of us struggle with an inner critic which unconsciously holds us back from living the fullness of our being.  The inner critic stands guard on our pain and suffering, preserving old, often unconscious memories to avoid future hurt.  The critic diligently believes it is protecting our wellbeing.  We continue to believe faulty messages that we learned as very young children.  These unexamined beliefs guide our behavior. They came at a time when we had little power of discernment.  This is similar to believing literally in fairy tales that were read to us when we were young.  As adults, we get caught in the sticky web of our own faulty beliefs, finding it difficult to fully understand our emotions.  Often our beliefs and feelings are in conflict.  We are unaware that we are living out fairy tales and continue to do so leaving the inner child adrift and alone.  

It can be helpful to break the concept of self-love down to uncover what that really means for us personally.  How is self-love useful and actualized in our own life? Would we approach life differently if we were more, self-loving and self-aware?   Can we catch ourselves when we are acting in a hurtful way towards ourselves and observe what is happening without judgement?   What are our beliefs that are fueling the critical words?  By noticing and observing the critic, we step out of the fairy tale and can observe how our beliefs about who we are may be tainted.

To support the inner child, we want to begin to cultivate an inner nurturing parent who guides us in a way that we have always wanted to be mentored and loved.   A mentor is someone who sees in you something you would like to see in yourself.  If you had an inner parent, a mentor who provided wisdom, love, even tough love, how would they show up in your life to guide you? Understand that self-love is a process, and it takes time.  It also requires self-compassion and a willingness to suspend the voice of the critic for a moment. This is where people often get stuck. 

We need to consciously decide to put aside the critical thoughts for just a while so that our beliefs can begin to align with current reality.  Suspend the fairy tales that inspire a poor self-image. This takes courage and can initially feel disorienting. We are breaking up an old paradigm and moving towards more wholeness. Beliefs that were formulated in early childhood are becoming more fluid. This creates a time of not knowing and insecurity without the barriers of the inner critic operating.   

Go slowly. The rewards of cultivating self-love, living a more authentic life will move you into a flow of being where good things can come to you.  Your expanded self-image no longer censors the positive.   The growth process is reactivated, and you become more whole. The inner child no longer needs the rigid, often hurtful, “protection,” from the critic as there is now a loving inner parent who can advise.  Where there was once fear and anxiety, a centered, grounded feeling will emerge to support you, bringing curiosity and wonder.  Sometimes it is helpful to have a mentor, a coach or a therapist to help support and process change. 





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About mbjoy

I believe that people have the power to achieve great things. In fact I know this. I also know that life has its moments when we get overwhelmed. These are times when we need support, creative ideas and someone to listen. This is what I do.


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