Adults and their inner children get separated surprisingly often, sometimes through trauma, and sometimes simply through society’s expectations of adults. The separation can cause intractable distress until the underlying problem is resolved.
- “I’ve tried everything!”
- “Don’t leave me!”
- “See me!”
If you find yourself saying any of these phrases on a regular basis, visit the Inner Child Lost -n- Found for relief.
“I’ve tried everything!”
You’re a capable, self-aware adult, and you use a lot of great tools to manage your life. However, there’s one problem area or pattern that you just can’t seem to fix. No matter how hard you try, you can’t find a way to feel better. You’re exhausted, and you want a solution now.
Found: An imprint of someone else’s inner child, energy, or emotions.
Mirror neurons in our brains echo the expressions and body language of the people around us, recreating their emotions in our bodies. Our nervous systems automatically align with nearby nervous systems. This effect is strongest in infants and children and occurs in adults as well, especially sensitive ones. For example, if your mother was often anxious, you may struggle with unquenchable anxiety.
Release the energy
Just considering the possibility that the problem isn’t yours can bring instant relief. You can also visualize the external energy gently floating away from you and returning to its true home. You’ll find that all those great tools will suddenly start working much better now that you’re applying them to your own energy instead of someone else’s.
“Don’t leave me!”
You know all about the dangers of codependence and you’re doing everything you can to stand on your own two feet, and yet it’s agonizing when your partner (or friend) wants some space. Even if the relationship is abusive, it feels like a catastrophe to envision leaving.
Lost: Your own inner child
It sounds like you’ve given your inner child to someone else to raise. Perhaps your parents lacked the skills and resources to give you what you needed, and you’re looking to your adult relationships to finish the job. This makes you as vulnerable and dependent as a child again. Fortunately, as an adult you have more options.
An inside job
Raising inner children is an inside job. You can reach out to others for positive examples, support, and nurturing, and then bring those resources inside to help you tend your inner child. You may need to grieve the parenting you didn’t receive before it feels possible to take over the job yourself. Beneath the grief and pain, you’ll find strength and independence as you learn the skills you need.
You feel painfully lonely, even when you have people around you. You desperately want to be seen and accepted, and at the same time it’s important to appear strong and functional.
Lost: Compassion for your inner child.
It sounds like you do your best to care for your inner child, and at the same time you find it hard to accept some of her or his qualities, such as vulnerability, weakness, or naivete. Perhaps you endured abuse, and you hate that you were powerless to avoid it. It feels safer to believe that your young self could have done something different to control the outcome.
Sit with the feelings
It makes sense that you’re avoiding the discomfort of vulnerability or other young feelings. It also makes sense that your inner child is lonely and desperate to be seen.
The conflict can be resolved by sitting with all your feelings for a few minutes at a time. You don’t have to fix or change anything; just notice the feelings that arise. Your inner child will receive some of the attention he or she craves, and the short time limit ensures that you won’t be overwhelmed. You’ll gradually get to know each other and come to live together more peacefully.
Calmness instead of distress
When you find yourself in extreme distress, or grappling with an issue that just won’t get better, remember to visit the Inner Child Lost -n- Found for help. As you release energy that doesn’t belong to you and reconnect with your own inner child, you’ll find calmness replacing the ongoing distress in your life.
Robyn Posin’s website ForTheLittleOnesInside.com passionately advocates for caring for our own inner children. Others’ View recounts her painful learning process in an enmeshed relationship.