As I experience and understand it, our Inner Child is our natural self. It is the aspect of ourselves that is connected to the beauty, joy and magic of life, full of curiosity, love and innate wisdom of goodness and God/Spirit, (however way we understand the wisdom and love within all creation )
Our inner child is also our source of creativity and the vulnerability that opens us to new possibilities and experiences. It is the aspect that loves to have fun, laugh and play.
This is how we all started out in life until our first experience of feeling left out, abandoned, hurt, abused or traumatized by life in some way. When we are young we don’t have reference points or knowledge to understand everything we see, feel and experience, this causes us to often misunderstand some experiences and to feel confused and harmed by others. We don’t have the capacity to sort and discern our expeiences on our own. We need our parents to help and guide us. When that guidance is not there and we are left on our own to interpret the experience that causes us pain and confusion, as children we tend to think everything is our fault, that there is something wrong with us, we are not enough and not loveable. This causes us to develop coping mechanisms and beliefs to survive that pain, that take us away from our natural self. When harm is repeated we shut our heart, our child self, down even more. This all happens instinctively, our biology tries to preserve us by numbing out feelings and experiences that we have no capacity to deal with. Based on our circumstances and environment we start to build our personality, our persona which means ‘ the mask we where to meet the world’. We grow further and further away from our innocent and natural self, we toughen ourselves up to not have to feel the pain buried within us. This is a natural phenomenon, we are wired to survive, in the same way when we are injured physically our body releases endorphins to temporarily mask the pain so we can get to safety. The same happens emotionally, we go numb as a way to self-preserve until we can heal.
Inner Child healing is about getting back in touch with our heart, our natural self, our innate purity, innocence and joy of life that got interrupted and buried under the persona we developed to survive the confusing, traumatic and painful experiences when we were children.
In the bible there is an expression ‘ and a child shall lead us’ meaning the purity and natural wisdom of a child is what can lead us home to love, to God.
In Hawaiian Wisdoms the child self is the aspect of us that is directly connected to God/High Self, our Aumakua, where we receive direct insight that the child then shares with our adult self. We are a trinity of Child Self - Unipili, Adult Self-Uhane and our High Self-Aumakua.
Our Adult self, which is our personality and ego are in charge of our day to day life, decisions using logic and reason. Our child self is for inspiration, creativity and our connection to life/God that can inspire and share insight with the adult self. When our inner child is shut down, we loose touch with many important inner resources for problem solving and making choices that are useful and helpful to creating our life.
Inner child work is basically a journey to our innocence and wholeness through healing and correcting what caused us to shut our child self down down in the first place.