Is your inner child leading your life?

Sex, love, relationships and business is no place for a child yet in so many adults the inner child subconsciously takes the lead in these roles, narratives, desires and decisions. This can be why the body goes into freeze, flight, repulse, destruct or shut down. To thrive, the adult needs to empower the narrative of their desires and truth to navigate these roles from a place of empowered choice and freedom.

The inner child is considered to be a subconscious part of your experiences, beliefs, feelings and thoughts from childhood, that are still showing up in your present reality and truth. 

We are raised by humans, so many of us have experienced needs that have not been met. As a child, this can be deeply triggering and if it isn’t processed we can take on our childlike reactions, feelings, thoughts and triggers with us throughout life. 

The inner child can show up in many different areas in life, often subconsciously and in roles where it hurts the most. Here is why I believe it shows up where it makes the most noise.

Ever seen a child throw a tantrum and how they will do what they must to just be seen, heard and tendered to? 

This is how I see it happening in adults too. The child isn’t going to throw the tantrum when you’re having fun with friends, content, relaxing or out in nature. The child part of you loves that. 

The child is going to throw the tantrum when it feels most uncomfortable, scared and where it will get your attention - that being in your love, sex, relationships, business or career. The areas and avenues that are no place for a child. 

So how might the inner child show up?

You’re about to get intimate with a parter and you hit the freeze response. You start to feel guilty, shameful or “naughty” as you give, receive or touch your partner's body. This is often the inner child reacting on the outdated principle that you shouldn’t be doing this. If you had to step into the empowered male, female or non-binary lover role - you’d most likely give and receive from an empowered space of complete devotion and desire. 

If your example of love was that love leaves, love is painful, disrespectful or that it is just a word that is thrown around. If you witnessed or even held the pain of a parent in your childhood it is common to take these beliefs into your adult relating of love. It may show up by going for emotionally unavailable, abusive or destructive people. Or pehaps you lose yourself in relationship, struggle to communicate or compromise. This is how generational cycles of wounding and trauma repeat. 

Say you were silenced a lot as a child, taught to speak only when spoken to, when you spoke you weren’t heard or when you acted out you were told to be quiet or to go to your room and think about what you’ve done at a time when you were probably the most confused, apologetic and needed comfort, love and listening or explaining too. Years later you are now in relationship, the hard emotions come up and you can’t speak, you can’t lead difficult conversations, you can’t voice what you really think, feel or desire. Instead, you’ll just sit in silence and think about it all alone and it’s the relationship that gets sabotaged. 

Let’s pretend that you were taught to play really safe as a child, obsessively so. Over-protected, not taught how to think for yourself and also not taught how to follow directions or guidance. You were taught to always behave because people are watching. Now you’re in business or looking to elevate your career and you’re frustrated with yourself because the imposter syndrome comes up big, you can’t take the leap and you’re waiting for someone to walk in and do it for you. You can’t go first in business because people are watching. What if they don’t like it, don’t agree, what if you make a fool of yourself? 

There are many more ways this can show up.  

Looking deeper into the inner child and sexuality, you know the inner child is running your narrative when you’re still attached to outdated beliefs. I see this most often where there has been really strict upbringing, where sex is naughty, wrong and not spoken about, the influence of religious and cultural upbringing, pain from relationships, broken families, disempowering sexual education (fear of getting pregnant or an STIs), trauma and abuse. 

While the body wants to experience deep intimacy and absolute surrender with a partner, the mind hasn’t changed the narrative and the inner child is still clinging to the old truth and a paradigm that no longer serves. 

Neurologically speaking, the cortex is trying to support the mind in the new narrative “I desire full body orgasm with my partner” but the primal brain and limbic system still feel the pain, guilt and shame ingrained all those years ago. In sexuality, the body leads and so the body goes into survival or protection mode as a means to create safety.

For as long as the inner child leads, is the length of disempowerment. 

The good news is, you can reparent your inner child to an empowered part of you that is fun, playful and innocent and empower the adult with your current truth and present desires. So that when it comes to love, sex, relationships and business, it is the empowered, liberated, erotic and sensual part of you that takes the lead. 

You’re absolutely able to turn this around. 

It first comes with the acknowledgment of where the inner child is showing up. It can be really important for clarity to understand that you may be or feel a certain way from caregivers, parents, teachers, school or any part of childhood. It’s important to note that we have all experienced this and we may at some point influence others in this way too. We’re all human and often it is done unintentionally. It can be hindering to your healing if you get too involved with the blame game and linger too long on all the really bad things that were done to you or that you have experienced. I see many get lost here for too long and this only creates more rage, suffering and pain. I say this, because I lingered there too long myself. 

Focus on the feelings, beliefs, emotions and narratives over the stories, accusations and resentment. When you allow this to provide clarity, it can often bring you to deeper compassion, understanding and acceptance as to why you may be acting the way you are. This is when looking back inspires healing. 

Then both roles, the inner child and the adult, need to be empowered. Acknowledging, listening and tending to your inner child is the first step. Then creating healthy boundaries and understanding as you would with a child. For example, empowering the child of the role to play and create but setting boundaries that they are not allowed to be present in your ways of relating. Then empowering the adult into the current truth and present desires and acknowledging what is needed for this to transpire. 

The most effective way I have witnessed this dynamic heal is through inner child embodiment and integration. This is deeply rooted in the emotions and spaces of the body, it goes way beyond the mind. 

Liberating the inner child into a safe space of fun, play and laughter and releasing the role or influence in love, sex and your relationships truly liberates your life. The inner child gets to be the child and you are able to empower the part of you that longs, deserves & knows how to give, receive and experience your greatest desires. 

This has been an absolute game changer in my own life, in so many different areas and if you feel the call to explore this deeper please reach out to connect deeper.