Holistic Depth Psychotherapy - Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC

Voices of the Inner Child

Epilogue: Free the Children

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." ~ Charles R. Swindoll

In conclusion, I want to make a final appeal to all of you adult readers, to give some very serious consideration to the matter of freeing your inner children. By "freeing" your inner children, I do not imply allowing the more immature parts of your personality to run roughshod over your lives and the lives of others. Healthy and well adjusted external children are beautifully self-centered; they need to expend all of their energy and internal resources on developing themselves physically, emotionally, cognitively and psychologically. It is the natural and righteous way.

What I do mean by the term "free" is that I encourage you to really understand -with sensitivity and empathy- the authentic feelings, needs, and desires of your inner kids whether they be preverbal babies, yappy grammar school children, or moodily enraged teenagers. This intrapsychic connection between our adult and child selves infuses the marrow of our Being with life-force energy so that we might truly become capable of engaging with our own unique existence in a manner that is limber, dynamic and enlightened.


"We are guilty of many errors and many faults but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life..."

~ Gabriela Mistral

When we do not take responsibility for reparenting our inner children and when we have experienced compromises during our developmental years, our younger sub-selves tend to disable our adult's well being in outrageous or subtle ways. It may be that you feel a vague or sharp sense of unease in the world; it may be that your self-esteem is not standing upright on two strong legs; it may be that you feel shaky on the planet of intimacy; it may be that you chronically feel not as "happy" as you sense you might be, or it might be that you suffer from a kind of "flu of the soul" that you cannot ever shake in spite of your endless self-improvement projects.

Before they are more consciously integrated into your self system, inner kids crouch inside dark crawl spaces of your adult suffering. They can float like ghosts in the interstices of your embarrassment and loss for words or gnash their teeth within lonely holes in your belly. They may squeeze with grubby hands your chronically tight shoulder muscles, hide with humiliation in the trembling of your social anxiety, crumble exhausted on the bed of your apathy and depression. They can run their fingernails down the chalkboard of your irritability, reach with sticky hunger for another empty sugary snack, race on endless treadmills within your "I can't slow down" mantras, fume like toxic smoke within your envy and shame, beat their own chest black & blue inside your bruising self-messages of "not ever good enough". Their shadows may stretch forever across the landscape of your psycho-somatic terrain.

There is so much you can do to help your inner kids thrive. It is never too late! In a sense it parallels mindful parenting and involves the ingredients of self-attunement, self-compassion, self-insight, self-guidance, self-empathy, and self-nurturing. Inner children tend to hover in the outskirts of consciousness until they feel safe, recognized and accepted by their adults. Like any palpable child, once they feel secure, they can become very lively and irrepressible, supplying an endless source of inspiration and energy for our adult embodiment.

Healing your inner children often requires being immersed in healthy, respectful and supportive relationships with other human beings who are also on this path of self-discovery and wholeness. Sometimes it demands for a time the assistance of a "surrogate parent type" person: therapist, mentor, wise friend who can help forge the way and provide for you some of the emotional nourishment that you never received at the appropriate developmental stages.

I encourage you to seize your existence now while there is still time. The distracting minutiae of the mundane world can easily double book every square inch of your footprints right into your grave. Are your inner children worth any less than your actual children or pets that you regard as children? Do you regularly neglect, abuse, shame, or emotionally torture the young and vulnerable? Then why discard or mistreat your most intrinsic children, the inner ones who have been with you your entire life?

Child and parent in shadow

"So, like a forgotten fire, a childhood can always flare up again within us."

~ Gaston Bachelard

Your inner children, bedrock of your Core, deserve to be appreciated, healed, and held beloved. You are now accountable for creating your own "reparative inner child care center", although you can certainly engage the help of qualified others to assist you in this serious endeavor. The payoff of immersing yourself in this challenging, sometimes grueling, journey is the liberation and exuberant resurrection of your very Being. What could be a more worthwhile life goal?

My hope is that in reading about the inner children of others, you will be reminded of your connection to fellow human beings who are also choosing, against all odds and obstacles, the long way Home. You are not alone on this strange and exhilarating path. Look carefully behind the rocks, flowers and trees at the shades of children prancing around adults in great labor: adults who are persevering in their dedication to the momentous aspiration of finally being born Fully Formed and Free.

Nicole Ann Ditz, MA CMHC, Holistic Depth Psychotherapist

Voice Mail: (401) 573-6396  Email: info@holisticdepththerapy.com

Serving Rhode Island and Southeastern Connecticut