Anna described having a deep sense of loneliness and depression. As she was searching for the answers to where these feelings originated, she used a visualization technique to contact her “inner child” and received an image of herself when she was nine years old. Her little girl was feeling lonely, bored, and sad while waiting in her room for her mother to arrive home from work. However, because her mother was wrapped up in her own worries and fatigue she had become blind to her daughter’s needs. During this time “little Anna” came to a few conclusions about herself, her parents, and the world around her. One conclusion was that she had to stay busy to distract herself from her pain. The other decision she made was to please her mother as much as she could in hope of getting attention and being loved in return. A pattern of having to please everyone and staying busy had been ingrained in her mind and remained with her to the current day. She eventually forgot where these habits came from.
Anna decided to communicate with her “inner child” on a regular basis. Building a connection with her inner child took time and trust but after a while they both formed a beautiful relationship. Finally, little Anna was heard and was able to express herself. Although Anna’s childhood did not change, her habits and perceptions altered because she recognized that her habits were simply coping techniques that were formed in the past and had no functions anymore. As her relationship with herself improved, so did her feelings of lonesomeness, her relationships with others and the world around her changed in return.
Many leading authors such as John Bradshaw, Erika J. Chopich and Margaret Paul, Whitfield and 12 step programs have written about the importance of building a relationship with the “inner child” and found that it can help with many issues including loneliness, fears, depression and raising confidence. The journey of discovering younger parts within us can be surprising and awkward at first but may also be very rewarding.