The concept of healing our inner child is one that has been discussed in self-help, therapy, and spirituality circles alike. While many people may brush off the concept of healing our inner child as just another wacky self-help tactic for people that can’t seem to get over their past, those more more well versed in an awakening journey, know differently.

The process of healing our inner child is actually the process into wholeness and complete integration of our ego. What this means, is that any and everyone who is going through a spiritual awakening process will have to go through this aspect of it at some point or another.

The healing of our inner child is not reserved only for those who had an abusive or traumatic past. It is the process of first facing and then embracing our most vulnerable and deep rooted aspects that we often try to hide from the world and sometimes even our own selves.

Until our most vulnerable parts feel accepted and loved we will find ourselves in situation after situation that is attempting to get us to not only be honest with ourselves about these deep vulnerabilities, but also trying to guide us into the deepest surrender, which is when our personal will merges with divine will.

And until it feels safe to be however it is, to feel however it does, without judgment, it will keep us from our dreams and desires for the mere fear that once we find them, we will abandon it again in order to chase happiness in the form of a person, place or thing outside of us.

A happy inner child means three very important things for our lives, an integrated ego (non-judged/accepted), it is the green light to the universe to start sending us those things that we deeply long to manifest (because it will see us as energetically ready to take on such things without being attached to them for our self worth, and without fear that we will abandon our own hearts once we find happiness outside of ourselves), and a feeling of safety and confidence within our own being.

So how do we know if our inner child is feeling neglected by us?

Below are 5 signs you are neglecting your inner child:

1) You keep making choices that go against your highest wisdom

What our inner child wants most from us is unconditional acceptance. It wants to know that no matter what, we will love and accept it. Often it “tests” us by opting to make decisions that we know aren’t in our best interest, (and usually it is something that we have judged ourselves for strongly in the past) just to see how we respond.

Being judgmental or critical of ourselves when we make decisions we know aren’t the best for us, is how our inner child continues to feel unaccepted. The most effective thing we can do in healing our inner child is to love ourselves no matter what!

2) You depend on your mind’s rationale to solve your ‘problems’ rather than just allowing yourself to feel.

This is a tricky one that many people who are on a spiritual or self-improvement path often get stuck in. Instead of allowing their inner child to feel however it feels about something, let their heart pang in despair or heartbreak, they try to over-rationalize the “why” something happened in hopes that the feeling will go away.

For instance, we may be really heartbroken to have not gotten our dream job, but rather than just sitting in despair and allowing it to be, we may find ourselves saying things like, “everything happens for a reason, look on the brightside of this…”

And while this may feel true to a part of us, we must also honor the part of us that is actually really upset. When our inner child is treated like it doesn’t have a right to feel negative emotions, you can trust that it will find every way to manifest situations that those emotions are ignited in order to get your LOVING attention.

3) You seem to care or know more about how other people feel about something vs. how you feel about it

Here is another tricky one especially for empaths. Many people who are energetically sensitive or in tune with other people’s emotions will often not speak their authentic truth out of fear that they might hurt someone else’s feelings.

For an empath, when someone else hurts, they hurt too so it’s completely understandable to avoid situations like this. But one must cultivate the art of authenticity without judgment. It is imperative for our inner child to be able to speak its truth safely.

To do this, we must find a way to own our feelings without expecting that others will accept our “truth” as theirs. Standing up for our innocence is how we form trust with our inner child.

4) You stay in toxic or dysfunctional situations way too long

Imagine being a child whose parent forced them to be around a person who was mean or abusive to them. Imagine the resentment and mistrust that would form over time if that child continuously told their parent that this person made them feel scared, ‘less than’, or unworthy, and the parent did nothing.

This is exactly how our inner child feels when we continuously are around someone who treats us in a way that makes us feel like we don’t matter, or are not respected. We always have to be our own advocate of our own hearts first and foremost and we do this by paying close attention to who or what makes us feel valued and who doesn’t.

5. Painful emotions are avoided, judged, or criticized

Just like a child who is taunted for crying about something, or avoided until they just “got over” something, our inner child feels completely abandoned when it is not supported by us. We need to provide a safe place for our innocent heart to process it’s natural and honest feelings without feeling criticized.

Our most vulnerable aspects are those that are the links to the subconscious belief systems we are holding on to about life, which is preventing things from coming to us. So the sooner we start being completely and utterly honest with ourselves about these feelings, and being ok with them, no matter what they are, the sooner we begin to transform and heal fear based belief systems into acceptance and allowance.