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An Open Letter to My Inner Child

An Open Letter to My Inner Child

Your inner child is that innermost part of you, the "original" you, that still sees and responds to the world as an innocent (sometimes, wounded) child does.

It doesn't really matter if you're familiar with the term or not, though. This open letter to my inner child might be everything you didn't even know you needed to hear.

That's especially true if you've been through some stuff, the kind of stuff that takes a lifetime to heal.

Inner child work (whether you sit with yourself or a therapist) involves addressing emotions and experiences from your childhood — in a sense, dialoguing with your younger self — so you can find and heal the roots of chronic pain and reoccurring issues in adulthood.

Writing a letter to your inner child is one way to heal your relationship with the past.

It's about bringing the pieces of your past into the light of today so you can see what still craves some kind of resolution. Where you've still yet to be seen and heard.

It's walking up to your limitations and extending a peace offering to the parts of you you've never forgiven. The versions of you still trapped by old fear, treading water, barred from ever moving forward.

It's a way to bring tenderness to your tension, to breathe into the forgotten chambers of your heart.

It's bringing together your fragmented self like you'd piece together a puzzle, so you can reorient yourself in light of your wholeness.

Essentially, it's being a parent to the parts of you that were left behind as the rest of you grew. It's you, giving yourself the affection, attention, and validation you never received.

It's not easy work. Sorting through the baggage you've been towing around for too long never is. Your healing is complex because you're human, and humans are complex.

If you open yourself up to it, inner child work can be incredibly cathartic. You might break down and have a breakthrough. You might suddenly realize that tender spot underneath your right shoulder blade is actually where the trauma settled after your brother died (yeah, that's me).

Your body remembers even what you've trained your mind to forget. Fear gets stored in your muscles, shame in your cells, grief in your bones.

Your heart remembers everything, too. You just need to get quiet enough to hear the truths you've been keeping from yourself... it's enlightening when you do.

Whatever you've been through, this letter could be just what your younger self still needs to hear.

As you're reading this, you're the one talking to your innermost self. You're addressing the part of you that's been broken, malnourished, mistreated, discarded, embarrassed, left out, left behind: your inner child.

You're listening. You're hearing. You're being here for every aspect and season of yourself.

Take your time. Read this letter like it's your own. It is.

*Note: It helps to put your hand on your heart or belly while you read this.

Your inner child is that innermost part of you, the "original" you, that still sees and responds to the world as an innocent child does. It doesn't really matter if you're familiar with this term or not, though — this is an open letter to my inner child that might be everything you didn't even know you needed to hear.

An Open Letter to My Inner Child: What to Say to Yours

First things first: You're okay. It's okay.

I know you hurt.

I see how you've covered yourself up, closed yourself off to keep out the danger. Did you know, that's been keeping in the pain?

You needed to protect yourself, and you were doing the best you could with what you knew. For that, I thank you.

You don't need to hide anymore. You don't need to shut people out. You have nothing to prove.

You don't have to hold on to this anymore -- this shame, this disappointment, this agony. You don't have to hold yourself together.

It's okay to let go.

You're safe now. I'm here with you, with new knowledge and better tools.

You're here and I appreciate what you're still showing me. When you point out the places that still hurt, I learn more about what you need. With every pang of guilt or fear or jealousy, you teach me to pay attention.

About those things you wish you could've handled better or learned sooner, I am sorry. Forgive me. Thank you. I love you. You are still so loved.

You forget it sometimes, but you have always been loved.

You have always been enough.

I may not have always seen you, but I see you now.

I may not have always listened, but I'm listening to you now.

I want your questions and I want your wonder. I want all the anger you've buried away to come up for air. I want to show you new ways to deal with the pain. We can even play.

You don't need to hide anymore.

It's okay to be in the light.

Show me what needs to be healed, even if you have to show me in tears.

I'll do my best to do right by you.

Thank you. I love you. I see you.

. . .

Tell me:

What here did you need the most?

Tell me in the comments. What you share might be just what someone else needs to see.

With you,


Comments on this post (22)

  • Jul 05, 2024

    Thank you so much this letter my inner child really needed to hear this

    — Grace

  • Dec 09, 2022

    Blessings to all of you

    — Tina

  • Oct 24, 2021

    As soon as I saw you’re ok and you’re safe, the tears followed. Those were the things that I needed to here for my inner child. I needed to hear it from my mom, though I was the one it came from. I was a latch-key kid. Single parent home. I am forever grateful for everything, as I am me because of it. So, thank you for the letter!

    — Douglas

  • Sep 18, 2021

    What book would you recommend for inner child healing….thank you

    — Dennis

  • Aug 14, 2021

    I’m tired. I’m tired of being the oldest, the parent,the responsible, the pleaser, the doer. I’m tired

    — Sue

  • Aug 14, 2021

    Thank you for sharing you inner child made me understand that we all have a time where we need help.

    — Auroura

  • Mar 21, 2021

    It wasn’t your fault. None of it.

    — connie

  • Mar 01, 2021

    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing these words for therapy. These journal entries has help our family healing journey a great deal.

    — Thao Le Khac

  • Dec 26, 2020

    I need to feel love and protected. My inner child feels shame for not standing up for herself when she was being mistreated. She needs affection, compassion, and kindness. She needs to be free and feel happy.

    — Yesica

  • Dec 09, 2020

    Troy, may the love you crave, then and now, be the love you decide to grow inside. Even after everything.

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Dec 09, 2020

    12-8-20 Tuesday

    Dear Jen & others. I’m VERY GLAD THAT LETTER writing TO THE inner child is healthy!!! I DO wonder WHAT THE inner child. Would say BACK? CAN THERE be dialogues in diaries/journals? I’ve READ MANY inner child materials like John Bradshaw’s homecoming & Louise Hay’s inner child meditations/visualizations. THANKS SO VERY MUCH!!!

    — Jane Ellen Barron

  • Dec 06, 2020

    The feeling of being loved and being enough. Never has happened
    Feeling alone and abandoned
    Lost not loved
    No trust and no structure
    Misplaced and discarded
    Fending for myself
    Uncertainty and no purpose

    — Troy Zastrow

  • Jul 06, 2020

    Hollie, Cheryl, Theresa,
    You have found a good and true friend.
    Thank you Jen.

    — Jim

  • Jul 06, 2020

    Jim, thank you for your wisdom and love!

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Jul 06, 2020

    Hollie, my hand is on my heart and I’m so very grateful you’re here and honored this could be what you needed. I appreciate you. You’re on an important journey, each step of it is important, even the tiniest ones. :)

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Jul 06, 2020

    Cheryl, sending you a big hug. You are loved here. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Jul 06, 2020

    Theresa, thank you for this! Maybe we don’t heal the way we intended to, in the timeframe we imagined for ourselves, but I do think the little moments of peace and play are incredibly important. Nothing is little. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Jul 06, 2020

    Keep your inner child close with love and wisdom.
    Smile. Find joy in living.
    Be kind. Accept gratitude. Be thankful.
    Expand your horizons.
    Make good and true friends.
    Set boundaries but don’t fence yourself in.
    Have compassion.
    Be affectionate.
    Be affirmative.
    Create fond memories.
    Play and have fun…
    And have a happy birthday!

    — Jim

  • Jul 06, 2020

    Today was a day where I feel massively disappointed in myself, yet I have no idea why. I’ve been trying to dig deep all morning thinking what is it that I could be doing better. It’s exhausting being so unkind to yourself. I tried calling my boyfriend who tried to make it better with words but couldn’t and eventually he said ‘turn your phone off for a bit and maybe read something’.
    I didn’t want to read my book. I wanted to read something that I could connect with so I opened my laptop and remembered a blog I saw a few weeks ago that I saved to my favourites – this blog was yours.
    I read this with my hand on my heart and by the end of the first sentence tears were pouring down my cheeks.
    ‘’About those things you wish you could’ve handled better or learned sooner, I am sorry. Forgive me. Thank you. I love you. You are still so loved.‘’ – I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear this. It reminded me that my mindfulness journey only really started this year and although I still have a long way to go, that’s okay. Not only that but it reminded me to be proud of myself for how far I have come, and that the most important part of this journey is to learn to love myself.
    Thank you x

    — Hollie

  • Jul 06, 2020

    Alot of blocks I need to clear .I want to be loved n feel love

    — Cheryl Fernandes

  • Jul 06, 2020

    My relationship pain a very abusive painful relationship

    — Cheryl Fernandes

  • Jul 06, 2020

    My inner child heard, “ About those things you wish you could have handled better”
    Yes, the shame of not trusting my intuition, and letting others push me around.
    I’ve apologized just recently to myself. And I’ve forgiven myself .

    My heart is still just numb. I’ve been so traumatized. Shock, loss, fear.

    Today I let myself play. I play all the time!!! I give myself permission to just be.

    I choose today self care and frivolousness!!!

    I too have a sharp pain under my right shoulder blade that too has been there since the loss of my mother.

    Blessing to all of us willing to heal with each other!!

    — Theresa Dominique

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