Healing work with psychedelics is powerful. Healing the inner child with Ayahuasca is a powerful journey that Nina Izel shares more about in this article.
Who is the Inner Child?
Those of you who are on a healing journey are probably familiar with the term inner child work.
But let’s clarify what is the inner child and why that work is needed for us to be free.
Let’s start with the fact that in childhood, we have less or no resources (strength, awareness, skills) to deal with constant stress and trauma. When something overwhelming threatens our safety and survival, we often shut down and dissociate from the experience. At the moment of this separation/dissociation, the mind fragments as a coping mechanism to survive, and the unprocessed experience is held in that fragment.
Often, the most significant damage happens when we are children, so these fragmented parts stay at the child’s level, and we refer to them as the inner child.
So, the inner child is that lost part of us where we carry most of our pain, things that we don’t want to see, feel, and remember because it feels too much to bear.
Another reason we are so impressionable during childhood is that our brainwaves are in a half-hypnotic (theta) state for the first seven years of our lives. We are in a mode of absorption. But there is no discerning awareness yet, so we download everything from our immediate environment (belief system, behavior, coping skills, etc.) without considering whether it will serve us.
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Most of our behavioral patterns get wired in the first seven years.
Most people come from a family with dysfunction. Therefore, we often learn dysfunctional behavior without recognizing the dysfunction, usually much later in life.
Therefore, when we are on a healing journey, we tend to return to our starting place, childhood, which is necessary if we want to really change and uproot things. After 25 years on this healing journey, I have found that childhood is always a place we return to and keep integrating into our whole selves.
Why is Inner Child Work Vital?
Some people think they can just draw a line and disconnect from the past to start a new and different future. But that is not my experience. I believe those things not dealt with will keep showing up in other (primarily dysfunctional) ways until we are willing to see and embrace them.
Some significant ways that childhood traumas can show up in adult life are the inability to create loving and nurturing relationships, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, depression, insomnia, oversensitivity, amnesia, dissociation from the body, addictions, denial, auto-immune disease, inability to commit to things/people just to mention a few. So, when we look at our lives and behavior, we can notice the effects of these past issues in our present life, even if we were previously unaware.
Often, we are not aware that we are traumatized. The suppression and dissociation can be so much that we literally don’t have those memories accessible. That’s one of the defense mechanisms of the psyche. Therefore, often, people do not connect past trauma to their present-day challenges. However, I believe that it is always connected.
To return to the origins, we need to visit those tender years of the beginning when our system was formed and our personality was shaped. I believe that until we make peace with our past (and process our experience healthily), we keep dragging it into our present and re-create it in our future.
This is certainly my experience.
How to Heal the Wounded Child?
It’s possible you don’t have a wounded child aspect, but it’s not very likely.
The first step is to acknowledge this aspect. The next step is your willingness and desire to integrate this part of you and bring healing to the whole self. You are the healer.
However, the best service you can do to yourself is to get a guide/healer/therapist to create a safe container and to support you in this process.
The main reason people give up on themselves and their healing journey is that, at specific points, they feel too confused, too afraid, and too overwhelmed to touch their pain and process it.
An experienced therapist will create a safe container where deep healing can happen and will assist you in surrendering rather than resisting in difficult moments.
The purpose of any tool, guide, medicine, therapist, or healer is to help you access and integrate your fragmented self, including the inner child aspect. This can happen in various ways, depending on what serves best.
Healing the Inner Child with Ayahuasca
Healing and integrating your inner child can be done in many ways, and I certainly tried countless tools and methodologies.
Accessing Hidden Parts of Ourselves
For me, healing the inner child with Ayahuasca helped me to reach aspects of myself that were suppressed beyond recollection. You can’t heal what you are not aware of, and often, childhood trauma gets so deeply hidden away that it becomes a blind spot for us. However, we can feel that aspect in our present-day life creating pain and suffering.
Accessing these deeply hidden parts was intense and revealing, but it was also liberating and empowering. Beyond my experience, I have witnessed the same thing happen many times to others. I sometimes think about Ayahuasca as a powerful surgical tool that can help us access the hidden wounds that we may carry.
Expanding Awareness & Healing the Inner Child with Ayahuasca
Letting go of blame, anger, and resentment and bringing understanding, acceptance, compassion, and love to old wounds is undoubtedly a common theme in healing the inner child with Ayahuasca. Making peace with our past, ourselves, and others is vital for us to move forward healthily and become free.
In addition, the Mother Ayahuasca helps us expand our awareness and see things from a different perspective, bringing healing, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding to painful past experiences. I remember during one of my journeys when I revisited a past feeling of being abandoned and not loved by my Mom. As I witnessed that memory, I became aware that I couldn’t receive my Mom’s love; I was so shut down and disconnected that I simply wasn’t feeling her love. I could feel in that moment my Mom’s pain and sadness that I caused by pushing her away and rejecting her love and kindness. With this new awareness, I could bring love and forgiveness to my relationship with my Mom and stop blaming her, and eventually myself, for what happened.
Seeing the bigger picture is a great gift of this medicine, as I feel that often, we are stuck in pain because we only see a fragment of the whole story that keeps us suffering. While these moments of realization can be very emotionally intense, they are also very empowering and liberating. Even in the deepest, darkest moments of my journey, I always felt that I was being held by a loving Mother, being loved and supported always.
Reconnection & Healing the Inner Child with Ayahuasca
This sense of connectedness is another aspect of working with Ayahuasca, the feeling that we are not alone or abandoned in our quest, life, or healing journey. Even in the most challenging moments, a sense of guidance and comfort is always present.
Trauma and suffering often lead to loneliness, isolation, and disconnection. The Mother Ayahuasca helped me to start reconnecting and integrating all my ‘parts’ and feeling connected again as part of a more extensive intelligent design.
You are the Healer
I believe that Ayahuasca can be a powerful ally in our healing journey. As mentioned earlier, She can help us access old wounds and blockages by expanding our awareness, shifting our perspective to see the bigger picture, and reconnecting us with our inner love and power.
However, the Ayahuasca is not a magic pill! She will not heal your pain.
She will show you the way to healing and wholeness, but you must take the steps and make the necessary changes. You are the most essential part of your healing, which is a participatory process. The medicine will help you see what you must do, but ultimately, you must do it!
You are the healer; you can change your life.
It’s not going to be an overnight process. Change takes time; we process things layer by layer. So, this inner child work will take a while to complete.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a therapist to do your inner child work with. Having a safe container and loving support and guidance will make your process faster and easier.
Remember that Ayahuasca, a therapist, yoga, etc., are just tools here to help us remember our power, innocence, and beauty.
You are the healer, and love is the medicine.