Every one of us has a wounded child within who needs our care and love. But we run away from our inner child because we're afraid of the suffering. In addition to listening to others with compassion, we must also listen to the wounded child inside us. That little child needs our attention. Take time to go back and tenderly embrace the wounded child within you. You can talk to the child with the language of love. "Dear one, in the past, I left you alone. I've gone away from you for so long. I'm sorry. Now I have come back to take care of you, to embrace you. I know you suffer so much, and I have neglected you. But now I've learned the way to take care of you. I am here now." If we have to, we can cry with that child. Whenever we sit, we can spend time sitting and breathing with that child. "Breathing in, I go back to my wounded child; breathing out, I take good care of my wounded child." When we go for a walk, we can take the hand of our little child.

We should talk to our child several times a day for healing to take place. The little child has been left alone for a long time, so we need to begin this practice right away. Go back to your inner child every day and listen for five or ten minutes, and healing will take place.

Our wounded child is not only us; he or she may represent several generations of ancestors. Our parents and ancestors may have suffered all their lives without knowing how to look after the wounded child in themselves, so they transmitted that child to us. So when we're embracing the wounded child inside us, we're embracing all the wounded children of past generations. This practice doesn't just benefit us; it liberates numberless generations of ancestors and descendants. This practice can break the cycle.

Thich Nhat Hanh in The Art of Communicating