Set your inner child free

Inner child therapy lets us work on our past so that we can heal our future

Inner child healing at its core is about getting in tune with the child consciousness within us and meeting its needs with conscious love, understanding and care. It employs the wisdom you gain through your experiences in life and applying this wisdom to soothe the child in you.

Personality to presence

The inner child is a personality within us. A personality is created by the mind to get something. For example, the ‘star child’ personality gets created when a child realises that the only way it can get the attention or love of its parents is by winning in a competitive environment or shining in a particular skill. Here the mind map is: achievement = love and attention. When seen in awareness, your personality is just a set of mind maps with filters that you use to view the world. A mind map limits you from fully experiencing life; your entire effort and energy is spent running after what this personality needs, but you never seem to find it outside yourself. By reaching the point of creation of this personality, you discover that point in time when an incident created a belief that you have an unmet need and the corresponding realisation that you are not enough to meet that need by yourself.

Once seen for what it is—just an unmet need—acceptance is natural. As a result, the personality loses its hold on your emotions and dissolves, leaving a divine child behind. The divine or the magical child is in fact just an essence. It is a presence that naturally arises, uninhibited in the absence of a personality. It simply exists and seeks nothing.

This journey from the wounded child to the divine child is made through the following stages:

Retrieval → Emotional catharsis of the ‘original pain’ → Understanding the unmet need → Physically meeting the need → Re-parenting

Different techniques

Regressive guided meditations to recover the inner child: This is the first step in the healing process. Through a guided meditation, you regress to the point where you lost touch with your inner child. During the meditation, you retrieve that child from your subconscious into your conscious mind to begin the healing process.

Non-dominant hand writing or drawing: In this technique you consciously address the child within you regarding a particular problem, situation or feeling, by writing the questions with your dominant hand, and then allowing your non-dominant hand to move on paper in the way it wants to, without filtering. This hand channels the energy of your inner child. It can give very specific answers, draw, bring out emotions and can also trigger body aches, pains or symptoms that reveal the state of your inner child. This technique can also be used to channel higher awareness from one’s essence.

Art therapy: Some issues are so deeply locked into the psyche that words are not enough to fully honour and feel the emotion. These deep imprints release through hands-on work. Working with clay, mud, paints, crayons, water, paper, drums and through body movement or dance allows the body to have a cathartic experience and transform the emotion.

Voice dialogue or role play: To keep the wounded inner child in place there are strong sub-personalities attached to it and they must be addressed as a ‘critical’ self, ‘perfectionist’ self and so on. These are the underlying energies that will jump in and re-create that self, even if you heal the wounded child within. Voice dialoguing is similar to doing a conscious role play by allowing each of these sub-personalities their space to voice themselves as if they were individuals. This has to be done in the presence of what is called the ‘Aware Ego’. The Aware Ego is the conscious interrogator within the person. It comes from a non-judgmental place of pure observation. It is the space of understanding within us where we join the dots about the needs of the different personalities. In my experience, it helps to give ‘props’ to these personalities to allow you to fully embody that personality, such as a red lipstick to the ‘compulsive seducer’ who acts out sexually or a stick to the ‘inner patriarch’. These roles are often archetypal and therefore their personalities can be recreated very intuitively.

EFT [Emotional Freedom Technique]: Tapping, as this is popularly called, is highly effective in allowing emotion to surface at a bodily level. Tapping as part of inner child healing is specifically speaking in first person as the wounded child itself, and voicing your feelings and thoughts as if you were going through the traumatic situation in that moment. Spontaneous visualisation might also happen during this process and deeper memories can come up as you go through the EFT rounds. It is necessary that you keep tapping through every layer until you get a bodily experience of light.

Inner parenting

However wonderful, cathartic, deep and life-transforming your inner child healing is, all this beautiful energy could easily and very soon get swept away with old thought patterns if you as an inner parent do not take responsibility of your inner child. While the techniques mentioned above dominantly employ the subconscious, inner parenting requires your conscious mind to be involved in deciding how you want to channel the creativity, sensitivity, awareness and insights your inner child is giving you. The very reason one gets into inner child healing is unaware parenting. If you fall back into old habits with a more open, vulnerable and fragile inner child self with no masks and no defences; you will attract even more intense wounds and might even completely shut down. Therefore, don’t expect wonders if you are not consciously parenting your inner child.

Taking ownership of your inner child fully includes talking to your inner child through affirmations, words of comfort and encouragement and proactively changing your actions to meet the needs of your inner child. Enforce your authority by being firm and disciplining your inner child by seeing through the falsity of the core beliefs it is holding on to. This is the only way to sustain the energy of your transformation from breaking out of your wounds.

Inner child healing is not a pill that can be popped; it won’t set things right after you go through a fixed number of sessions. It requires constant self-awareness and is therefore not for ‘spiritual shoppers’. This work can go on for a lifetime. For those who have seen life’s magic, experienced through the divine inner child, the journey into every layer of oneself becomes more and more fascinating until one emerges as the hero.

Inner Child Work: Leading you back to who you truly are

By Mary Elizabeth Hoffman
Many creative and sensitive souls feel lost due to the challenges they have experienced in this life. They want to live in the present moment, but find themselves replaying the past. They want to give themselves loving messages, but old, inaccurate tapes keep playing— the messages they have learned in childhood. There is a sense of disconnection from the wisdom and vitality of their ‘essence’. This disconnect is often at the root of mental, emotional and physical disturbances. In order to heal on all levels, it is imperative to restore this precious connection.
If our inner child has gone unheard for too long, we may begin to get sick or depressed. Just like a normal child, it will continue to cry until someone comes to pick it up and soothe it. Once the inner child feels heard and cared for, it will release its need to get our attention through symptoms and will bring us a sense of vibrancy, resiliency and reconnect us to our essence.
We know that we need to give the child what it needs but we may not know how to do this for ourselves. If we were not raised with the necessary nurturance and care, or were abused, our inner child hides away, feeling ashamed, afraid and unworthy. The adult self looks outward for relief, while unknowingly hiding their pain—and much of their light—as well.
People often know their system isn’t working but have no idea how to fix it. Many learn to adapt and manage although something just doesn’t feel right. They may not know that there is another way or even that there is hope. They don’t realise the solution is within them. By reconnecting to their own inner child, they begin to heal their past and fulfil their own unmet needs. They become that which they seek.
Access to your own inner resources can lead to empowerment Inner Child Therapy is all about changing your inner world so that your outer world will change. Many feel imprisoned by their unresolved and unhealed wounds from the past. Most of what they are carrying happened during their childhood but is now re-appearing as problematic relationships, co-dependency, insecurities and addictions. But the past can be healed, allowing a person to move into a place of emotional and spiritual freedom.

The author is a spiritual healer and inner guide. Know more at www.theworkofthesoul.com

This was first published in the October 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

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