My Inner Child - The Child Within
We each have an inner child who is ever present within us and needs our attention and parenting. Your inner child is the core of who you are so is more than a subpersonality. We tend to think of life as a straight line:
Birth ------------------------------------------ Death
Like The Growth Of A Tree
If you are in your forties, you may feel as if you are far away from that infant or little child that you once were all those many years ago. However, human growth is more like that of a tree. We add another ring with each year, and that means that the little child is always very present for you existing at your core. It also helps to realise that our parents will always fail us in some way. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have any need to become independent and create our own lives. Therefore it becomes important as adults to begin to re-parent the child within. You can do that by simply becoming aware of it – him or her – and paying attention.
You may be exhibiting behaviour associated with your inner child when you are frightened or anxious. If you feel that way, you can simply imagine yourself speaking with the young part of yourself in your mind, asking what he or she is feeling. When you are told, you can then say, well I am here with you and we can do this together, so you needn’t be so afraid. For many people the little child has been deeply hurt and disappointed growing up and may need to express feelings of grief and rage about those events that have been deeply held and kept hidden. In those instances, it is really helpful if you have a soft toy or a teddy bear to hold it and allow the feelings to come up within you and express them.
Recreation Is Very Important
Healing your inner child enables you to feel more whole, more aware and in charge of who you are and it gives you access to the qualities that children have that are so delightful, like their loving trust, their spontaneity, their ability to play and feel carefree, their sparkle. So many people lose those qualities when they become very serious and it is important to remember to play and to feel childlike at times.
If you can separate in your mind the adult part of you who can become the inner child’s carer and champion, you might be amazed and how much fun you can have at times. It is fine to be serious and conscientious and do your job well or be considerate in relationships, but you also need pauses in that seriousness and consideration when you can relax and play. Recreation is very important for us in the midst of complicated lives with many responsibilities that seem to grow more so as we get older.
There are books on healing the inner child that are available, and you might enjoy reading some of them. One thing that you may do in relationship is to hand your wounded inner child to your partner expecting him/her to heal that child for you, and that may work well in the beginning, but the time may come when it is more to your benefit for you to be caring for your inner child so that your relationship can enable your two inner children to come out and play together under the loving care of your two inner adults.
One useful way to communicate with your child within is to write to it using your dominant hand, for instance: Dear Little One – I want to come into relationship with you and want you to talk with me and tell me what you want and need from me… You can say anything else you wish to say. Please be loving. If you can imagine that inviting your inner child to communicate with you might be frightening for the child in the beginning, it is important to be gentle.
Imagine if you were sitting in the forest wanting the little animals to gather around you, it would be really important to be very quiet and non-threatening to attract them. So it is with your child. Then after writing your message to your child, you can use your non-dominant hand and respond with what your inner child wishes to say. When thoughts of what the child wants to say come to your mind, just write them down and trust that they are accurate.
Working with and loving the child within you instead of ignoring it or beating it up is one of the deepest healing processes that there is. I encourage you to attend to it and regard it as an experiment to enable you to begin to see the value of it. Give yourself and your child time. It is not an overnight sensation – one message and the healing is complete. This process can become a valuable and rewarding part of your life.