Listening to Your Inner Child
Listen to Your Inner Child
Sometimes it's helpful to go back in time to reconnect with our “inner child” for things our soul needs today. Our Inner Child, can be described as our childlike essence. The time of uncomplicated innocence.
Next time you feel angry, or upset, stop and think about what is really happening. Where are the emotions really coming from, and how do we get rid of them? Listen as you would to a child, since it's your inner child you are trying to connect with. The next step is to acknowledge the emotions, and let them go.
What Is the Inner Child?
Most therapists use the inner child model for understanding the way people think and their emotions. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and those working with addictions find it useful in helping us understand why we are who we are today.
Studies have shown about 85% of one's adult personality has solidified by the time they are six years old. Unfortunately, many of our childhood experiences haven't been pleasant ones.
The human mind is made up of both conscious and unconscious components. Your childhood experiences have a powerful influence in shaping both of these. Actually they are in a continual battle against each other. The unconscious mind tries to push thoughts and memories into your conscious awareness. On the other hand your defense mechanisms struggle to keep the most painful and frightening of these thoughts and memories suppressed.
When you were born you were nothing but an empty slate, innocent, curious, naïve, spontaneous, and also totally vulnerable. However, soon afterward bits and pieces of the outside world began to trickle in.
As you matured you learned how to conduct yourself in social settings and control your behavior. You also learned some would reject you based on things you said or did. Therefore, you learned to adjust your behavior to meet the expectations of others.
Inner Self Versus Outer Self
Although it's important to recognize your inner child, it's more important to interact with others. The healthiest are those who can merge the two. However, getting to know your inner child can be painful. When others get too close to seeing who we really are, some panic.
Compulsions and addictions are attempts to keep one's inner self hidden from others, and sometimes ourselves. Depression, anxiety, anger, fears, and relationship problems are a red flag signaling unconscious issues emanating from our inner child.
What is Reparenting?
Probably the most misunderstood simple word in the medical community is reparenting. The inner child has been a term used since the mid 80’s. It came about when it became obvious to many therapists, psychiatrists, and others working in the field saw a common denominator. Their clients all had traumatic childhoods that in one way or another had been damaged.
The trauma included such things as neglect, abuse and abandonment issues. Unconsciously many of these later chose paths they thyought would eliminate some of their pain. This often created more problems like alcoholism and drug addictions.
Reparenting the Inner Child
Sometimes, the personality and beliefs of a person may hinder healthy development and lifestyle. How a child is treated affects what they do as an adult. Certain instances, like discipline, or conduct of parents can have huge consequences on personality, and relationships with others, as an adult.
Frequently it's found there is a vicious cycle. The way parents treat a child usually depends on how they were treated. The same parental pattern keeps repeating itself.
What is Reparenting?
Reparenting deals with three aspects of an individual. They are:
Adult: The audult is the individual
Inner Child: The inner child is the stage at which an individual was wronged.
Parent: The Parent is a therapist (or the individual) who gives the right response the child should have received.
As we can see, reparenting is nothing but returning to the place where the adult was wounded.
Reparenting the Inner Child
To start the reparenting process, it is important to work with the inner child, feeling its' pain and understanding what caused it. Bear in mind your inner child may not know how to express themselves or believe they’re not allowed to. Many think their feelings are unimportant because they believed the lies they were told.
Since the inner child feels flawed and defective, it usually hides its' true self with a created false identity.
The good news is, you can heal your inner child by being the parent now.
We all need to be heard and know we matter, that we're valued.
Parenting approaches have only recently moved towards respecting the child as a valued human being. So it's very likely while you were growing up your feelings were often invalidated.
As an adult you are can now be the inner child's inner parent. Just listen.