- Mental Health
The Children Within
The Child Within
By Tony DeLorger © 2011
It’s what every child knows and what every adult has forgotten: the world is a place of discovery, of wonder and every thought and dream can come true if you want it to. Kids are not naive; they just haven’t learned how to be negative, to be overwhelmed by it until they become untrusting and cynical. What’s worse, kids are now forced to grow up too quickly, become responsible for their lives too early, while their parents chase financial security. In summary, kids just can’t be kids any more and their unique perspective on reality is being lost to not only them but to we adults as a consequence.
You’ve no doubt heard the adage ‘the Child Within’. Called the ‘Divine Child’ by Carl Jung and the ‘Child Within‘ by Charles Whitfield; it refers to that part of us that is alive, energetic, creative and fulfilled. It is our Authentic or Real Self that is developed by firstly our parents and then by society. When the inner child is not allowed to be heard and is not nurtured by love and understanding, a false, co-dependant self emerges. Then, in growing up, if there are unresolved mental traumas, these can accumulate into chronic anxiety, fear, confusion, emptiness and unhappiness.
Without recognising the inner child from the start of life, children become co-dependant, and from troubled families can develop chronic mental illness, rigidity and coldness. Even if children are not abused or mistreated it is believed that only about 20% of children have been loved and guided in healthy ways. That is a staggering statistic; it means 80% of children did not receive what they need to learn how to establish healthy and loving relationships with others and themselves.
But there are ways of opening to and connecting to the child within and to heal past issues and nurture for the future. There are many Inner Children, each with their own characteristics that have developed because of mistreatment and negative experience. These children are fragments of the inner self and need a voice to express their fears and to find peace.
Hear are some example of the Inner Children you may discover.
The Playful Child
This is the self that is playful, spontaneous and fun loving. This child longs to play and many of us as adults can’t do that without guilt or anxiety and will only do what we see as worthwhile.
The Spoiled Child
This is the self that throws a tantrum if it doesn’t get what it wants, now.
The Neglected Child
This is the self that was always left alone, without nurturing and love. This self doesn’t know how to love and feels unlovable. They are depressed and want to cry.
The Abandoned Child
This self is abandoned through divorce or adoption or left alone while parents work. They continually fear abandonment. This self is lonely and requires constant attention and reassurance.
The Fearful Child
This self was criticised as a child and they are anxious and panic a lot. They need lots of encouragement and positivity.
The Discounted Child
This self was mostly ignored and treated as though they didn’t exist. They have no self-belief and need lots of love and support.
You may strike other inner children depending on your background and experience, but there are therapies and processes that can heal all these issues. Remember these words...
‘It is never too late to have a happy childhood’
That’s right; all this damage can be healed through a process of inner dialogue with these inner children. The process is begun in many ways like drawing pictures or with roles playing and methods of hypnosis, allowing each inner child to be heard and each past issue to be dealt with. Once there is dialogue there can be connection and the healing process begins. An example of how the process is used is, you will have an Inner Parent within, that you can ask to cuddle or support when a child is crying to be heard. You will also have an inner Critic, which you will have to consciously learn to silence to connect with each child. There are many symbolic actions that a therapist will use to connect to these traumatised childen within.
I know it sounds a bit wacky, but these simple processes allow you to confront and release these suffering inner children (which represent each aspect of past treatment and trauma). There are many books on this subject and many therapists that can guide you on your journey of healing. If you recognise these aspects of your true self then there is a way to resolve these dark feelings and inadequacies.
In conclusion, the Inner Child is one of the most important aspects of our true selves to understand. It is the root of much of our fears and stumbling blocks to self-love and happiness.
The above article is written succinctly for the purpose of this article but the subject is complex. However, the opportunity is there for you to address these issues and move forward with confidence. This process can have a miraculous affect on your life.