When was the last time you played? Had fun? Been spontaneous?
Has life become so serious and heavy that it leaves no room for taking care of Self or taking a break from being a grownup?
Most of us cannot remember how to play and/or feel awkward trying to be spontaneous. And, yes, life has become heavy – how else can we keep all the balls in the air that are required to make our way through the grownup world? Job, Family, Relationships, Expenses, the list seems endless. Life can feel really numbing, no wonder many of us bury ourselves in social media and television and addictions. It is as if we are trying to fill a hole left by the void.
Sometimes it feels better to just hide. And before we are aware, it becomes a way of life. And Joy has leaked out, drop by drop.
The key to healing and recovering our zest for life lies in the Inner Child. This comes up often in my work as a psychotherapist and as a tuning forks practitioner. As a society, we have lost touch with the child within and the pain to be witnessed through that loss is very poignant.
Often the void within is a result of childhood trauma, or the child who had more responsibility than they had capability to handle, or a result of neglect by the child’s caregiver. The child within is a direct result of their childhood experiences.
The child within is the key to our healing, and our age does not matter. Child is with us, holding our pain, trauma, grief and sorrow, joy and creativity.
Here are some suggestions for beginning the process:
- When your body and mind are relaxing and preparing for sleep after you have gone to bed, make the Intention to contact your Inner Child.
- You can ask him/her to come. Often, people will call them “Little ____” (your name), or perhaps a nickname that you had when you were younger. Speak in the language that you spoke as a child. Of course, it can be out loud, but often, it is a silent conversation within.
- Sometimes the Child comes right away, sometimes
it takes several attempts. See if you notice any resistance to the
whole process. Does it feel
awkward? Is it kind of scary? Acknowledge those feelings. Allow them to be what they are. Perhaps an EFT technique will help:
- Tap with your fingers the Thymus area, also known as the High Heart. It is soothing and comforting, and exactly what the child within needs to feel safe.
- Relax and see if he/she
comes to you. It is an internal, inner thing. When he/she does, notice what age Child
is. That can give you a clue.
- With trauma clients that I have worked with, the child will be the same age that the trauma happened. Or maybe it was about the age that you experienced something upsetting. Or perhaps it was an age of your childhood where you felt especially free and happy.
- Once the Child appears, it is up to you to make friends with him/her again:
- Is Child frightened or tentative? You can ask if he/she has felt neglected. If so, you can tell Child that you will keep him/her close from now on and you can keep them safe. Children need to feel safe.
- If Child is crying, then comfort them. Children need to feel accepted and comforted.
- So, really, you would treat him/her as you would any child. If you feel awkward, don’t know how to meet the needs of the Child, ask them what they need. You might be surprised by the answer.
what Child is wearing.
That is usually interesting. My child
wears a favorite fluffy dress. I have a
picture of myself at age 3 in that dress.
She felt so pretty in it.
- It is helpful to put out a picture of yourself as a child. The time when we were innocent and free. We had no responsibility then. That part of us never grows old and is always with us. It provides us with balance and the ability to follow our heart. You know how sometimes someone may say, “Lighten up!”? What has happened is that we’ve allowed being a grownup to darken our heart. What you are doing now is bringing Light into it.
Here is the most profound example of what connection with the Inner Child can do:
- I had a client at the crisis center who was
very emotionally shut down. She had what
we call clinically, “flat affect”.
- She was older, with a grown daughter and grandchildren that she just couldn’t emotionally connect to. Her trauma had happened at age 5.
- The Inner Child did come, but Client was bothered by the fact that she clung to her, tried to get up in her lap, whined and cried. Child was age 5.
- Client asked what to do. I advised her to do what you would do with any child who is so needy. Hold her, tell her she is safe, that you would keep her safe, that you love her.
- Shortly after that, I left my position at that crisis center where I was doing my internship. It was a fairly small town and several months later, I saw her in the grocery store parking lot.
- This client, who had been so closed and unable to feel emotional, came running up to me with her arms wide open and hugged me and thanked me! Oh. My. Gosh.
- Moral of the story? Our Inner Child is a vital part of Who We Are, the key to our Joy and ability to navigate life’s challenges.
- Give Child a chance to prove it.
I sincerely hope that this information is helpful to you. This is a very personal process and rewarding at the same time. Give it a chance to unfold and be open, as a child, to where it leads you. Learning to balance the needs of the Child Within with the needs of the grownup brings fulfillment of our true self, and, importantly, a way to live an authentic life.
Please note that for some, this process may open questions and feelings that can temporarily overwhelm those who were severely traumatized in childhood. In that case, it may be best to do this work with the help and guidance of a professional therapist or coach or person of trust. Biofield Tuning is very helpful as an adjunct to the unfolding.
Susan Shinsky, MA, LPC, Certified Biofield Tuning Practitioner, 2019