Understanding The Inner Child

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Often the reason we get stuck in an emotional situation or find ourselves repeating a pattern in life is because as a child we were stuck in a similar circumstance that generated that emotion. At that time, we would have buried the emotion and carried on through life dragging the suppressed emotional energy with us.

Being stuck as a child means we will also be stuck as an adult.

One of the major health concerns in modern western society is depression. Depression develops from unresolved issues in our past. If we are depressed, we are stuck in the past.

The part of the past where most “stuckness” occurs is in the early childhood years (depression may of course come from many issues which occur later in life, eg active duty in a war). However our emotional foundation comes from the early years from the time we were born to about 7-8 years of age.

During these years, we live in a theta brainwave state (imagine living in a deep meditative state most of the time). This fluctuates dependent upon our emotional/psychological situation.

As a child, when our emotional body is quiet, we are in a meditative state (our brain is in the theta wave). As adults, many of us seek this wonderful state (through meditation) but this state also has a down side for the child. The child absorbs everything, for at this tender age, we haven’t yet developed the ability to reason.

If Dad yells at us as a child, we cannot say to ourselves “Daddy is having a bad day. It isn’t our fault.” Instead, we get shattered by the energy being expelled - we tend to believe it is our fault - and we have an emotional reaction to the situation.

In the case of someone yelling, a fear reaction is common. Disbelief and confusion could also be part of the emotional response. This energy is unpleasant. And to survive, we protect ourselves by immediately suppressing our reactive emotion; it gets pushed into the storehouse of our unconscious mind.

If these types of situations happen often enough, we will become very good at suppressing emotions. They can get pushed down so deep that we don’t even know that they are there. We may even invent a totally false story to superimpose over the real one; this can result in what has been termed false memory syndrome (survival is most important to the person).

If this emotion, along with other emotion or more of the same through similar events, continues to be generated, the result is a child/adult stuck in anxiety and/or fear.

When similar situations arise (like someone yelling), the emotional storage builds up more emotion, and the situation get worse. Emotions build and our reaction compounds: hurt, followed by anger, ending in a lack of confidence and self-worth. What began as a fear reaction, to someone yelling, has ended up a whole series of complex emotions. This can have a considerable impact on our lives.

When we come to the present self, we may find ourselves reacting to a situation similar to the childhood one, but the reaction will be out of proportion to the current event. This is what we call loaded emotion. This pattern can be underneath many modern days happenings: road rage, abuse, violence, even murder (many murders are crimes of passion). People in these situations will often say “something came over me and I had no control over my actions.” If a person has a huge amount of suppressed hurt which has built into rage, their action may well be uncontrolled.

In order to set ourselves free, we must first liberate the child self that is still stuck within us.

Try this exercise to connect to your child self:

Sit quietly and close your eyes.
Allow your mind to drift back into your childhood memories.
Find an uncomfortable memory when your child self struggled to cope with what was happening or what was said.
Picture your child self.
Imagine placing a golden cord between your heart and the child’s heart.
Send your love down the golden cord to the child.
Take the child’s hand and promise the child that you will never let it go.

Do this every night at the same time for 7 days and you will find something will shift within you.

Please note some of you may find it necessary to seek some professional help while working through the connection with your inner child.