Reflecting upon previous generations, we now know that every child needs to be nurtured in ways that go beyond providing a roof over a child’s head and one hot meal per day. Giving a child what they need on an emotional level makes them feel safe and loved as children, and therefore safe and loved as adults.
Raising a child this way gives them a sporting chance to maintain their own unique presence in this world. They know who they are, and they don’t need to hide. This adult can connect with others, hold down a good job, find a partner who values them and is able to relax and enjoy their life.
Those who were raised by parents who were more interested in their own relationships/career/image/marriage/holidays to pay any real interest in anyone other than themselves and their own problems, grow up ill-equipped to cope with everyday life events.
They flounder through life, bounce from job to job, and team up with people who are emotionally unavailable or abusive, which further exacerbates underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, phobias, self-sabotaging behaviours and recurring physical illnesses.
These people grow up physically but not emotionally. They remain in a child-like state of neediness. Still needing and searching for the one thing they didn’t get – whether that be love, companionship, or simply to be noticed by someone.
These are the people who listen in bewilderment and with a sense of hopelessness as others tell them to, ‘Just get over it!”
This would be like dropping a child non-swimmer from a light aircraft into rough seas and expecting them to swim safely to shore, in time, on demand – and not to whinge about it.
In order to heal the wounds of guilt, shame, fear, or anger within us, we can learn to heal and nurture the child within.
We learn to self-nurture ourselves by connecting with our Inner Child through various kinesiology techniques, visualisation, meditation, journaling and self-talk.
I’d heard how effective Inner Child work was but found it hard to train my busy mind to relax, and empty itself of needless clutter (consisting mainly of other people’s ‘stuff’), in order to re-connect with the lonely child I once was.
To overcome this, I made a commitment to practice meditation every day – using 2-minute blocks only. This was ‘do-able’ for my ego which too lazy to fight against such a small time frame. Using an old school photo helped me connect with ‘her’ – a pale, thin girl with her head hung low.
When I first ‘saw’ her, she seemed different from other children, and I sensed a barrier around not only ‘her’ but also around me. I asked myself if this adverse reaction towards this little girl was really mine. How could it be? It was ME. So whose response was this? Primary caregivers, peers, family members? Who cares, they were not mine, that was the point.
Now I’ve seen her, what do I say to her? Nothing felt right until I tried a visualisation. My younger self was horse-mad, my whole world revolved around horses; I’d be drawing them all the time, pretending to one, or making the yard into a horse jumping competition, but I never had the opportunity to ride one.
This visualisation around horses worked well for the child me, and we began to trust one other. And for the first time ever, I saw joy in her face. This little girl wanted to be loved, she wanted connection and to have fun, but dared not ask for any of it for fear of being shamed and humiliated.
Communication between ‘us’ was simple and based on loving and supporting messages such as:
“I am here with you, you are not alone”.
“I will never leave you again.”
“What do you need from me?”
“What do you need to hear from me?”
Journalling was another effective way to connect with my inner child – it gave her permission to respond to my questions in her own unique way. At last, she had a voice and a means of expression. I’d given recognition to a small person who was never seen. It was simple but huge.
I have since learnt the following:
Emotional healing starts to occur when you connect with your inner child.
Not to minimise my childhood, but honour what I experienced.
Recognise that I didn’t deserve the painful experiences, in any shape, way or form.
To find ways to give myself the emotional nourishment I needed but didn’t receive in childhood.
If any of this resonates with you, and you would like to learn more about how to connect with your Inner Child in a safe place contact Zoe at Inner Health and Healing to make an appointment.
Kinesiology is a gentle Holistic Therapy that taps into the Knowledge and Wisdom of your own body, to Balance Energy, Heal past trauma, and Resolve present problems.
Image by Zoe Livesley – Inner Health & Healing Kinesiology