INNER CHILD DIALOGUES
A method to uncover and heal emotional pain, feelings of abandonment, depression, anxiety, anger. Channelling your inner child as a regular practice, is a powerful self-help tool. It facilitates growth and a deeper connection with the different layers of yourself.
From 'The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller:
What is described as depression and experienced as emptiness, futility, fear of impoverishment, and loneliness can often be recognized as the tragedy of the loss of the self, or alienation from the self / "I lived in a glass house into which my mother could look at any time. In a glass house, however, you cannot conceal anything without giving yourself away, except by hiding it under the ground. And then you cannot see it yourself either "/
This is what it means to *have killed* one's self. We were compelled to gratify our parents' unconscious needs at the cost of our own self-realization / We then realize that all our lives we have feared and struggled to ward off something that really cannot happen any longer: it has already happened, it happened at the very beginning of our lives while we were completely dependent. / One is free from depression when self-esteem is based on the authenticity of one's own feelings and not on the possession of certain qualities.
Regressing into your child self can be difficult at first. I recommend starting with a relaxed atmosphere and little expectation. It might be useful to have objects around that remind you of your childhood, e.g. a toy or picture of yourself as a child to focus on. The way I communicate with my inner child is in written dialogue. I use my dominant hand (right) for the adult role and my non-dominant hand (left) for my child self. Start by asking your inner child a question. Be sensitive and approach it without expectation. Ask: Why are you feeling so upset? Is there anything I can do that will make you feel better? Ask questions and feel them deeply throughout your body. You might want to ask: What are you afraid of? Or, why are you angry with XY? Wait and listen until an answers comes from deep inside that feels painfully honest.
It's important to give space and accept whatever comes up. Not every connection has to result in dialogue. If you don't find it easy, try to create a 'little space' that is fun. Be childlike in a safe space to play or draw. Slowly gain trust by giving that dormant side of you room to express without judgement. Maintain the dialogue, regularly check in if your inner child is doing ok, or see what it might need from the adult you to feel better.
Basic concepts from 'Inner Bonding' by Dr. Margaret Paul and Dr. Erika Chopich:
Your wounded self is the aspect that may have suffered from physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse or neglect, and it carries all the fears, false beliefs and controlling behavior that result from these experiences. While these fears, beliefs and behavior cause us pain in our adult lives, they were the only way we could feel safe when we were children. They were our survival mechanisms. Your wounded self can be any age in any given moment, depending on how old you were when you learned a particular false belief, addiction or way to control.
Many of us do not yet have a powerful, spiritually connected loving Adult who knows how to nurture and truly protect us and love others without trying to control them. Many of us do not have a loving Adult who knows how to set appropriate inner boundaries against our harming ourselves with addictive behavior. This is because we may have had little or no role modeling on how to be a loving Adult. If your parents and their parents before did not know how to take loving care of themselves, they could not provide the necessary role modeling. That's why most people don't know how to take good care of themselves in the face of other's anger, blame, or judgment.
Understanding that you have good reasons for your feelings and behavior is the opposite of being judgmental. It is being compassionate. Your Inner Child will not open to you if you are shaming and judgmental of his or her feelings or behavior. And if your Inner Child doesn’t open to you, you will not be able to learn what you are doing or thinking that may be causing your pain. When you talk to the wounded parts - your angry, hurt, frightened, anxious, numb, shamed, needy, or depressed parts - ask them to tell you what they feel, and welcome and embrace those feelings, whatever they are. You can dialogue with various aspects of your wounded self, as well as various ages, from a young child to an adolescent. You are dialoguing about your feelings and the beliefs and behavior that may be causing them. When you are ready for your Inner Child to answer your questions, move your attention into your body. The answers will come from deep within you rather than from your head. When you explore blaming anger, fear, aloneness, depression and anxiety, you are dialoguing with your wounded self. When you explore sadness, sorrow, heartache, heartbreak, grief, loneliness and what brings you fulfillment, peace and joy, you are dialoguing with your core Self.