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Inner Child healing
February 26, 2006
8:39 pm
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Yay.. ! I made this thread finally. I think I'm on to the right path now.

This thread serves as a place where we can learn more about Inner child healing and what steps we need to take. Here we'll learn to get in touch with our inner child.

February 27, 2006
12:34 am
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mamacinnamon
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Guest:

Call me stupid, but I am not getting this inner child thing. Care to explain it to me? Thanks in advance.

February 27, 2006
7:26 am
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Sorry this is going to be long...
Found something VERY interesting on the subject
Thanks for starting the thread - I have already learned SO much

Inner Child Healing - Why do it?
"We are set up to be emotionally dysfunctional by our role models, both parental and societal. We are taught to repress and distort our own emotional process. We are trained to be emotionally dishonest when we are children.
This emotional repression and dishonesty causes society to be emotionally dysfunctional. Additionally, urban based civilization has completely disregarded natural laws and natural cycles such as the human developmental process. There is no integration into our culture of the natural human developmental process.

As just one blatant example of this, consider how most so called primitive or aboriginal societies react to the onset of puberty. When a girl starts menstruating, ceremonies are held to celebrate her womanhood - to honor her coming into her power, to honor her miraculous gift of being able to conceive. Boys go through training and initiation rites to help them make the transition from boyhood to manhood. Look at what we have in our society: junior high school - a bunch of scared, insecure kids who torture each other out of their confusion and fear, and join gangs to try to find an identity.

This lack of integration of the natural human growth process causes trauma. At each stage of the developmental process we were traumatized because of the emotionally repressive, Spiritually hostile environment into which we were born. We went into the next stage incomplete and then were retraumatized, were wounded again."

(Quotations in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)
For all of the so called progress of our modern societies, we still are far behind most aboriginal cultures in terms of respect for individual rights and dignity in some kind of balance with the good of the whole. (I am speaking here of tribal aboriginal societies - not urbanized ones.) Nowhere is this more evident in terms of our relationship to our children.

Modern civilizations - both Eastern and Western - are no more than a generation or two removed from the belief that children were property. This, of course, goes hand in hand with the belief that women were property. The idea that children have rights, individuality, and dignity is relatively new in modern society. The predominant and underlying belief, as it has been manifested in the treatment of children, has been that children are extensions of, and tools to be used by, their parents.

A very telling insight into the basic beliefs underlying Western attitudes towards children is shared by inner child pioneer Alice Miller in her book The Drama of The Gifted Child. She shares how the 19th Century German Philosophers who laid the groundwork for modern psychology, emphasized the importance of stamping out a child's "exuberance." In other words, a child's spirit must be crushed in order to control them.

Children are to be seen and not heard. Spare the rod and spoil the child.

It is only in very recent history, that our society has even recognized child abuse as a crime instead of an inherent right of the parent. The concept of healthy parenting as a skill to be learned is very new in society.

Any society that does not respect and honor individual human dignity, is going to be a society that does not meet the essential needs of it's members. Patriarchal societies, that demean and degrade women and children, are dysfunctional in their essence.

We form our core relationship with our self and with life - and of course with other people - in early childhood in reaction to the messages we get from the way we are treated and the role modeling of the other people in our lives. We then have no training or initiation ceremonies, no culturally approved grieving process, to help us let go of the old programming and learn a different relationship with our self and life. So, we build upon the foundation laid in early childhood.

As adults, we react to the programming of our childhood. To contend that our childhood emotional wounds have not affected our adult lives is ridiculous. To think that our early programming has not influenced the way we have lived is to be in denial to an extreme.

Because societies standards for what constitutes success are dysfunctional, many people can be pointed out who "have risen above" their past to be a success. It is those people, who are supposedly successful, that are running the world. How good a job do you think they are doing?

It is our world leaders, reacting out of the fear and insecurity of their inner children, and the dysfunctional belief systems underlying civilization, who give us war and poverty, billionaires and homelessness.

My book, Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, evolved out of a talk that I first did in 1991. In the talk, I stated that I would like to one day make up a bumper sticker that said "Work for World Peace, Heal Your Inner Child." I did have these bumper stickers printed when I published my book. It is, I believe, an essential Truth. We will never have world peace, or a civilized society which is based upon respect and dignity - to say nothing of Love - unless we can heal our relationships with ourselves enough to learn to Love and respect our self.
joy2meu.com

February 27, 2006
7:29 am
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Guest and Mama

Found some more information - It all makes sense to me, I can relate
I will try to go online tonight

Inner Child Healing - How to begin
"Inner child work is in one way detective work. We have a mystery to solve. Why have I have I been attracted to the the type of people that I have been in relationship with in my life? Why do I react in certain ways in certain situations? Where did my behavior patterns come from? Why do I sometimes feel so: helpless; lonely; desperate; scared; angry; suicidal; etc."
"That is the purpose of inner child healing - to stop letting our experiences of the past dictate how we respond to life today. It cannot be done without revisiting our childhood. We need to become aware, to raise our consciousness. To create a new level of consciousness for ourselves that allows us to observe ourselves."

"It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around."

"We all have an inner critic, a critical parent voice, that beats us up with shame, judgment, and fear. The critical parent voice developed to try to control our emotions and our behaviors because we got the message there was something wrong with us and that our survival would be threatened if we did, said, or felt the "wrong" things."

February 27, 2006
10:15 am
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capercaillie
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interesting Garfield.
I have always felt that my inner parent was absent and that I needed to do everything all on my own. Was it because my father died when I was 8? And my mother didn't seem to have much of an idea about how to be?

I was really interested by the comment about initiations. Having just broken up ( see when your lover has been lying) I feel it would have been nice to celebrate the good things as we went - we were going to celebrate a year of good times but somehow never did. If I can ever bear to have another go and if I ever find anyone else I'll try to do that.

February 27, 2006
1:41 pm
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capercaillie

Thanks, i also had children for parents and had to re-parent myself.

I realised today that therapy is actually doing the inner child work.

I think losing your father at 8 was terrible for a young child.

My daughters 'practise' on my husband emotionally.
If they get new clothes they would parade infront of him to get his attention and to reflect emotionally.

When they are older and going for there first date they will have all the confidence they need bc they have done it throught there father.

My father was emotionally unavailable so I had to do it by trial and error.

No self esteem!!!!!!!!!!

February 27, 2006
5:10 pm
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hi guys, thanks! I'm going to meet with a psych on friday and will tell him that I want to do this inner child work. I want to know practical steps I can take.

February 27, 2006
6:07 pm
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capercaillie
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Hey yes only it took me ages to realise that you can adopt other people as parents/role models so when I was young I just felt completely alone. Now I talk to friends but it's taken me ages to talk about things as I didn't know you could and that people could actually listen. I still have that void left by my father and it'staken me ages to even begin to work out how men are normally. I just felt with an eight year old's emotions that men had to be wonderful to be any good at all and of course they never were. I am just beginning to realise that they are just people not the gods that an eight year old inner child thought they were.

March 4, 2006
8:02 pm
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Ok so does anyone know the daily or even moment-by moment steps we take to care of our inner child?

If we take care of it, we maintain our "center". We keep the focus on ourselves. How to keep the focus on ourselves and keeping ourselves fulfilled?

What are the steps? Anyone have any idea?

March 4, 2006
8:58 pm
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Guest - I think I would 1st work on my relationship with my Creator. In my case, it is God, My Heavenly Father. When you realize Guest that He loves you unconditionally, you will start to love and accept yourself unconditionally.

When I had done that, I started to have healthy self-esteem and self-worth. I wouldn't allow to abuse myslef and be abused by others. I wouldn't allow others to take advantage of me, both men and women.

You will notice Guest little by little, that you will become strong, independent, healthy, honest, responsible, moralistic human being coz you measure yourself on the yardstick of your Heavenly Father, not the world, your gf or what other people think of you.

I hope this little info is helpful!

~Love, Ras~

March 5, 2006
12:42 am
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I'm sorry Ras, I was a firm believer in God once to the point he was my only friend, but not anymore. I'm an athiest now. If believing in God made any difference in our success in this life, we would have seen evidence of that. No amount of convincing will make me change my mind 🙂 so I wont go into debate. Hmm.

I'm foreign and in our language there's a song which goes "If you want to make God happy, make your friend happy first. Its easy to please God, but harder to please your friend".

I used to tell God that I must have a good relationship with myself first before I can have a good relationship with anyone, including him. ok. thats it from me. I'm glad its working out for you though - its you know, whatever works for the person is ok.

March 7, 2006
9:43 am
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I have found the secret of empathy! i.e, how to be empathic.

It is to feel the other person's pain and then respond to it correctly as if it was your own. For this, you first have to feel the other person's pain. Thats step 1. Its done by putting yourself in their position and imagining how it would be.

Step 2 is soothing that pain. For this, you should be able to pacify yourself. If you're not good at pacifying yourself, you cant genuinely sympathize with the other person.

March 7, 2006
10:03 am
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Its new to me cause I'm not good at empathy.

March 7, 2006
4:22 pm
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guest,

this is one of my favorite topics.

I think its pretty simple. The biggest part is listening to your inner child and caring about what he is saying or needing. Its about having a loving relationship with your inner child.

I stay in touch with my inner child all day, what is she feeling. What can I do to help her feel better? It might just be to drink some cold water or wash the sticky feeling from my apple off of my hands.

This morning I was feeling rejected by a couple of people on a dating site. Why should I feel so bad if two total strangers reject me who don't even know me?

For the solution is to go to the mirror in the bathroom and look into my inner child's eyes and tell her how much I love her and that I back her 100% and that I will never leave her.

That did it. The feeling of rejection evaporated. As long as my inner child has my love and attention it dosen't much matter what other people think or do.

I have practiced this for such a long time that I have internalized my relationship with my inner child. I hear her telling me what she needs or wants all day long. Like right now.

gotta go.

love,
kathy

March 7, 2006
4:32 pm
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Interesting, will try the mirror thing. thanks for sharing.

March 7, 2006
8:53 pm
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tooscared
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This is an interesting concept, but at this point for me, I really don't think I could look in the mirror and feel that way about myself - I find myself being so critical and I really don't recognize the person I see looking back at me. Plus when I look at my eyes, I see my mom and not me - isn't that weird?? Anyway, thanks Kathygy for all the information and talking about this inner child subject. There is something about it that rings true for me, but I am just not there yet.

TS

March 7, 2006
9:34 pm
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kathyg...so what you are saying is that you are not denying your inner child what it desires? or is it that you are not condemning what your inner child wants?

Would be sincerely interested in you sharing how healing your inner child has enhanced your adult life if you don't mind.

March 7, 2006
10:46 pm
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kathyg, here's the confusion for me. This is what went on:

I was moderately hungry, but I felt too lazy to get up and warm up food. My inner child definitely wanted to eat something but I didnt feel like getting up at all. I hated the thought of getting up and having to warm up food. So I remembered all this inner child thing and forced myself to get up. I asked myself what I would like to eat and he said, some rice and chicken. I said, Ok, lets go. As I was looking around for other foods, I asked him again what he wanted to eat, so I said the same thing "rice and chicken". I warmed it up and its ready to be eaten now while I'm writing this.

Now... the part of me who doesnt want to get up, is that not too part of the inner child? I dont get it. How does one manage this situation where you dont feel like taking care of the child? Who IS the child. the hungry part or the one who doesnt want to get up?

March 8, 2006
2:17 pm
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guest,

you are good at bringing up stimulating ideas.

This is the way I look at it. I am the inner parent that is here to heal and take care of my inner child. My inner child should not have to get up and cook her own dinner anymore than a real child should have to.

In other words, its just like in real life. I am the inner parent and play the role of mother to my inner child. I met the needs she did not get met in childhood.

And the inner child is just like a real child. She shouldn't have to do things that is the responsibility of the mother.

The inner parent is the one with the power and wisdom of an adult. The inner parent takes care of the inner child. Not the other way around as it was in my childhood.

I tell my inner child that she does not have to take care of me. That is very healing for her because then she can just be a child. Children should not have to worry about thier parents.

The inner child relies on the inner parent to respond to his/her needs the way a real child depends on their mother and father.

OMW,

Oh, I would never, ever condemn anything my inner child wants or desires. In fact, I always validate her needs and her feelings. My job is to heal my childhood wounds not to pour salt on them.

It is also my job to do what I believe is in the best interest of my inner child for her growth and self-esteem and welfare.

So that I don't always give her what she wants. I do set boundries on her but I do this with love and validation.

For example, my inner child may want to spend time with a man that has hurt her very much in the past. This I will not allow her to do.

I will say to her, I can understand why you want to spend time with X because he makes you feel good and he is a lot of fun but sweetheart remember how much he hurt you last time. I am here to protect you from that pain. I love you too much. Your feelings and needs are more important to me than anything else in the world. I will never leave you no matterwhat.

Then my inner child is happy and skips away. The most important thing to her is that she has my love and attention and that she knows I will never leave her.

When she has my love and support there is very little that can hurt her.

March 8, 2006
2:31 pm
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So you're saying, it was right of me to force myself to get up and make myself dinner?

And that, the part of me who didnt feel like getting up was the adult and not the child? Why is it not the child?

March 8, 2006
2:37 pm
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Is it our inner child that gets hurt when things trigger old feelings - like being left out? I have such lonely memories of school and friendships where I wanted to fit in so badly but I always felt like I was on the outside looking in at everyone else. That is how I felt on here when what I wrote was just ignored and I felt invisible. I don't know why it matters as I don't know any of you and we don't talk very often if at all. Is it our inner child though that feels the deep hurt of being ignored once again?

This is where the inner child stuff kind of makes sense to me as for why I have such strong reactions emotionally to things.

Just wondering.

-TS

March 8, 2006
3:25 pm
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kathyg,
I understand what you are saying and it is important what you are doing as it is obviously helping you as you say.

But children do get hurt, teenagers get hurt, adults get hurt....if you learn from the hurt it makes you a beeter person, but all of the hurts endured also helps one to help others.
How does healing your inner child help you to reach out to others?

At what point could you advise someone that their inner child is healed and that they can venture out and trust again? To remain a child with worries of protecting and healing cannot always be good for an adult can it? It is the child in us that keeps us young, some people say. Could that be said because a healthy child can trust, let go, play, be spontaneous, enjoy life even to the point of being hurt?

March 9, 2006
4:12 pm
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OMW,

the better care I take of my inner child, the more I have to give to others. The more my inner child trusts that I will protect her the more willing I am reach out to others and participate in life.

I don't have to wait until ALL of my childhood wounds have been healed to venture out and trust again. Just the fact that I am in the process of re-parenting my inner child enables me to venture out. My inner child knows that I will protect her from unsafe people and she trusts me to make that judegment.

As a small child given the message that I am a nusance and my needs are a burden are not things I can learn from. These are deep wounds that stay with me my whole life until I address them and re-parent my inner child so that she/I no longer feel this way.

This raises my self-esteem and I am a healthier partner and friend.

"To remain a child with worries of protecting and healing cannot always be good for an adult can it?"

This has nothing to do with the concept of re-parenting my inner child and healing her wounds.

In fact, the better care I take of my inner child the less she has to worry about. In fact, I don't want her to worry at all. Its about me, the inner parent using sound judgement. The more I do these things the more I can relax and feel safe in the world.

I have found the more loving parent I am to my inner child the better person I am and the more whole and complete I feel. In addition, I enjoy taking care of my inner child as a result I love myself more nad more.

tooscared,

that's it. Its your childhood wounds that have been triggered.

guest,

yes, I am saying it was the adult who did not want to get up and fix something to eat and not the child.

The way to separate the two is to think in terms of what adults are expected to do for their children. Children are not supposed to be miniture adults.

March 9, 2006
5:12 pm
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interesting. Now ... if I have a wounded child, how can I be a good parent to myself? Vicious circle, is it not?

Its like saying. I need experience to get a job. But how will I have experience if I dont get a job? lol.

How do I know, how to parent myself properly, how to comfort myself and protect myself etc - if I dont have it in the first place. I know practice makes it better, but any advice on beginning to parent ourselves? I know I have to be sensitive to my physical needs and I've gotten better in that, yup. If I can take care of my mental needs too, that would be lovely, and would be just what I need.

March 9, 2006
5:14 pm
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I wish there was an easy to follow action plan for parenting ourselves. Gosh this is so tough, but I feel I'll be able to understand it and will get there.

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