This Week’s Question -
"What do I do if I don’t know how to connect with my inner child?"
There are three different things that you need to do in order to connect with your inner child. If you’re not prepared to do these things then you can’t connect with your inner child and this exercise can be extremely painful for you and you’ll just get frustrated about how it’s not working.
So the 3 things that you need to do in order to create a relationship with your inner child are:
1. You need to be open to accepting that you have an inner child. If you don’t accept that you have one, if you say to yourself “I don’t think that I have an inner child” then you won’t be able to connect with her, it’s as simple as that. However, just being open to the possibility that there might be an inner child will already open up your lines of connection with your inner child. So it’s not so much about how do I do it? The very first step is have you accepted that you have one? Or are you denying that you have one?
2. You need to be available to listen to her, so you need to be open to again accepting that you have an inner child and accepting that you would be interested in listening to her. Basically listening to her means that when you get triggered, when you get upset, that as an adult you go “ahhhh my inner child is trying to tell me something”. So then you talk to her and you just kind of ask her “where are you at right now? What’s happening? How are you feeling right now? What do you need right now?”
3. You need to be willing to nurture her. So you need to be willing to invest the time to actually give your inner child what she needs. A lot of people think along the lines of “this is a really good idea and all that but I can’t really relate to this and so I must not have an inner child”. The reason why most people don’t relate to the inner child work is because it’s too painful to go there, or that they’ve been too far removed from that inner child and from their own needs, that they’ve basically conditioned themselves to not hear their own needs. You know people talk about “ahh yeah I have this need and that need”. That is your inner child.
So if you’re wondering if you have one, ask yourself this “do I ever feel that I need anything?” and if that answer is “yes” then you have an inner child. It’s just a different terminology, you don’t have to accept this terminology, but it’s the easiest way to understand where those hurts are coming from. Frequently we have so much hurt stored at a cellular level from our childhood, that if we call it the inner child work it’s easier to realise that:
· when I was a child this type of thing happened and it made me feel this way, and
· this is what I believed then as to be true and therefore
· anything that you believe to be true, anything that you accept as a truth, you will store it in your cellular memory.
“Cellular memory” means that it’s not just your brain that holds memory, every cell in your body, every bone cell, every muscle cell, every tissue cell stores memory. Which means that you can have a visceral reaction (eg if you get really upset) because that part of your body where you’ve stored that cellular memory or hurt is so activated. Have you ever heard of anyone vomiting or passing out if something really bad happens? That’s the kind of visceral reaction that I’m talking about, it affects you on a physiological level and certainly if you’ve ever had anxiety that is your inner child saying “I don’t feel safe”. So that’s those old hurts from your childhood being activated and not feeling safe.
So how do you connect to your inner child?
First thing is, accept that you have one. Accept that you have those childhood hurts and that they are there. It’s just how it is.
Secondly, listen to her. So ask her this question “How are you feeling right now?” and you will start to get answers. If you’ve been denying your inner child for a really long time then in the beginning you probably won’t get any answers whatsoever. But it’s really useful to try and find a word for how you’re feeling. So you might feel depressed, or hopeless, or enraged, or livid, or angry, or irritated, or frustrated, or bored. It can be whatever, and on the other side of that scale you have all the happy feelings, so you know when you’re really elated and you feel really loved. That is your inner child saying “I feel safe”. So if you’re feeling ecstatic and you connect to your inner child and you ask how you’re feeling right now and she might say “I feel so joyous and so safe”
If you have a more negative feeling coming through. For example you get really triggered and your inner child says something like “I’m feeling really let down” you can then ask her “what do you need right now?” and then try and give that to her. So that’s actually your formula to personal empowerment, that is accepting that you have an inner child, when she is triggered or when she is showing herself through either happiness or grief you listen to her and you see where she is at and you actively nurture her and the more you do it proactively, so the more you keep proactively tapping in to her. You don’t have to wait until there is some massive drama or anything like that. Even if you just check in every morning when you wake up. You can go like, “how did you sleep?” and you actively ask your inner girl that, “how did you sleep little girl?” and you she’ll tell you “it was good” or “I didn’t sleep very well” or “I’m stressed” or whatever, and from that “how did you sleep?” question you can start to proactively create a deeper relationship with your inner child. So that’s a really easy way of starting to connect with her, and as I said in the beginning it can be extremely difficult to connect with her because we’re not used to listening to ourselves. The more you do it the easier it gets.
For more information about Cellular memory be sure to check out Merja's article 'Unlocking your Cellular Memory' published by Personality Hacker!
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