Everyone has an inner child, no matter how old we are. We need one. As its Natural Self it is vital to our wellbeing as it provides us with the ability to feel and respond to joy; to be spontaneous and have fun. It provides the creative spark that ignites our life. In its adapted state however, it can often be fearful, timid, restricted, frustrated, or angry. This is when problems begin, because we are separated from our authentic self .
The Soul Child is our potential, and contains everything we need to be the Natural Child and ‘at one’ with ourselves.
Unfortunately, our natural self can easily lose sight of its soul’s potential, as it is too busy having to adapt to the conform to the needs of the significant authority figures in our early life. It is from these figures – parents, grandparents, teachers, or those in authority over us – that who we are expected to be is reflected. We have to adapt, or risk their non-acceptance, which is frightening and destabilising and which we will do everything we can to avoid in order to be accepted into our family or community. We thus often have to move further and further away from whom we really are and adapt into whom or what we are not. This causes inner conflict and our personal problems escalate, often coming to a rebellious head in adolescence and, if not dealt with then, as anger or depression (which is internalised anger) in our adulthood.
To add further conflict we also develop, as we grow, two other ‘ego states’ inside us: The Adult and The Parent. The Adult is essential when it functions properly as it provides us with a clear and level head, full of rational, logical thought- a person who can be trusted to keep their head in a crisis. The Parent, too can be helpful if it is nurturing and encouraging, as it is gives the Child the support and confidence to be themselves and thus reach their full soul potential. However, if the Parent voice is full of criticisms and injunctions, and it will be if these have been the messages delivered by our real parents/authority figures, saying such things as ‘don’t do this/that/the other’ ‘you’re useless/stupid/no good’ ‘you should do this/be this/’ or an inferred’Don’t be you, be who I want you to be’, then that criticism will damage our sense of self and potential for autonomy.
How often have you heard the Critical Parent voice inside your head, or felt the despair or frustration of the Adapted Child? How strong and present is your Adult, how encouraging, compassionate and understanding your Nurturing Parent? How free is your Inner Child from the restrictions of adaptation and able to embrace its true natural self? How willing would you be to make a positive and enriching relationship with your inner child?
You can read how Wigapom faces these difficulties in ‘The Wigapom Quest’.
There is a free download of an Inner Child Visualisation, written and read by Penny Gillman below. Just fill in your email address to receive it.
Please do not do anything else whilst participating in the visualisation.