A look at the inner child
The inner child is an aspect of ourselves that helps us understand our emotions.
Have you ever felt, as an adult, that you are not able to control your emotions or your thoughts in relation to a situation or a person? Have you rationalized what you should do but you are not able to sustain that decision? Have you been told by those close to you that you were dramatizing what happened? Let me introduce you to your inner child..
I always explain to my clients that we are made up of parts. We have parts that help us to enjoy life, to organize ourselves, to calm down, to not stop, to judge situations? And there is even a phrase that shows that this idea of parts has permeated our collective unconscious: "There is a part of me that tells me...". This phrase is relatively common not only in consultation but also in everyday life.
There are parts of us, in the now, an adult Self or an old Self, but there are also parts that, although they have their origin in the past, continue to be with us. there are parts that, although they have their origin in the past, continue to be with us; there is in us a child Self and an adolescent Self as well.There is in us a child Self and an adolescent Self as well.
- Related article, "What is Emotional Intelligence?"
Understanding the child Self
Children do not have enough emotional or cognitive resources to understand why some situations happen or how they should respond emotionally to them for better Pain management; it is we adults who guide these interpretations and emotions, we are their models.. These children learn based on the messages and behaviors that they have as referents in adults. If an adult does not help the child to manage or look at the situation in an adequate way, the emotional wound will remain in the child.
Let's imagine a person who, every time a friend cancels a plan or tells him/her that he/she cannot meet, feels abandoned and finds it very difficult to calm that feeling. Now let's imagine that this person spent two years of his childhood living with his grandparents because his parents could not take care of him for health reasons and were immersed in their illness. Would it make any sense to think that this child would have been sensitive to rejection or abandonment and that he would develop as an adult being also sensitive to rejection or abandonment?
When we feel out of control, overwhelmed, without resources, it is most probably this inner child who has taken control of the situation.And as a child, he or she has no capacity to look at anything other than how he or she learned or what he or she was taught. We have as many inner children as we have wounds to heal.
But inner children do not only appear in negative situations.They also appear when we play or enjoy a drink with friends, or when we practice an activity that we have loved since we were little.
How do you work, then, with inner children?
As for the process, the idea is that the adult can see another way of interpreting what has happened.. As adults we do have the necessary resources to understand better and in a more peaceful way what happened to us, or the ability to acquire those resources. We can have a more empathetic look with those around us, understand that, perhaps, what we experienced in the past was not only the way we evoke it in the present.
Human beings create our reality through our narrative, how we tell ourselves what we experience in the past.How we tell ourselves what happens to us is what makes us see the world in a certain way. It is not the same to say "my son is a crybaby" as "my son is sensitive". The work with the inner child involves being able to give it another narrative, another way of telling what happened, easier to understand and less painful, perhaps, understanding more completely what we have lived through.
Thus, the person can take charge, as an adult, of what is happening in his or her life, and take responsibility for his or her own life.and take responsibility for his or her own process so that he or she can sustain those situations that previously mobilized him or her so much on an emotional level.
Let us imagine, finally, that this person who feels rejected, now looks at it from another perspective. Now he introduces his grandparents as people of care and love and understands that the only way for his parents to recover was to devote time to them and that allowed him to be with them years later and enjoy them and his family. Sending that boy or girl was the best way those parents found to care for their child.
Perhaps this fictitious example will help you to understand a little of how the inner workings of the inner workings work.. I leave for you the task of estimating if this other perspective of how to look at what happened could help that person to heal that wound, and I encourage you to work on yours.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)