Inner Child

"How could you ignore me?"

"How could you ignore me?"

“Why did you leave me?”

During a sound healing meditation this weekend we called upon our inner child to deliver us a message. This was mine.

A wave of emotion built up inside me and spilled out of the corners of my closed eyes. My mind exploded with a montage of memories…faces, moments, feelings…then they faded, and everything went still as the weight on those five words settled in my heart.

“Why did you leave me?”

This phrase carries a multitude of meanings for me - from abandonment to trust, to fear to loneliness, to a sense of growing up too fast. But most importantly, it brings to the forefront the knowing that I have stifled and oppressed my inner child for too long.

This is how I’ve always dealt with the tough things in life. I pile a whole lot of good stuff on top of the bad stuff and it disappears. I push it down until I can’t see it or feel it anymore. I shove it into the back of the cupboard and cover it over with a big old coat that I’ll never wear again. I separate, I disconnect…I leave it behind.

Somehow in this process I left my inner child behind. She sits in the corner of my mind with her knees to her chin and her long hair falling over her face. She’s barefoot and looks a little hungry. She wears a white dress, long sleeves, a little like a nightie. Her eyes are big, blue, shiny. You can’t see her very well with all the stuff around her; the light can’t get in. There are boxes and books and piles of photographs. And lists, lists, lists. There are clothes on racks and a record player – dusty. A home movie playing over and over on a screen in the background. It would be easy to miss her, to forget her…to leave her behind.

Somewhere along the way, I did just that.

Our inner child is both a subconscious reflection of our emotional experiences from childhood, and the aspect of ourselves that is fun, innocent, creative and straight-shooting. You can get a good sense of your inner child (as it relates to the emotional stuff) if you look at what your triggers are and how you react when your buttons are pressed. Often in these circumstances our behaviour and its intensity is disproportionate to the action or event. We yell, we cry, we slam doors, we sulk - we overreact. To the onlooker we look exactly like the child that is driving us from within.

How I perceive today will never ever be the same as how you perceive today (even if you were sitting alongside me the entire 24hrs). How I perceive and recall events, how I interpret them and how I react to them is based on accumulated emotional experiences and associated reactions. These reactions have become preprogramed to form the inner child I now carry with me today. If you don’t take the time to nurture, acknowledge and heal your inner child, and allow them to grow and integrate with your adult self, your ability to love fully, live openly, and interact meaningfully with others is limited.

In the process of pushing aside the hurts and traumas of my inner child I have, for a very long time ignored the creative, fun, innocent and open aspects of her also. This is something I have been working on reconnecting with since the evolution of Mama Pyjama. I’ve been doing a good job of that – encouraging us all to get in touch with the playful child within us, to live in the ‘now’, to embrace all the wonderful opportunities we are presented with as parents to really let go, relax and be a kid again. But what I am realising now is that this cannot be done in isolation.

 It’s all very well to embrace the carefree aspect of our inner child…but we can’t just ignore the hurts and the traumas.

I need to look inwards and draw my inner child out of the dark corner of my mind to nurture her, heal her and to seek forgiveness.  I encourage you all to do the same. It’s a work in progress, but I know that in doing so I will eventually be able to integrate all the aspects of myself which will allow me to fully be me – no inhibitions, more meaningful relationships, and less anxiety!