Understanding the Inner Child. It happens to all of us- we get triggered. Some seemingly random event...
Understanding the Inner Child.
It happens to all of us- we get triggered. Some seemingly random event happens, and we go into this crazy emotional meltdown, or blow up, or whatever you want to call it. And part of us thinks, “Whoa! Where did that come from?” like we didn’t even know that we had such strong feelings about- what? What is it that brought on this out-of-the-blue upset?
Whenever circumstances trigger a strong emotional reaction, stronger than those circumstances warrant, we can recognize our inner child is involved. If we do this without self judgement we can actually take charge and lead the child out of difficulty. We have to use the reaction itself as a wakeup call. And we have to accept that are not our idealized image with humility and grace rather than self judgement and self-criticism.
When we get present and tune into what is going on inside us, we almost always realize we are reacting to old painful dynamics, stories from our past. The reaction actually increases the likelihood that our experience becomes exactly as we feared. These re-creation dynamics are living patterns of unconsciousness belief, which are not integrated into our conscious adult awareness.
Over time an accumulation of unresolved pain begins to grow. Eckhart Tolle calls this accumulation of unmet, unfelt pain, a pain-body. He says, these pain states can be considered entities in their own right. I find it very useful to relate to the problematic child states of consciousness as pain bodies and as entities in their own right. This creates room for relationship. The type of relationship we offer to our pain states, is a key to the healing.
Because our own unique pain state is so familiar to us when it is active inside us, we assume it to be who we are. Unfortunately, once we identify with it, we get lost in it and we are either in an antagonistic relationship with it or we are totally one with it. Once we have fallen into this patterned, painful, limited state, we cannot resolve the difficulty from inside of it. We regress and repeat the pattern instead of seeing it and discovering our way through it.
It is as if we were under a spell and not really our full conscious self. Some people call it a trauma trance. The trance is created by the spell. The spell is the incantation or story about the problem. It is this story that like a siren call evokes the unresolved pain state in us. The story keeps us entranced. The story can be an unconscious belief, like I am the problem instead of I have problems, or it can be a dramatic narrative of an experience that is effecting us.
If we shift our attention away from the inner narrative of our thoughts, and into the sensory modality by observing the internal sensory experience in our bodies. We discover these contracted unhappy pain body states are actually patterns of tension and blocked flow, emptiness, frozenness etc. We start to notice the energetic sense of tension and holding vs flow and ease in our bodies. We discover that by getting present to these sensations, movement can be restored and healing happens in the moment. This takes a willingness to feel through some discomfort, but it is short lived and simple compared to the long term complex suffering that is created by identification with the inner child consciousness. By paying attention to the sensory flows of holding patterns in our body,we become present to ourselves a very different way.
When we stop thinking or talking about our problem or trying to figure it out, and bring our awareness to the energetic experience of how it feels in our bodies, we shift perspective. This shift helps us identify with the “observer” who is noticing these sensations with openness and curiosity. This allows us to be with this pain state as it is expressing energetically inside of us, without getting lost in it. From there we can observe and understand it, holding it in our compassionate heart.
This is the only way energy/consciousness that is frozen in past trauma can move again. It cannot evolve unless it moves. Frozen energy/consciousness is with us so we can set it free. Holding these frozen states of child consciousness, we can thaw them out and bring them up into the present with us.
According to the Pathwork Lectures, this is part of each individual soul’s mission, and it often seems to bear upon our longing to bring our gift into the world. Where we have difficulty knowing or manifesting our inner longing, there is a direct connection to the mission of thawing some frozen inner child pain-body that is with us. Where are you stuck in life, in relationships, in career, in financial success? That is where there is some frozen inner child aspect waiting for you to come and hold it.
We also need to re-educate this consciousness. It doesn’t know what we know, (another way of realizing it isn’t you but your task is to integrate it within you). Our vulnerable child consciousness is split into dualistic antagonistic superstitious modes of consciousness. While there is also a divine child within us, the defended child needs the loving support and the truth of our adult consciousness to become undefended. Our adult consciousness is in turn guided by our higher lights to help the child consciousness to move and grow. . This will free the Divine Child’s expression into the world.
The child consciousness is naturally self-centered. This is the source of much of its pain—the child sees the world as revolving around itself and that is/was either a good thing or a bad thing. The reality is that the world doesn’t really revolve around the child in the way it perceives this. Yet living in this understanding, child consciousness takes everything personally. While part of the magic of childhood is that everything is alive and everything is in relationship to us, it is not as the child’s developing sense of self imagines it to be. The stories we create are filled with judgment and create “hard pain” which truly does feel unbearable and so we suffer even more. This is self inflicted pain and we must recognize it to be free.
We did experience pain as children, but the real problem is our self- created pain states arising from a misinterpretation, such as believing you were the reason why mom or dad left you, or beat you, or ignored you. The mind must have a story. The child mind without much perspective creates a personal story based on its limited experience. The story is an attempt to defend yourself from the experience now and in the future, but the defense creates hard pain, a viscous circle, a frozen state and loss of connection to our real self.
What the child consciousness needs is truth and love, and so we must find the truth and bring it to the still active child consciousness within us with love.
When deep inside for reasons we don’t yet know, this trauma trance gets active, we need to meet and hold the pain to form a relationship with this inner child consciousness. We need to hear from the child consciousness itself, as to what it believes is true. If our adult consciousness doesn’t know for sure what the greater truth is or how to help, we can at least recognize the signs of being lost without truth. Then we can hold the lost suffering part of ourselves and we can ask, pray, call light, call on the higher consciousness, asking for clarity from that which is guiding us, as we are seeking to guide the inner child.
The wonderful thing about this way of working is that as our adult consciousness holds the child this actually establishes a link to the realm of the Higher Self Consciousness. This connection with our larger reality will inspire us with realization and clarity that we can instantly recognize as true and share with the inner child. The adult consciousness is also limited but less so than the child. The adult is the key being the conscious awareness that can reach for the higher intelligence of the universe that is our birth right. If we remember ourselves as the agents of healing and life, and not the lost aspects of consciousness, we will transform it all back into flowing light. This will allow you to more fully unfold your fullness into life. .