Have you ever found yourself ‘talking to yourself’ in the midst of a personal struggle? Or maybe you refused to make a monologue but somehow there is this fight between one who sounded like your mother trying to be a control freak and the child that you were trying to whimp and being ‘unreasonable’?
Years ago, I discovered this inner child concept and ended up with a book by Lucia Cappachione: “Recovery of Your Inner Child”.
I was on an intense and growing desire to change, uproot a past that haunts me with all its angst and discover how I could face my current challenges by going a step back.
The Inner child is the part of us who feels like a child and may cause us to behave in a childlike or childish way. – Lucia Cappachione, Recovery of Your Inner Child
This concept was an important part of transactional analysis developed by psychiatrist Eric Berne. He introduced the concept of an inner world in us made up of a parent self, a child self and an adult self. The parent self sets out the rules, the child self feels and reacts, and the adult thinks, makes decisions and solves problems.
While there were a number of books that have been written regarding the Inner Child concept, Cappachione’s book was not about teaching the theory solely but focused more as a self-teaching guide and activity book on the subject. A big part of the book was about the recommended activities and the examples from the author’s experience in the inner child work.
I devoured the pages of the book like watching a puzzle forming a picture. I was impatiently so eager to get into the activity parts.
Let me share with you my personal experience with Cappachione’s book and perhaps you too can start exploring your inner child.
Meet Your Inner Child By Tapping Your Creativity
The interactive aspect of the book makes it challenging as well as exciting. There are set of activities, like a craft workshop, where specific art materials are needed such as coloring pens, paper, etc.
The interesting part of the activities is that the writer asks you to write with your non-dominant hand (if you are right handed, it is your left and vice versa) when writing down a dialogue with the inner child speaking and using your dominant hand when the parent part of the dialogue is speaking.
Through training and practice, our dominant hand developed some kind of strength and control while the other hand is the awkward, weak and ‘untrained’. As such, for the purpose of the dialogues, the non-dominant hand serve well in letting itself write from the flow of the heart.
The experience was initially frustrating as I did not know whether I was getting the right words coming from my inner child or if I was making it up. It needed a little patience and then I discovered it started to work! I was stunted in awe as I discovered my inner child talking and telling me things!
I do not have the papers and materials now but have recalled the most daunting, inspiring and eye-opening leap I have ever experienced in my entire life.
Identify The Figures That Influenced Your Inner Child
As I earned my inner child’s trust, I managed to uncover a few personalities that the little child was complaining about – some dominant female figures in my childhood environment. Interestingly, though I was aware the kind of influence these figures gave me, I did not realize how much of who I am today still reflects the experience- in terms of my own self-confidence, how I deal with the opposite sex and dominant personalities in my current life.
This realization has allowed me to be ever vigilant in dealing with these figures in the present.
Detect Physical Connection with Your Emotions
In one part of the activities, I drew myself with emphasis to my relationship to my body and found a part of this body that had a bright color to emphasize on. It was somewhere in the chest that was burning and having the longing for some warmth. I realized that it was my longing for physical affection of touch and hug that I lacked in many stages of my life.
This eye-opener was a breakthrough that allowed me to further understand that need for healthy human touch.
Finding Your Nurturing Inner Parent
Sooner I confronted my inner parent and most of what I realized was that the dominant figures in my childhood reflected how I was as an inner parent – perfectionist, close-minded, biased and resistant to nurturing. There was a lot of room for improvement and need to embrace a 360 degree change in attitude in order to be at peace with my inner child.
Synergize the Process and Everything Else Will Follow
True enough, as I have listened whole-heartedly to my inner child’s voice, I understood. As I have re-framed my way of thinking as an inner parent, I opened my mind to change. As I faced different people with different personalities, being aware of my inner child’s fears, I knew how to protect it and be vigilant with anyone whether intentionally or unintentionally, in the position to scare my little inner child.
We can say that in one way or another, we deal with the inner child-inner parent in us even unknowingly. But knowing this concept makes it easier to sufficiently nurture and take care of the inner child and at the same time remind the inner parent of its habitual peeve for control.
Also as a parent in the outer world, awareness of this helps to provide a better experience and awareness for my kids.
Have you ever experienced the inner child-inner parent dialogue inside of you even if you are not aware of this before? How do you describe your inner child? How about your inner parent?
Do you want to know more about the book? Click here to go to Amazon: Recovery of Your Inner Child: The Highly Acclaimed Method for Liberating Your Inner Self