The Inner Child

Counselling, Dorset, Talking Therapy, Wild Therapy

I recently attended a 6 week Tarot Card Reading Workshop with Lorraine Tricksey. During my reading, there was a card that suggested that my inner child does not have any fun any more. I blinked away wet eyes as that hit a chord with me. The wall light also flickered on which suggested that either there was an ethereal presence in the room that strongly agreed with her words or there was an electrical fault – that also agreed. So it was agreed, my inner child doesn’t have any fun. When did I stop her having fun? I could list some life events that made it difficult, but I don’t think that’s really the point to that question. When did I lose the thread of humour in life, stop recognising the simple joys? Am I the only adult feeling this way? I doubt it.

A lot of my Reiki clients have a behavioural reaction when energy cleanses the sacral chakra (that’s the one under your naval which is linked to passions and energy – the type you have a child). Intestines grumble away as clients release something – and I seem to be writing for a friends sceptical husband when I add, yes the noise could well be the digestive system doing what it does best and that’s it. However, I am open to the idea that other layers of body surround the physical body: emotional, mental and spiritual, and any one of the layers can pass on any blockages or dis-ease (e.g. not being at ease). If we stop having fun, does that impact on our emotional body first and then over time effect the physical or perhaps mental and spiritual bodies? I often wonder when I observe the behavioural reaction, is this another adult’s inner child wishing to have some good honest fun?

Eric Berne the creator of the Transactional Analysis (TA) counselling model explained that we have all have 3 ego states: Parent, Adult and Child (Similar to Freud’s Superego, ego and id). Staying with the basic TA model, the Parent is split into Controlling/Critical (CP) and Nurturing (NP) and the Child into Free/Natural (FC) and Adapted (AC). All four have positives and negatives associated with them, such as the CP may shout at a child who is in danger therefore coming from a place of caring, whereas constant criticism or put downs come from a persecutory place. The positive NP cares and allows a child room for development and growth, again coming from a place of caring. In contrast the negative NP smothers growth and dis-empowers the child – hence the nickname ‘smother mother’. Our positive AC may have manners and behave appropriately within society, whilst our negative AC is perhaps shut down from the CP (externally or internally) and the AC is not being true to their real self or congruent if you prefer. Our negative FC perhaps does not appreciate any rules of society or consider any feelings of others and can be unsafely reckless, whereas our positive FC can have good honest fun. Which ego state do we spend the most time in? Which people trigger which ego state response? Could figuring that out be a way of bringing the positive Free Child to the forefront?  At least every now and again?

My Inner Child (Free Child) having fun – what would that even look like? I can see in my Parent ego state it may look like being excited for my niece embarking on adventures I used to enjoy at her age, and also some that I didn’t. Watching the sheer joy on her face makes me feel the same. I can see in my Adult ego state, in the here and now, being content to be in nature and with animals. My Child? Is she free? No. Is that to do with losing inhibitions? Judgements? Who is judging? My Critical Parent – the internal one – well my external one may have something to say about it too. Perhaps by sending the CP ego state to the background whilst letting the Child out to play?  I think to all the amazing things I have experienced, the jumping off cliffs into water, abseiling, canoeing, skiing, bungee swings, horse riding in the ocean, and so on – yes that brings the child out for sure, but most cost money and so often there is a long time in between endeavours. Can I experience the joy in simple things every day, play with sunlight as it splits into a rainbow of colours, sing like noone can hear, get up and just dance to my favourite song? Can I let my child do something fun ‘just because’, instead of getting caught up on a ‘better use of time’?

I’m about to go and get her and find out!

Image: Noah Silliman

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