When I first met my inner child doing an inner child meditation similar to the one in the ‘Meet your Inner Child’ short course, she was about 16, sitting on a wall, wearing knee-length leather boots, smoking a cigarette with a cigarette holder. She was so angry.
This is not what I had expected at all! I thought the inner child was supposed to be this sweet, pigtail-wearing 6-year-old with who I was supposed to have fun with. No. Not for me at the start. The first version I got was of my angry teenager, and she didn’t want a bar of me.
Every time I tried to contact her, she would turn her back on me, swear at me and continue smoking. Just for clarity, at 16, I was not smoking, was definitely not wearing knee-high boots and was quite a ‘good girl’.
So, as the guided meditation went on, I had to stop following it and attend to her. She was furious with me. So angry that she had been left alone to deal with everything life had thrown at her. I sat with her, let her shout at me, and expressed her anger. I heard everything she had to say and apologised over and over again. I spent time validating her experiences and being with her. Finally, she was done. She agreed to meet me again, and I left the meditation.
Over the years, I have spent time getting to know all the parts of my inner child at many different ages. Each age seems to hold new gems of self-discovery and power that have been locked away.
Part of re-parenting is about learning about your inner child, letting them know how loved and wanted they are. It is about learning to be with the often angry, hurt, rejected part of self and loving it. It is learning to be the voice of love and acceptance that might have been missing from your actual childhood.
What lights up your inner child? (For me, right now, as I ask – it is spending time with my daughter). Let me know in the comments.