That Inner Child © Lesley Chorn, Counselling Psychologist

Have you ever had the feeling that there is more of you than you are aware of right now? Perhaps you have experienced the feeling that something is missing. But that you just cannot put your finger on it. Well, maybe you are right, maybe there is more to you than you are aware of…. just beyond the reach of your conscious mind.  But where is it?

If you think a bit about your own functionings, do you ever argue with yourself? Disagree with yourself?  Try and persuade yourself or discipline yourself? Who are you arguing with?  You are arguing with another part of yourself. In fact we all have a rational (or male) part to us, and we all have an intuitive (female) part. And like a real life couple, they do not always agree with each other. They squabble and one can try to take control.

Physiologically the two parts are reflected in the two sides of the body- mind. The left half of the brain, connecting with the right side of the body, is thought to be generally   in charge of the logical, rational and  structured functioning. Being sequential it gives us a past and a future i.e. it gives us a sense of time. The right brain, connecting with the left side of the body, is more typically female: and like the  archetypal female,  it is irrational –  its mode of   operation is  through  feelings, intuitions,  impressions, pictures, imaginings, ideas and dreams. With this part there is no sense of time – the future and the past merge into the current moment. And out of the space of the current moment springs creativity.

When the left brain is dominant, the individual tends to over-analyze; has a need to work it all out and does not like to let go of control. To let go of control for them may even feel like death. When the right brain dominates, when a person is able to get into the space of the “now”, the mind quietens down, creativity flows. The individual is likely to be very intuitive and finely attuned to subtle energies. This may produce a very sensitive and spiritual being.

When we are very young children we are all right brain. The imaginary world is strong, thinking has not yet developed.  However in order to function in the world, our minds do need to be developed.  And so our parents and schools teach us. They train us to think logically and rationally. Unfortunately often the left side grows so strong (especially with very clever people), that they under-utilize the right brain. The individual stops listening to their feelings, their hunches: the little quiet voice at the back of their mind; the gut feel.

In order to function optimally in the world, we need to use both sides of the brain in a balanced way.

If we have disconnected from our right brain, we have stopped listening to ourselves. To our inner guide. It is vital for our happiness to be in touch with this part. But how can we re-connect with this part? How do we get into this magical and mysterious, unfamiliar place within ourselves?  There are many ways to do this. We may start with listening to our feelings – if we minimize feelings; we often need an objective observer to point them out to us, or to help us become aware of them, and know how to deal with them. We also need to start paying attention to our dreams,  and looking to understand the messages they are giving us.

Yet another way is to consciously set time aside each day (or most days) to take ones attention form the outer world and go within. We call this meditation. It is a time of being alone with oneself.  Meditation involves gathering up ones attention that is focused on the outside world… all the dramas of one’s life … and focusing that attention onto one thing.  The focus may be on a relaxing the body progressively, on saying a mantras, on the air as it is breathed in and out the lungs, on the chakras, or staring at a candle flame… to name a few.  None is the “best”… whatever works for you is good. However, it is better to not chop and change, but to try to stick with one method.  I will talk more about this just now.

For me it is helpful to imagine the two parts of self as two rooms. One room is the world you are sitting in right now.  It is the chair you are sitting on, and whatever other scenery that surrounds you. The other room is not visible. But it is attached to this room though a secret “imaginary” door. And it contains within it an imaginary world. The feelings we experience when we go into this room are young feelings…. vulnerable, open, tender, the feelings you felt as a very young child who did not have a developed cognitive facility. So this part is represented by a child-like state… the inner child. When we have had many woundings in our life, the inner child is wounded. And as such, it is distrustful. The imaginary door guards the inner child. Protecting its innocence.

Only when the child feels safe and trusts that it will not be hurt by you and your actions, will it allow the door to open. It is not something one can force. It needs to be handled delicately with kindness and gentleness (to oneself) but with persistence and patience.  We may be tempted to hurry the process to get results. If results do not come easily we may become frustrated, self-critical, or simply give up trying to make contact. But in doing so we are abandoning the self. The lesson here to learn is that the door does not respond to force because the vulnerable child state on the other side is scared by force. We need to treat ourselves the same way we would lovingly treat a child… with patience, care and understanding.

In doing focused awareness, it is important to realize that it is very normal to have many thoughts rush to the consciousness. These need to just be recognized for what they are, but then to again bring the attention back to the point of focus.




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