By Arline Rowden
Many years ago, I was well into my Inner Child work when I realized that this vulnerable sensitive child needed some serious help. She needed healthy nurturing inner parents, not the same parental voices that had damaged her positive sense of self when she was a child. I realized that I was continuing the negative patterns within me that my parents had used. Of course, they were passing on their families’ legacies just as they were passed on to them. They did not have the opportunities for change that I have been blessed with; they were doing the best that they knew how to at the time.
In popular psychology, the Inner Child concept refers to a part of the adult personality that houses child-like and adolescent behaviors, memories, emotions, habits, attitudes, and thought patterns. Also, it is the part of the psyche believed to retain feelings as they were experienced in childhood. (From various on-line dictionaries)
My inner child work was all consuming in the beginning. Once I gave them permission to surface, the memories flooded into my conscious awareness along with the emotions connected with them. At first I just wallowed in the emotions and did a lot of feeling sorry for myself. Then came the anger towards my parents (1) for all that they did that hurt me and (2) for all that they did not do for me that hurt me. It seemed like I was going through stages of grief for a lost childhood.
During those stages, I only remembered all the hurt. I was certain that I did not experience anything pleasant during the 18 1/2 years I lived in my family home. There were a few good memories of times when I was away from home though. It was such a surprise later when I started to remember some “good” stuff. Also, I began to value some concepts that my parents had taught me. But those happenings didn’t take place for a while.
If I had not been such a sensitive child perhaps childhood would have been a different experience for me. It seems to me that being overly sensitive is a quality that many people on a spiritual path possess. It may be a part of that stage of development.
There have been many wonderful tools available to me during this journey. There have been books, support groups, individual therapy, Reiki & acupressure sessions and classes, meditation, Awakening Your Light Body course, studying about the emotional nature and behaviors, wonderful friends, teachers and mentors, etc. There was so much help and support available once I admitted that I needed it and reached out.
My healing journey continues to this day, but I am no longer disabled by my past. I still have some vulnerable areas but I also have my healthy nurturing inner parents to care for my inner child when she needs it. I also have a lot of support in my life. I’ve come to realize and accept that it’s my responsibility to take good care of myself emotionally. I need to make well informed choices in all areas of my life, set healthy boundaries, etc. I needed to create a caring responsible adult inside of myself.
Today I feel empowered and no longer feel like a victim in my life.
Since I began my spiritual journey in 1976, I have studied and discovered so much that has been healing and growth producing for me. As I became healthier, I realized I had a desire to share what I had learned with others. In 1990, I had an opportunity to begin to do that in a formal way by opening my own business. I’ve continued to study, discover, grow and share with others and I plan to continue that process in the future. There’s always more to learn in life.
A spiritual path in the past often focused on isolation from others but I believe that in current times a group is very important to the spiritual and healing path. It’s time to gather together and share with one another. It’s a time to discover how to have healthy and fulfilling relationships inside and out.
For quite some time I had felt an inner prompting to develop an on-going group process to give people an opportunity to go within and focus on their relationship with themselves. Once we have a healthier inner relationship, it is easier to create healthier relationships with others. The Exploring Our Chakras – A Journey of Discovery series was developed in 2007 because I’ve always felt that studying and focusing on our chakra system is an effective way to heal without becoming overwhelmed by the process.
I began to offer the once a month chakra series which focused on an inner journey of discovery. My heart has been touched by the level of sharing and willingness to open to the process that was demonstrated by the participants. Group energy can be very powerful and our healing can be accelerated in a safe nurturing group setting. It’s a safe place to share about our discoveries and to learn from the discoveries of others in the group.
I’ve been studying acupressure with Soul Lightening Acupressure starting with Seva Stress Release training in 2007. They offer clinical and process acupressure classes. I’ve taken both series and have found that acupressure works on all levels just like Reiki. I’ve been facilitating a lot of Process Acupressure sessions in the last year or so and have seen how these sessions can be another way of healing inner child issues.
Emotional Healing can be as simple as a change of attitude about how we see past experiences. We discover why we hold on to certain memories and why we use defensive programs. The process is more about realization than about emoting. We can become more responsive than reactive to life experiences.
I’ve come to realize that the chakra series and process acupressure can be ways for people to develop their healthy inner parent and responsible adult selves and heal their inner child. So I felt drawn to write this article as a way to share and to invite others to go within and discover what needs to be healed and to find the best ways to do that healing. You may choose to do this by attending the chakra class series, having some Process Acupressure sessions. Or you may choose other ways to begin such as meditation, Reiki, etc. It’s a very personal decision. Whatever your choice, I wish you much success on your inner healing journey.
“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” Lao Tzu