In some cases, we do not have an inner child to heal, rather we have inner children to heal.
We don't have a single personality to look at, we have multiples.
Our underdeveloped parts, which have learned what they can in the environment they were in, but have grown.
Those who have learned new things since then, but have not adopted or assimilated them.
A unique identity that differs depending on the situation, the event, or the person.
Several years ago, I spoke with a woman who is a psychotherapist. Her focus was on multiple personalities.
She told me, and this stuck, "What a miracle that the body, when threatened, can create multiple personalities for our protection."
It's interesting that my inner dialogue depends on what's going on around me. There is nothing disruptive about my personalities. That's not what I mean. What I mean is that sometimes I feel very confident, sometimes I feel very anxious, sometimes I feel very happy, and sometimes I feel very hopeless.
A single body is responsible for all of this.
Each of these shows up with its own personality, emotions, and activities; thoughts tied to that individual’s personality.
Now, beyond that, is a personality that is consistent through it all; a core self doesn't change much if at all.
Possibly this is what the Myers-Briggs test discovers when we find a consistent personality that runs throughout; a common thread that connects every personality. It's almost like the thread that connects all of these beads of personality.
So I don't find myself healing myself as a whole, instead, what I find is me healing the anxious child, or me healing the neglected child, or me healing the depressed child, or me healing the insecure child; and it all depends on who shows up.
The beauty and the opportunity that I see is in loving all of them. Trusting that they were created for a reason. Not as an excuse or justification, but as an understanding that they were simply trying to help me. To keep me safe. Protecting that core self.
How the inner child is received, whether from a critical or understanding viewpoint, is determined by that core self.
Ultimately, it's not about who shows up to do my day. It's how I, the being beyond it all, present myself to that personality. Am I critical? Am I understanding? Am I loving? Am I resentful?
That's what matters most.
The more loving, understanding, and accepting I am, the more I can create room for whatever personality shows up and guide them back to peace.
There is no need for shame, judgment, or justification; simply an understanding and a guiding back to what matters most.
So, it's not so much about healing A and her child, but about reparenting the inner children. It's about helping them deal with the situation, event, or relationship better.
It's about teaching them how to trust their environment. It's about teaching them to trust themselves within that world. It's about teaching them to embrace all the feelings, all of the thoughts, and all of the actions without judgment and shame.
That is my practice.
A human being adjusting to a challenging world. At times, adapting to new situations or events can be quite challenging. A human being adapting to life.
That's what I have to offer to you is you read this.
Again, you're not broken.
You may simply have some behaviors that are no longer useful. You may simply have emotions that don't fit the situation. You may simply have thoughts tied to both of those things and the more grace you can give yourself around that, the more likely you are to transcend it.
Here's to your transcendence and here's to mine.
Go make it a giant day.