September 2017 By Jamuna Rangachari Many of our lives’ problems, including physical illness, emotional and mental trauma, and spiritual imbalance are because we’ve neglected our inner child. Jamuna Rangachari explores how to accept, love and heal this most fragile part of ourselves I lost my mother when I was two. Though this may seem tragic, it was not such a big deal for me. I was too young to remember her and grew up in a joint family (my mother’s family), pampered by everyone around me. But just before my teens, things changed. When I was 12, my grandfather left home and disappeared from our lives. The situation was extremely grim. People started talking about how my grandfather’s depression began after my mother _ who was extremely dear to him _ suffered in her marriage and passed away before her time. I had heard this story earlier too but now it was being repeated more than ever, which affected me. Mentally, I began blaming my father without knowing his side of the story. Ironically, at the same time, I started living with him and his new wife. Though things were not so bad in my new home, I continued to hold a grudge against my father. Life continued but the wound remained. Many of us have suffered childhood trauma and continue to suffer long after we’ve stepped into adulthood. We must understand that how we felt as children was based on our perception of life then and we do not need to continue suffering; for if the seed of suffering is within us, so is the seed of happiness, joy and awakening. It is by learning how to heal the grief of the inner child within us that we can all lead complete, wholesome lives. Babbu Gill: Mirror work is an effective technique to heal one's woundedinner child Our inner child‘We all have a child in us’ is an oft, lightly made statement. However, it has deeper implications than we realise. The child in us, who we call our inner child, is a fundamental part of our psyche. Our intuitive intelligence, joy, natural self-expression and an overall sense of well-being dwells in our inner child. When our experiences are happy, it results in security, self-esteem and joy. Conversely, when there is a set-back that wounds the inner child, the repercussions can be grave. “When someone has an inner child turmoil, their self is split into a rational adult part and an emotional child part,” says Pulkit Sharma, a psychotherapist from Pondicherry. “Both the parts go on their own separate paths to seek fulfilment and manifest themselves. This creates a series of intense conflicts for the person,” The split happens when the child receives a treatment which is far from loving and accepting by people closest to him. He feels judged, rejected, hurt and unsafe. Since this happens during his formative years, he forms strong negative impressions that continue to form the basis of his future decisions and actions. An adult who has difficulty forming mature, committed relationships may be operating from the belief that it is unsafe to trust others with one's tender feelings. The cause is often rooted in childhood when he was unable to receive care and appreciation from any or both his parents.Baurkha Kaushik, an intuitive healer from Delhi, says,“Our soul is a child. When we undergo a traumatic experience, it gets wounded and separated from the larger whole, and remains separated long after we become adults. It has to be integrated completely for leading a complete life.” Dr Meghana Dikshit, a Mumbai based hypnotherapist seconds the opinion. She says, “We are most vulnerable between the ages of zero to 14 years, when we consider ourselves as not completely accepted due to life’s circumstances or our perceptions about it.” No matter at what stage in life we face trauma, our soul, our inner child, our most fragile part will be affected by it. In my case, the talks in my mother’s family convinced me that something was deeply wrong or awry with my father’s family. I began to feel that I was being looked after out of pity and not love and felt guilty about carrying my father’s genes in my body. To make up for this belief, I ended up becoming a people-pleaser in my adult life. I wanted to win over the love and affection of others to feel whole, and in the attempt agreed with many things I didn’t like or approve of. It wasn’t until I attended a workshop on chakra healing and forgave everyone who I felt had hurt me knowingly or unknowingly that I began to come into my own and began feeling better about myself. Louise Hays, the pioneer of healing through love articulates this well. She says “It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is a little child within you who needs love and acceptance. If you’re a woman, no matter how self-reliant you are, you have a little girl who’s very tender and needs help. If you’re a man, no matter how macho you are, you have a little boy who craves for warmth and affection.” Dr Pulki Sharma encourages people to tenderly motivate their inner child to grow up Healing techniques The destination is the same but there are many paths to get there. “There are several ways of communicating with our inner child and I find mirror work to be the most effective,” says Ludhiana based Lakhvinder Babbu Gill, a Heal Your Life Coach, often called Babbu Gill. In it the person holds up a mirror to himself and addresses the wounded child within himself very tenderly, while looking into it.“Talk to your inner child and apologise to it for scolding it, draw events that happened using your non-dominant hand and watch your feelings unfold,” she says. Babbu adds that holding a soft toy like a teddy bear is also a wonderful tool to use while talking to one’s inner child. In addition, she confirms that meditation and affirmations are powerful ways to stay calm and centered.Pulkit Sharma advises to get in touch with our inner child, listen to its voice, and offer it understanding and unconditional support so that it heals gradually. In this method one has to mentally step back in time, think of the period when one felt wounded and give to oneself all that love that one deserves but couldn’t get at that time. He encourages his clients to motivate their inner child to grow up as one would do with an actual child. Dr Trupti Jayin, Mumbai based famous past life regression therapist, has seen great results using gestalt therapy, an experiential therapy that was designed to enhance awareness and freedom; and facilitating an inner dialogue healing. In her workshops, she facilitates her clients to guide their traumatised inner child to play games to create drama; she uses a family constellation practice to heal parental wounds; and uses art therapy to reprogram left-right brain harmony; which goes a long way in balancing the individual spiritually and emotionally. Baurkha Kaushik uses hypnosis and past life regression in all her healing sessions as she finds these to be most effective. Some therapists even use and recommend Ho'oponopono, a Hawaiian meditation and prayer, which helps to release stress and fear in our lives caused by not forgiving ourselves and/or others in our memories. Whatever the technique, what’s important is to break the pattern. Breaking the patternPatterns break when people open up to share their experiences. “My clients who opened up their communication channels and learned to share their problems got totally healed of thyroid and are leading completely healthy lives,” says Dr Meghna Dixit. Babbu Gill shares her experience with a lady named Seema during an inner child meditation session. “As a child, Seema used to cry loudly and throw tantrums, which her mother disapproved and was annoyed by. Seema eventually learned to bottle up her feelings but became a sickly child and developed asthama.” The session helped Seema see this pattern and break it. She accepted her past, let go of her fears and anger, showed love to her inner child and allowed herself to express her feelings, which freed her of asthma. Shares Pulkit, “I helped a person who suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks. Together, we discovered that due to some traumatic experiences, his inner child lived in isolation and constant fear. The rest of his personality wanted to suppress and eradicate this part of him because of past conditioning. As a result, his inner child became severely anxious and started expressing this anxiety through crippling panic attacks. Gently, I taught him to listen to and soothe his inner child, and motivate it to grow. Consequently, there was a marked relief in his anxiety.” Dr Meghana Dikshit: Opening up communication channels heals issueslike thyroid Multiple sclerosis and our inner childWhat I’ve found through my association with many who suffer from multiple sclerosis is that they’ve all had difficult childhoods; there have been separations, molestations, child abuse and traumas of various kinds. Though this may have made them ‘tough’ in life, their inner child continues to crave for love and support. Meena (name changed) grew taking care of her sick mother. As the eldest sibling, she took on the responsibility of the entire family. When she got married, her sister-in-law got diagnosed with cancer and Meena took care of her too. Though she refused to let anyone else take up the responsibility, somewhere deep within, she felt that life had forced this upon her. She lived her life with a halo of martyrdom around her head. Even after getting diagnosed with multiple sclerosis she continued playing the same role, refusing any support from anyone else. I’ve met many like Meena who develop such a perception toward life and suffer a great deal. In the process, they
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