CREATING A DIALOG WITH YOUR INNER CHILD
From: Cathryn L. Taylor M.A. The Inner Child Workbook
This exercise uses guided imagery to get you in touch with all that each inner child carries. Once those feelings are identified, you will separate from them by personifying them as the child self.
Keep in mind that each person responds differently to guided imagery. Some will see a clear image of the inner child, others will sense a vague presence, and others will relate to their children within entirely emotionally. There is no right or wrong way, so give yourself permission to accept whatever method works for you.
If, when meeting your inner children, you find that one frightens or offends you, it is probably because it carries traits you have not been able to accept in yourself. It may take time for you to feel comfortable with this part of yourself. In this case, continue doing the exercises, but ask your Higher Power for assistance. Have your Higher Power interact with your inner child until it feels safe for you to interact yourself. Continue your work because this inner child represents a part of you that you have disowned. When you reclaim him/her you will make peace within yourself as well.
There are several ways to use this imagery. You can read each sentence, close your eyes and imagine, and then respond to what you have read. You can record the imagery and play it back. You can have a friend read it to you. When you are ready, go to your place and make certain that you will not be interrupted.
Close your eyes and surround yourself with protective light. Take a few deep breaths. Imagine you are walking in a beautiful garden, noting its smells and colors. Feel the sense of peace and safety. As you walk through this garden you come across a beautiful wooden cradle. You look into this cradle and you see a baby. As you look closer at this baby you realize that it is the infant within you.
How do you feel when you first see your infant within? Notice how vulnerable the infant is. What is your infant self doing? Is it sleeping, crying, cooing or lying there quietly waiting for someone to appear? Reach down and touch the child. How does the infant respond? See if you can determine what this child self needs. Without using words, express to the infant that you are its future. You are proof that it survived. Tell the infant that you will help it heal. You have come back to recur it, to heal the loneliness and fear.
All your fears about closeness, all your shame of being vulnerable, and all your worries of being abandoned are carried by the child who rests in this cradle. Spend a few minutes with your infant. When you feel you have had enough time with your infant for now, assure it that your work with the pain is beginning. The hurt is over. He or she will never be left alone again. Then take several deep breaths and when it feels comfortable, open your eyes.
1.) What is your infant’s favorite color?
She has no one favorite color. But if she had to pick, blue and purple would be the ones she would like to have around her.
2.) Does your infant have a favorite story? A favorite lullaby?
Her favorite story is “Green Eggs and Ham”. She loves the sounds of the words. Her favorite song is Brahm’s Lullaby.
3.) Using your infant’s eyes, look around the room. What is the object in the room that your infant wants to touch the most? (If it is safe, imagine the child touches it.)
She wants to reach out and touch the teddy bear. It is as big as she is. It looks like it is very soft. It is white with a large green ribbon around its neck.
4.) Ask your infant to tell you about his/her pain and fear of being abandoned, feeling unsafe, unprotected, and afraid.
She is scared. She cries when she is wet or hungry, but nobody comes. She cries when she is cold. But nobody comes. She stops crying because nobody hears. If they do hear, they don’t listen. So she just sits in her crib and wonders why nobody loves her.
5.) What does this child need most from you?
She needs for her basic needs to be met. She needs to know that she is loved and cared for. She needs to be picked up and held and rocked. She needs to be told that she is a beautiful child and that nobody will hurt her and that she is loved.
6.) How does this child feel about you? Does it feel abandoned and ignored? Explain to it that it will no longer be alone; you will make sure that its basic needs are met. Your infant self will be able to develop trust in you as the inner adult to keep it safe and protected.
She is very afraid. She thinks I will hurt her in the same way the others have. She doesn’t trust me. She thinks that nobody will ever love her.
7.) Does your baby like to be held? Is it hungry or wet?
She wants so much to be held. But when they do come, they are rough. It hurts. After a while, she doesn’t want to be touched anymore. She pushes away anyone who picks her up. She is frequently hungry or wet. Sometimes both at the same time.
8.) Is there anything your infant wants to know about you?
She wants to know if I will hurt her in the same way the others did. She wants to know if I will hold her and feed her and change her. She wants to know if I will come when she cries. She wants to know if I will comfort her when she is scared. She wants to know if I’ll talk to her and read to her and sing to her.