Colm Holland’s 40 Days of Alchemy Meditations at home.
DAY 19 - The Inner Child
The new self, Carl Jung’s name for the philosopher’s child, can manage whatever realities that life and nature throw at it and still survive untainted.’ Colm Holland - The Secret of The Alchemist.
Dr Carl Jung, the renowned psychology expert who founded many theories about personality and identity, originated the term ‘inner child’ His term is now used widely as a concept to explore our challenges growing up and developing our personalities.
In Jung’s use of the term, the inner child stays within us, forming a part of our consciousness as images. This has a massive impact on how we interact with the outside world and our relationships sometimes with devastating results if the child needs healing. I discussed this to some extent on Day 16 and I want to expand onit here for the benefit of those who are looking for some pointers on how to heal the inner child.
Step one - as I mentioned yesterday - is to face the fear of addressing the wounded child and this is often the hardest part. But once we have found the courage to do that - I would like to suggest a significant and game changing exercise that helped me a lot:
Give your inner child a voice in a safe place.
This exercise was based in part on Gestalt therapy - a therapeutic method focused on giving voice to real feelings in a controlled environment either with a therapist, or in one of your regular meditation sessions alone - rather than venting them in real situations day to day where they may cause harm.
The core Gestalt philosophy lies in accepting feelings for what they are, giving them a voice and then seeking to address them, rather than leaving them pent up. In practice, it involves facing an empty chair and imagining the inner child sitting on the chair who needs to give vent to what he or she feels.
Ideally then, the adult self can enable the child to feel heard, and a resulting conversation can be had to help resolve whatever was not resolved in childhood. The secret here is:
Never judge or try to solve your inner child’s problem.
Simply give her or him a voice and be a good listener.
In my case - in my personal mediation sessions - I used to give my inner child a chair to sit on opposite me and imagine him expressing his feelings.By repeating this exercise on a regular basis and without condemnation or feeling you need to come up with the answer - you will discover the miracle of giving the inner child a voice. Your inner child will begin to feel safe and ‘heard’.
You are only required to make one contribution to the process beyond being a good listener:
The child simply needs to know you have only Love and Compassion for what she or he feels. In my experience, if you devote yourself to this exercise on a regular basis - for as much as you can manage it - then eventually you will discover that the inner child has the power and strength to resolve the issues you face. Give it time now and you will be rewarded for a lifetime. Your inner child will give back to you a thousand times over.
Our mantra today:
I will begin to listen with Love and Compassion to my inner child.
Remember I have asked Love to give you everything you need to be the Alchemist in your world.
Colm Holland is a writer, mentor, speaker, alchemy trainer and adventurer.