Why It's So Important to Integrate Your Inner Child

Our relationship with the family we are born into is our first reference point for what Love looks and feels like. As adults, we can look back and see what could have been better or what was missing, but the child consciousness, which often goes into the unconscious of the adult, has that version of love imprinted. Because of this, whatever dynamics occured in our home becomes our definition of love, either consciously or unconsciously. 

 

So think about what it was like growing up in your family. Unless you have worked on it, this is this is actually what you are wanting to repeat.

 

As such, if we want to experience something different to what we grew up with, if we want to stop unconsciously longing for the dynamic that existed in our childhood home, we need to integrate our inner child. We need to connect with and ask him or her to show us the things we have forgotten so we can feel whole and free from the 'writing on the childhood walls'. 

 

 

So how do we affect the blueprint of reality? 

 

Be with how you feel
Observe, breathe, notice
Be with your feelings, which is to fully be with yourself
Mantra from you to your inner child: “I am completely here with you now”
Not just when you are feeling good and happy, but also when you are sad and angry 

 

You don't need a cognitive understanding
Stay with it, it will integrate
What you are doing is letting that inner child who felt like she/he had to be a certain way to be loved know that you are always there for her/him no matter what
You are being the stable adult for your inner child that she/he has never had and giving her/him what she/he needs, which will become a process of re-parenting, which is a process of rewiring beliefs. 

 

Then, your inner child will no longer need to look outside of themselves for safety and healing . You will be able to give that to her/him. She/he will also no longer have a long list of unmet needs, because you will be listening and meeting those needs. 

 

 

“We’re only as needy as our unmet needs.” — Founder of Attachment Theory, John Bowlby

 


Most women give themselves a very hard time for being needy and for those moments of feeling desperate and panicky; tearful pleas, angry accusations, demanding text messages, grasping for affection....sound familiar? When we’re gripped by the shadow of neediness, we feel completely out of control. How can we understand those moments? More importantly, how can we grow up that 'smaller' part of ourselves that keeps attracting people and situations that re-create a feeling of grasping for love? 

 

Most obviously, neediness is a dependency on others to feel good and a deep fear of rejection or abandonment. It is the unhealthy version of ourselves craving for contact through helplessness and fear rather than making a clear emotional request. The healthy connected person is open about what they want from relationships. The same can not be said for the needy. The needy often feel hopeless and unhappy. The connected often feel powerful and joyful. Indeed, neediness can be seen as the shadow of healthy connection or what I like to term as healthy attachment. Healthy attachment is a valuing of connection above all else (thus more feminine in nature).

 

It’s actually NOT our needs that create neediness in it's unhealthy manifestation. 

 

We all need connection, we all need love. It is actually fear that creates unhealthy dependency. Fear of our own need for connection, fear that we cannot meet our own needs, and fear that our needs will never be met. That’s what brings us to a place of despair and the only way to heal it is to satisfy it, not to get rid of it. I spent so long trying not to have the needs that would just naturally course through me. It simply does not work. The question perhaps is: How do we satisfy our neediness rather than trying to get rid of it? How do we remember that we are love?

 

Well we do this by integrating our inner child and making room in our lives to finally meet her/his needs through a balanced mindfulness practice, through our relationships and through devoting some serious time to her/him everyday. All of these we will explore during my upcoming 8 Week Womens Course, Life Tantra

 

At the end of the day, the key to transforming 'neediness' into an ally of self- love, is to respect your needs for connection instead of fearing them. When you do, you can meet those needs yourself and request that those needs be met by others with a lot more clarity and a lot less fear! You request them from a heart space, which is very different to the flight or fight space of our lower chakras. It means you become open to receiving from yourself and others what you actually need (heart based), rather than what you may be wanting (more sensory).

 

It also means that you begin a process of really being there for yourself, totally present (Healthy Father who witnesses without judgement) and totally nurturing (Heathy Mother who loves with affection, protection, encouragement and initiation). A lot of what has been discussed above will help you give your inner child some healthy re-fathering. Healthy re-mothering, however, is more embodied.

 

When we haven’t experienced Healthy Mothering, we may not know how to take care of our own needs, stay in our bodies, or nurture and protect our inner child and outer child. The Mother Wound needs to be brought into awareness if we are to heal it. From my experience, no wound is more charged for both men and women than this one and there are so many unresolved feelings about mothers. Abandonment, enmeshment, worthlessness, overwhelm, feeling responsible for the mothers pain, guilt, fear....the list goes on. If you don't acknowledge and make peace with these feelings, then she is forced to stay caught forever in your mind and heart, preventing the possibility of an authentic relationship.

 

 

So what is the Mother Wound? It is that empty feeling in our hearts that ought to have been filled through healthy mothering. What is Healthy Mothering? Nurture, Protection, Encouragement, Initiation

 

Most obviously, healthy nurture is about a child's needs for food, shelter, medicine, comfort, love and touch; a child who is not held enough develops into an adult with a range of physical and emotional difficulties. Then there are more subtle aspects of nurturing: making a child feel safe though mental and emotional stability and celebrating a child as a source of beauty and amazingness so that they grow up with a sense of worthiness, confidence and joy.

 

Protection
A child needs to be protected from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and from the threat of all three. Ironically and sadly, a child often needs to be protected from their Mother and Father rather than receiving the protection they need! For example, excessive fighting, emotional or physical abandonment, emotional instability, drug and alcohol issues, an overall feeling that the home environment is not safe. If you did not receive sufficient protection as a child then as an adult you may feel abandoned a lot. You may have a memory of some traumatic event or environment that reoccurs and feel constantly plagued by a feeling that the world and people cannot be trusted.

 

Encouragement
A child needs to be empowered through encouragement and by being taught independence and self-confidence. The mother who is encouraging will treat her child with fairness, patience, generosity and a commitment to preparing her child to become her equal or even to surpass her. This capacity comes from the mother's own self-confidence and love and from embracing the view that it is her sacred duty to encourage her child to be the best they can be, while at the same time fully accepting them when they make mistakes. She will also encourage her child's individual passions rather than wanting her child to be like her or to be a certain way and achieve certain things to fulfil her own egoic needs.

 

Initiation
A girl achieves the inner experience of womanhood by way of initiation by the mother, who does this through how she treats her own womanhood as well as that of her daughter. Most initiations take place through rituals. For a mother to be effective in providing initiation, she must have somehow received or found her own. It is the most selfless of all the aspects, for she is encouraging a separation or a growing up of sorts. This initiating power is associated with the Sharman, the Priestess and the Medicine Woman. If you did not receive these aspects from your mother then as an adult you may feel an insatiable need to be loved and taken care of, a lot of fear and anxiety, an inability to feel joy, or a lack of self-worth despite your competency.

 

How do you heal the Mother Wound?
By cultivating your own Healthy Mother inside of you! You do this by focusing on coming home to your body, feeling safe in this moment, nurturing yourself and others with loving-kindness, empathetic joy, and compassion, protecting yourself from harm, validating yourself and undergoing initiations. It is also important to find teachers who can nourish you without creating codependency so that you can receive guidance and a healthy transmission of this energy. Finally,  it's also about spending time with THE Mother, Mother Earth. There are also powerful rituals and initiatory rites you can do with your Sisters that we will be exploring, amongst other things, at Life Tantra and Return of the Temple

 

If the Mother Archetype is something you are wanting to cultivate, for your own sake, for the sake of your children, and for the sake of your relationships...begin the journey now. 

 

Dakini Chantelle. Copyright. All Rights Reserved 2016.