“I need your love. I need to feel loved. I need you to say that you love me.”
“I’m not sure I can.”
Introducing the Inner Parent
Inner Child work has a dual aspect running through it; the Inner Parent. With the Inner Parent we learn what it is to consciously re-parent and provides the opportunity to parent yourself. This concept was little far from mind blowing; it seemed to complete a puzzle piece that wasn’t quite yet in place with the Inner Child. When we establish the connection with our inner child, we know it is an ongoing journey of building a trust relationship.
Parenting, or re-parenting, is the mechanism of how we integrate the practice compassionately, with safe boundaries.
Beginning with a practice
Inviting a unification with the Inner Child and Inner Parent, practising moving into a space of non-judgement, self compassion, humility and love, I invite you to look at yourself in the mirror, stare into your eyes and say “I love you.”
Continue to say “I love you” out loud, or in your head, for 2 minutes.
Notice any sensations, thoughts, feelings that arise. How does your gaze change? What do you see deep within?
It’s OK if you found that exercise challenging, strange, or uncomfortable. On the other hand maybe you found it soothing, connecting and loving. All experiences are what they are – divine and perfect for you!
The Inner Parent is the loving part of Self that attends to the child’s emotional needs, providing a nurturing space to fulfil these needs. Sometimes, our wounds run so deep (mostly unconscious), to the point that when we come to face the reality of our wounds, we buckle, run, or procrastinate through distraction. It’s normal to go through a process of resistance as the parent self when beginning inner child work. Layers of self judgement can arise:
“Am I good enough to be a parent (to myself)?”
“How can I take care of my inner child when I’m crumbling?”
“I’m not in the right place to do this.”
The energy behind this is programming. We know that we carry wounds from childhood, but also the adult/parent self carries wounds too. This can show up as self doubt, criticism, avoidance, distraction, disappointment, insecurities. However, as the connection with your inner child strengthens, so too does volition, dedication and ability to hold space for yourself; practice is practice.
How to begin Re-parenting
To support the healing process with our inner child we call on the parent aspect of self, present in all of us, and together you parent yourself into a compassionate, forgiving, accepting space. The main role of the parent is to hold space for the child; to listen and witness so the child is seen and heard. It can be challenging; it takes time to build a two-way trust relationship that feels safe and open. Understanding that these aspects of ourselves can be integrated in a supportive way is the first step to self parenting.
Re-parenting is the facilitative tool that enables you to step into the committed space and come home to yourself.
To say, “yes! I need to be here for me!”
When working with our inner child and beliefs, emotional responses and behaviours are identified, the inner parent can provide the following support:
- connect with the inner child
- let them know you are here for them
- listen actively, with curiosity and non-judgement
- words of reassurance and acknowledgement lets your inner child know they’ve been seen and heard
- ask them what they need
- consider how you can fulfil this need(s)
- use of affirmations assist in showing how learned behaviours, emotional responses etc are no longer serving you and replace old ways of programming with current, kind, compassionate and loving ones
Remembering this is a continuous journey; patience, compassion and dedication are considerate qualities of a loving inner parent, which reside in all of us. I invite you to reflect on what kind of parent you would like to be (for yourself) and how you might begin to integrate this in the way you talk (mental), act (physical), feel (emotional) and share (soulful) your inner world with your growing team; your parent and child self.
If you missed the article on “How do we know our Inner Child exists?” you can read the article here.
If you’d like to talk more about your inner child and discuss the workshop (one-to-one), please reach out, I’d love to hear from you and connect.