The inner child wants to be acknowledged for everything that he or she has any contact with. The inner child wants praise, needs praise to feel good about themselves. When a person does something that is praiseworthy the inner child wants to be sure that everyone knows who was the person responsible. The inner child feels so much need for notice that he or she will do anything to get that notice. It is important for the inner child to be acknowledged and praised and put in the limelight. When and if the inner child does something for someone she or he wants to be sure that there is acknowledgment of that action, and they want that acknowledgment frequently.
There is also the blame game, where the inner child is made responsible for any inappropriate behaviors that exist. It has become almost a fad, the in thing to do.
Blame your inner child for how you act toward your spouse, or significant other, blame the inner child for the way you behave at your workplace. If your social behavior is not appropriate then blame it on the inner child. It is easy and it is a way to explain inappropriate behavior and no one questions it. When your life is not working it is because of your inner child, and that may in fact be the case. It may be the workings of the inner child; what do you do about it? Take the focus off of the inner child and place it on the inner adult.
The inner adult does not need praise or acknowledgment. There is no need. The inner adult is whole and complete within itself and knows this. Giving assistance is done from a place of heart. It is done for the sake of doing and not in anticipation of receiving any acknowledgment. The inner adult will share an idea with someone and would rather that person think it was their idea. The inner adult feels no need to be thanked nor praised. This may appear to be a novel concept and it exists in many situations.
This inner adult, which I believe we all possess, operates on a level of complete knowing and awareness of who and what it is. This inner adult is completely aware of its oneness in this universe. Of its connection to all living things. This inner adult is so powerful that it does not even exert itself on the person it most wants to assist. Ourselves. This inner adult is aware that there are no wrong paths, there are paths with differing degrees of difficulty.
The inner adult knows that all paths lead to the same beginning so there is no need to be forceful or directive. The inner adult can enjoy the ride whether it is by limo or by bicycle, it is the same to the inner adult.
The inner adult does not strive for greatness, he or she recognizes his or her greatness.
The inner adult does not search for relationships, has no need for a soul mate, is not looking for completion, the other half.
The inner adult is in relationship with itself, is its own soul mate and can receive someone who complements.
The inner adult would not be with someone who is not its perfect reflection.
Then why are there so many unhappy relationships, so many breakups and divorces? What is it that draws two people together and then drives them apart?
If the inner adult would not be with someone who is not its perfect reflection then why are people together who seem to be in constant turmoil.? The answer is simple. They don’t like what they see and rather than accept the situation as a learning opportunity most people see it an a chance to mold someone else in their own image. Most of us are operating from our inner child and not our inner adult.
When we gaze across at our loved one and we see anger and upset, we don’t see that as a learning opportunity. We go into fear because our inner adult says here is a chance to see what can be healed in you if you choose. The inner child says that is not me I am nothing like that and I don’t like what I see so I am going to make it wrong and I am going to make the person expressing it wrong. The inner child does not want to accept this as a reflection and an opportunity to learn, the inner child sees this as something to fear and reject. In rejecting the behavior that brings up fear, the inner child does not realize she or he is also rejecting the person expressing the behavior. Can you guess what the inner child of the other person is feeling in that moment? You would be correct if you said rejection. And then the battle is on. Two children expressing their fear of being wrong and their fear of rejection. This leaves no room for any understanding. This leaves no room for any sort of intelligent dialogue. This leaves no room for any growth or learning. This behavior reenforces the old patterns and behaviors that the inner child is familiar with.
Looking at the same situation from the perspective of the inner adult, let’s see what could happen.
We gaze across at our loved one and we see anger and upset. The inner adult does not make anyone wrong, the inner adult does not go into a fear place. The inner adult responds internally and recognizes that there is a place within where anger and upset resides and this is the perfect opportunity to heal that place. That in turn stimulates the inner adult in the other person, who may have, at that moment, been coming from the inner child. Their inner adult recognizes they are not being criticized and there is then room for dialogue and understanding. There is only conflict when one or both people are coming from need.
When we are in touch with our inner adult the conflict that we experience in personal and social relationships will disappear. The inner adult is not seeking to be right, it does not seek fulfillment, and the inner adult has few if any needs. The inner adult operates from that place of understanding. That place that says I am enough, right here, right now, I am enough. The inner adult is not looking for his or her other half, the inner adult knows she or he is whole and complete in this moment.
That voice you hear as you read this is your inner child. The voice saying that can’t be done people need others in their life is the scared inner child wanting to create conflict. The inner child sees conflict as a way of knowing that it exists and that people notice it. The inner child sees conflict as a way to receive attention. There is a thought within the inner child of some of us that if there is no conflict there is no love. There is this convoluted thought that somehow love is tied to pain. That suffering means we are alive.
There is almost no room for the inner adult, no room to recognize its existence. We have been so programmed for pain and suffering that to even suggest that there is no need for it is to be blasphemous. To state that our lives could be lived with less conflict, with less pain, with less anger seems sacrilegious. We have been so programmed to believe that pain is a part of our growth, that we must suffer in order to be good people. We must be in suffering and pain and conflict on this planet in order to receive our reward in some other life or place. We as a people have bought into that thought so completely that if we are happy for any length of time we feel guilty and began to do things to change our situation from happy to conflicting or struggle or something else that feels familiar and comfortable. Something other that joy or happiness.
Where is it written that life has to be a struggle? And who wrote it? And who says we have to live our lives that way? What if we made another choice? What would happen if we all chose to listen to and follow the advice of our inner adult rather than our inner child?
We do not have to take everything that happens as a personal affront to us. We do not have to see everything that is done as a conspiracy against us personally. We do not have to be in a job or a relationship that is not fulfilling. And pain is not a requirement for being on this planet nor for being human. Suffering does not prove anything.
It is acceptable to be in a place of joy all of the time. It is acceptable to be in a harmonious relationship all of the time. It is acceptable to be in a job or work situation that you love and enjoy and want to do. It is acceptable to look forward to each day with anticipation of how wonderful it is going to be. It is ok to be completely happy and fulfilled when you are alone.
Life is about enjoyment and love and harmony. Nowhere does it say that we must be in pain, nowhere does it say we must suffer in order to be happy.
Our strength does not come from outside of us, it comes from within. We spend so much valuable time waiting for someone or something to validate us, to let us know we are ok. Did it ever occur to you that the person who validates you can also invalidate you, and you give them that power. And if we need validation we can get it from the inner adult our own inner adult and the operative word here is inner. There is that inner adult that is waiting to offer us guidance and wisdom. It is ours and it comes from us, when we are ready to listen. The inner adult will never force itself on us that is not its way, it guides us, it does not drive us. There is no price for the advice that the inner adult offers. The inner adult does not push nor force itself nor the wisdom it has on us.
Our society in general is based on “what’s wrong” how many times have you heard of someone being hauled into court to be given a commendations for doing the right thing. When was the last time you were pulled over by the police and given a citation for being such a good driver and for obeying all of the traffic signs and signals. When did you last see on the front page of any newspaper in big block letters, man commended for being a wonderful parent and husband for last ten years. Or women commended for being wonderful parent and wife and friend. When was the last time you saw an article saying: it has been recently learned that a local politician has never been unfaithful to his wife or her husband, has never taken special interest money and is doing an excellent job in representing all of the people of his or her district. When did you last hear of a teenager being given a commendation for going to school everyday and doing her lessons and maintaining a C plus average. You get the idea. When we do commend someone it has to be something spectacular if it is of the so called appropriate behavior.
Our society is focused of what’s wrong and we seek those things out. Children know that if you want major attention you do something that is outrageous and you get attention. Go to any classroom in this country and see which students get the most attention. Is it the A student or the D student? Is it the quiet unassuming child or the loud obnoxious child? And where do you think they learned that behavior? Where do you think they leaned that kind of behavior gets them attention and notice?
How has most societies settled their differences, historically? It has been through the attitude of we are right and the other group is wrong. We Are Right that has been the cry. We are so right that God is on our side and will help us kill our enemies. The same God that says thou shalt not kill is going to help us kill, in other words is going to violate one of her own commandments. How ludicrous can that be? This behavior, or we are right attitude, carries over into our personal and social relationships. It becomes I am right and they are wrong. The belief is that in order for me to be right someone must be wrong. The concept that both can be right has no place in this society , it would appear.
We take whatever pain or suffering we feel we have experienced and we project it onto other people and other situations. As if causing others to suffer will ease our own.
We have put ourselves in this box and there seems to be an unwillingness to walk out. We identify ourselves by what we think we are rather than what we know we are. We want to be right rather than happy. Conflict is familiar and comfortable, joy is dangerous and can be taken away at any time so we don’t want to show it too much. Groucho Marx is quoted as saying, “ I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member.” It is unfortunate that we do that in our relationships. There is this underlying belief for some of us that if the person in our life is so wonderful what are they doing with us; why are they with us? The fact that they are with us is a clear indication that they could not be that wonderful. It they were truly so wonderful they would be with someone else wonderful. Not us. It is so easy for us to tell someone what is wrong with us, all of our flaws and foul ups. When asked to comment on our assents that seems much more difficult.
We don’t want to be vain, or selfish is the excuse we use. What is probably more true is that we don’t want to expose ourselves. Suppose we say something wonderful about ourselves and someone disagrees. What do we do then? Now we have to defend ourselves and what we feel and then it does not feel good anymore, so maybe it would just be easier to put ourselves down rather than wait for someone else to do it. We make ourselves wrong before someone else can, so it is safe.
That may seem like a contradiction, when we talk about being right rather than happy, and it is not. We would rather be right about being wrong than be happy and or risk someone else making us wrong.
It is said that children can be so cruel, the concern is not whether children are cruel, the concern is where they learn that being cruel is acceptable. . Children are not born cruel, they are not born with any innate desire to hurt someone, they learn it and guess who they learn it from. A child will say something to an adult, something that is totally accurate and what happens they are criticized for it. When a child see a bald man they say mommy that man has no hair, and mommy say don’t say that out loud you may hurt his feelings. Mommy does not even take the bald man’s feelings into consideration, mommy is only concerned about her own feelings and how her child’s behavior reflects on her. Mommy has learned that honesty is not always the best policy. Because she was stifled the same way she is stifling her child. Children are not cruel, they speak what they see as truth in the moment, they have not yet learned to suppress, they learn that later after there is much criticism for speaking what they see as true. It is later that children learn the power of words, how words can hurt, how words can devastate and how words can be used to control themselves and others. It is at this point that children learn that words even true words can be used as a weapon and they become very adept at it, because they have to control mechanisms in place. When they are angry they lash out with whatever verbal weapons they possess, without regard for anyone else. Especially those they are close to and care about the most. This shows up in their adult life because they lash out at those closes to them without regard for consequences. It is as if there is the thought, if they love me they will love me no matter how I behave and the more inappropriate my behavior the more they must love me. The proof of their love is that they stay no matter what I do or how I act.
This child- learned behavior continues on into adult life. It shows up in the way that we respond to situations that occur in our life. When we respond to any given situation as if it has happened to us before, we are operating from the inner child. The inner adult knows that no matter how familiar a situation may appear, it is new and has never occurred before. This awareness helps the inner adult to develop coping skills that are for the purpose of learning rather than attacking or defending. The inner adult operates from the premise that most situations that occur are learning opportunities. The inner child feels that it is some plot designed especially to make his or her life miserable. Think about it how do you respond to most uncomfortable situations in your life.? With a desire to learn or a need to defend. In most adults it would appear the inner child is functioning more often than the inner adult. It appears to be easier to lash out and defend than it is to understand. The inner child seems to operate from the, if you win, I lose, mentality. The inner adult operates from the we can both win concept.
HeartSight Therapy (TM) operates from the concept of what is right with us as people and as individuals. It does not focus on our challenges, nor does it ignore them. HeartSight Therapy is based on the premise that we can focus on and highlight those positive aspects of ourselves and begin to see ourselves differently. When we can see ourselves from a different perspective we begin to respond differently in the world. The more we love about ourselves the more we can love about others. When we feel good about ourselves we have no need to put others down. When you are confident about your place in this world, you don’t have to be prejudice against anyone else to prove how great you are.
HeartSight teaches that if you don’t feel good about who you are , you will out why by looking within yourself and finding that place that does not feel good. You won’t have a need to put others down and make them wrong to feel better about you.
We are a society that looks for what is “wrong”. The media our parents, and our teachers, our preachers are looking for what is wrong. Think about how often you read of teenagers who are earning a 3.5 grade point average and doing well in school and headed for college. You may read about him if he or she is shot or suffers some other form of mayhem. The news reports are all of what is wrong with our community, our government, our society. The focus is on what is wrong.
Politicians are constantly reminding us about what is wrong with their opponent. They don’t tell us what they intend to do to make things better. They remind us of what their opponent has done to make things wrong. Have you ever thought, things are going really great, I think I will go to my therapist and tell them about it. Or I feel really great, I think I will go to my doctor and get a checkup. If you went to your doctor or your therapist and said I am fine I am only here for a checkup they would not know what to do. All of their training is about what to do when something is wrong. Interesting isn’t it? We want to be well and yet our whole system is based on the “what is wrong theory”. What if we gave up the right/ wrong theory for awhile? What if we saw things as events, nothing more, nothing less. What if things that happened in our lives were seen as experiences, nothing more, nothing less. How would that affect, those around us and ourselves? Would it make a difference if we were to give up judgments? Would it make a difference if we were to make out decisions based on facts rather than emotion?