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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Inner Child

Am currently reading "My Big Book of Healing ~ restore your body, renew your mind, and heal your soul," by Echo Bodine. As with all of Echo's books, it's wonderful. Am on chapter 6 ~ The Inner Child. If there was one chapter I'd recommend for everyone, it would be this one as we all can relate to the content in some form or another.

As I was reading I was reminded of having gone to a mini "Inner Child" workshop in Northampton, MA a few years ago. I had attended that year's Whole Health Expo held in the spring. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the psychotherapist who gave the workshop, but I do know what happened during the hour we were together will never be forgotten.

The room was packed with folks and the air uncomfortably still. I had no idea what to expect when I chose this workshop over a few others. The speaker began by telling us we all have an inner child within us. Some of these inner children are wounded and the results of this pain are carried over into adulthood. She went on to explain that she was going to lead us on a visual journey where we would meet our inner child. I remember the journey took us on a forest path that led to a beautiful garden. It was in the garden that we'd be able to speak to our inner child.

Once in the garden, immediately I saw myself as a 4 or 5 year old. I saw a scene from when I had lived in Maryland, with me riding my tricycle along with several "older" kids on two-wheelers. A boy bully teased me that I was riding the little tricycle and called me names. The hurt I felt was intense but not as intense as what happened next. I went home crying to my Ma and told her about the incident. Rather than comforting me she coldly told me to stop being a crybaby. No hugs were offered whatsoever. I saw her saying something like, "What are you going to do, go and cry when bad things happen to you in life?" I'm sure my Ma was trying to toughen me up, but instead I felt unprotected, abandoned, and unloved.

As I was reliving this scene from my childhood, streams of tears came gushing out. My face became wet, my nose started running, and the front of my shirt became increasingly damp. The tears wouldn't stop. There was a conscious part of me that was embarrassed about this, worrying about what others in the room would think. I fumbled for my purse (whilst still in a meditative state), groping for tissues and finding a sorry, partially shredded, no doubt used, piece of Kleenex. A whole lotta good that did me!

Finally, we were told to embrace and hug our inner child if this seemed acceptable for both adult and child, say goodbye, and we were led out of the garden, onto the path through the woods and back into the workshop room. When brought back fully, I just sat there, wet and exhausted. I dared not look at anyone around me. Once most had left the room, I got up to make an exit, too. The psychotherapist asked if I was OK and said perhaps I should do more "work" such as this.

Perhaps, indeed.

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