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Inner Child

Most of the time, we feel pretty comfortable as an adult, right? Being able to do whatever we want without asking for permission, whether that means spending our own money or wasting away on the couch for an entire Sunday. But do you also know the feeling when someone gives you a snarky comment and suddenly you feel like a child again, wanting to throw a temper tantrum? No matter how old we grow, we carry our younger selves within us day-to-day. By connecting with our inner child, we gain access to “new” information about our unhealed wounds. In this month’s interview we will speak about inner child work with my muse when it comes to emotional balance, compassion and radiance, Life Alignment’s advanced teacher and practitioner Tanya Harris from South Africa.

Maggie: Tanya, as my Life Alignment teacher, I have seen you many times doing outstanding inner child work. Why are you so in tune with it?

I have done extensive work with my own inner child. I had debilitating panic attacks, which is actually how I discovered Life Alignment. I went to my very first Life Alignment session with Arleen Hanks who now lives in Australia, to help with my panic attacks. The session guided us straight to inner child work. By listening to my wounded inner children I had such a profound shift, that I wanted to continue working with it.   

Maggie: Interesting, because you are talking about it in plural. Does this mean we have more than one inner child?

Absolutely. A child responds differently to an event depending on their age. For example, the baby in the womb, the 6 year old who just started school, the teenager who is trying to find where she belongs etc. These are the inner children and each with their different responses to trauma, and their own needs. It is important to note that we don’t only have wounded children, we also have golden children within us. When we can access the golden child we can bring a lot of happiness, joy and freedom to the adult. 

Maggie: Do you need to have childhood trauma in order to have childhood wounds?
We all have inner child issues and not all of them stem from trauma. To give you an example: Maybe you performed very well at school. Every time you get a report your parents praise you and say, “Well done!”. The belief system that may have kicked in is, “When I do well, I get praised – I am valuable”. Naturally I then want to achieve and perform well because then I get loved. And this comes with “When I don’t perform well, I am not loved”. You see the parents are not bad at all, however this belief system might affect your future habits. So you become an overachiever. 

Little things like that can become stuck in our heads as children. So not all inner child work is because of severe or complex childhood trauma such as physical or emotional abuse. 

Inner child work is about finding out where your limiting beliefs started and how to let them go.

Each child comes to earth to be loved. Babies are coming to this world just to give love, be love and experience love. If you ever held a new born baby you can feel this pure Divine energy, right? But if we experience unavailable or conditioned love as a baby we start believing this is our fault. For example when your mom is a child herself when she gives birth and she doesn’t know how to treat a baby, it grows up thinking “There must be something wrong with me, I am not good enough to be loved”. 
Maggie: Why is that? Why does a child blame itself and has even the ability to blame at all?

It’s not really a conscious blame, it’s more like the child feels that they are not valuable or wanted. When you are a very small child your parents are everything to you, sort of like your Gods, as they give you life. We come into this world through the mother and we are received by the father. When the mother’s love is not available or if the mother is rejecting you, because of issues she is going through, then the baby feels, “there must be something wrong with me – there is no one that will nurture me”. 

The father receives us, so represents the world. If the father is absent, the baby feels ”the world can’t accept me, I am not protected, I am not safe”. 

So if a baby is not getting love, connection and protection, it can not blame the “Gods”, it starts to believe that it is not worthy of those things – something is wrong with me.

Later in life this can play out in many different ways. We might think “I do not deserve”, “life is supposed to be hard” or “I am not worthy” and this can become habits in very different ways. You might become a people pleaser to not be rejected. Or you reject before anyone else can reject you. 
Maggie: Please tell me more about how we can transform ourselves with the golden child? When I watch children or puppies I can see so many things we can learn from them, but it always looks like qualities adults don't have access to?

Sometimes we can go back to an age where we were free, wild and happy. As we get older our golden child gets subdued. We forget that we have these qualities and wisdom within us. The golden child however is just as important and accessible as the wounded child. It remembers being part of God and being pure love. It knows who we truly are. We can access these aspects of ourselves, once we heal and let go of all the wounds that stop us from being true to ourselves. For example people come to a Life Alignment session because they can’t connect to their purpose on this planet. Very often the golden child will come through to remind us of the purpose of shining love, playing and having fun. 

The golden child is just as important as the wounded child

Maggie: Inner children seem to be able to teach us so much! Would you say they really exist within us or is it just a memory?
The inner child exists. If you have ever seen an adult throwing a temper tantrum, you have seen their inner child in action. The wounded child is the button that gets pushed and the reactions that we express are the defence mechanisms that we learnt when we were very little, to survive that situation. 
So for example when we are sitting in a meeting and a colleague gets upset, that could be his (or her) inner 5 year old which gets emotional, because somebody might have said something that reminded him of how his father used to criticize him – so this unresolved button is pushed and he starts throwing a tantrum. At that moment he is no longer the 40 year old, he has regressed to the 5 year old and accordingly feels and reacts as a 5 year old who does not have the tools to manage the situation. 

The inner child is alive in all of us and if you become aware of it, you can actually catch yourself a few times a day responding as your wounded child. One of the ways when we work with the inner child, is to be able to recognise ourselves in those moments. 

However, the last thing you want to do after you recognise you behaved inappropriately is telling yourself “how could you behave like this, why have you done this” etc. What you are doing then is shouting at your inner child and you are becoming the abusive parent. What we need to do is look at ourselves with compassion. That’s another whole topic, becoming your inner parent. The whole point is to heal the triggers or buttons, by doing for the child what you needed back then, so that you don’t react to them anymore but simply notice them. 

Maggie: I can imagine recognition is the most difficult one. We so often think “This is who I am, this is my opinion, this is me setting boundaries”, not realising the inner child which is triggered.
This is why modalities such as Life Alignment are so important. As it gives us an opportunity to get into those spaces where we had the reactions to see which aspect of us is actually reacting. Then finding out what that aspect of ourselves actually needs in order to heal. To break the cycle of inner abuse and inner triggers, we have to find out what the root cause for this is. But you have to be patient. It takes a while. When you become aware you slowly but surely can start to introduce a new parenting style to your inner self. In a way you fire the old parent which wasn’t good for you at this specific point of time in your life and invoke a new parent. The old parenting style is based on the parenting style of your parents, which also has been influenced by their parents. You don’t want to have this in your unconscious mind. Now we can invoke a new, divine style of parenting. Subconsciously you alter it as a massive aspect of your psyche. 
Maggie: Can you please explain a bit more in detail what our subconscious mind does in a Life Alignment balance?

In a LA session you connect to such a deep and pure space of being, that you subconsciously get the opportunity to rewire your neurological pathways. The trigger and root cause connected to it is not running with the same internal programming anymore. The root cause is unveiled, the trigger is tackled and the neurological system is firing a new pathway and now you can respond differently to when your button gets pushed. That old belief-system and pattern of behaviour is broken. Yes, it takes a while for the conscious mind to catch on. That’s why I am saying you might sit in the next meeting and see yourself reacting in the same way. However, half way through you recognise it’s your inner child coming through and you calm yourself down. To give you an example: In the past I felt intimidated by some women and would turn into a people pleaser. The moment I watched this trigger I would excuse myself and go to the bathroom. There I checked in with my inner child, felt that she was scared and reassured her “this woman outside is not your mom, you are safe, I love you”. I would give her permission to not be in that meeting. As why must you subject your inner child to something she is not capable of dealing with? It’s too big and scary for her. So I give her permission to play with the fairies while I, the adult, go back into the meeting. Remember this. You don’t need your inner child in each situation in life. You took care of it and gave her permission to be vulnerable and play somewhere else, so that you the adult can face the “danger”, as you are very capable.  

Maggie: What practice can we do at home to get in touch with our inner children?
There is a really good exercise you can do to explore your triggers. Let’s use anger as an example, but of course you can do this with any feeling or reaction you may have.
I recommend putting yourself in a Vortex Circle, then going within and just feeling the last moment where you got really angry. When you are right in that feeling, ask yourself who is the inner child in that moment. Trust your imagination as this is the key to your subconscious mind.  How old is she (or he), what is her body language like, what is going on in her life?
Once you know who she is and what her circumstances were, ask her what she needs. Let her tell you or show you and then immediately do for her what she needs or asks for. It could be love, to be held, to be heard, acceptance, protection, to sing to her etc. She will know.
Then when she is feeling better, safer etc, tell her that you, the adult is in charge and that she does not need to be present for scary conversations or situations, you got this! You, the adult, will deal with all the adult stuff, she can stay safe in your safe place, whatever that may be for you. You can even follow up: What can I do in future to make sure you are safe? Never make promises that you cant keep, to your Inner Child.  Rather say that you will try your best and then prove to her you are more trustworthy than the adults she knew in childhood. 
Maggie: Thank you so much Tanya, this sounds like a fascinating, complex and lifelong transformation. It all makes so much sense and I can't wait to attend one of your next Inner Child Workshops on Zoom.