There have been many studies by now that show that our emotions influence our physical well-being and the healing process of the body. It has also been shown that many of our emotional problems originate in moments of neglect, abuse, abandonment or simply loneliness and misunderstanding that we experienced in our childhood. So, logically, our childhood experiences and the way we deal with them in our adult life influence our physical well-being.
A large part of any healing process depends on the inner attitude of the patient. If the patient feels that his support system is unreliable, that no one cares about him or that he has always been unlucky, his ability and will to fight the illness will be strongly reduced. If, on the other hand, he feels confident and supported, if he has a secure place in life and sees his life as positive, he will have all the strength and inner motivation needed to fully support his body in its healing process.
Working on our emotional well-being therefore is one of the best health insurance policies we can have. By moving through old beliefs and childhood wounding we open the door to a more conscious and responsible way of taking care of ourselves. With that we increase our personal strength and power and create the proper foundation to support ourselves in case of an emergency, such as an illness.
So, how can the concept of the Inner Child help you to stay in better health and to support your body? The concept of the Inner Child is the concept of emotions and experiences that get arrested at a certain time in our development. It is also the concept of the “perfect” connection between us and the universe, God, and/or Mother Nature. By tapping into the hopes and wishes of the part of you that got stuck somewhere in time you can become aware of the origin of the emotional patterns that keep getting you into the same situations over and again, thus reinforcing those old beliefs. And by becoming aware of those patterns and their origin you can then take action to create the change you want.
For example, a client who came in with weight issues and a resulting health scare discovered quickly that she used food as a comforter. Connecting with her Inner Child she then remembered that her grandmother would always give her lots of food when she was with her. However, that same grandmother would seldom hold her or play with her. She also remembered that she usually was taken to her grandmother when her own mother was sick which was the case quite often. In her child-mind she began to associate food with comfort for the absence of a mother and motherly attention. When her mother died quite young food became the main resource of comfort and weight gain was inevitable. By uncovering the origin of her eating habits she now also had found the tool to change those habits. She learned how to take care of her emotional needs in better, healthier ways. She healed old wounds around her mother’s death that hadn’t been dealt with. And she took on the role of parent to herself, beginning the slow process of teaching herself healthy and balanced ways of being.
On the other hand the Inner Child can also help us find problems with the physical body that we can’t otherwise pinpoint. If you have ever had an inexplicable pain for which no one could find a physical cause you know the frustration that arises in situations like that. For the longest time I would get infrequent toothaches in one specific tooth. X-rays and examinations never yielded any information and finally my dentist and I decided to kill the nerve of the tooth just to be safe. About three months after the root canal had been performed I got a pain in the tooth. By that time I had started working with energies and with the Inner Child and in one meditation with her I learned what my toothache was all about. I was told that toothaches are the one pain I hate the most and that always make me stop. Therefore my emotional self, my Inner Child, had chosen this particular pain to get my attention when I really needed to stop and take a break, when my emotional stress was at an unacceptable level. I had had a root canal for no reason. Had I listened to that inner part of me before I could have saved my tooth, my money and myself from a lot of stressful moments.
The easiest way to get in contact with the Inner Child is through remembering. I’ll often ask clients to dig out some childhood photos when we are about to begin this process. Looking at these photos with the curiosity we might have for the child of friend helps to create a new and interested connection. We may begin to remember her dreams, hopes and wishes. Or we may recall his fears and sadness. We may realize that all those days being bullied in school actually did hurt us or that the fact that mom was always busy left a feeling of unworthiness even if we fully understand why she had to work so hard.
Another way of connecting to the Inner Child is through guided imagery. Human imagination is a powerful tool and it can create lasting change when used consciously and constructively. We can use our imagination to get fully connected to our own bodies, emotions and thoughts. By doing that we can learn much about the connection between our physical ailments and discomforts, our emotions and memories, and our own worldview and belief system. And since imagination isn’t tied to space and time it can also helps us make the necessary connections between past events, current behaviours and future changes.
There are many events in the life of any child that can create painful emotions. Being beaten or bullied are obvious ones but there are subtle situations that adults might not even recognize and that still linger in the emotional memory of the child: losing a good friend to a move, or a beloved toy; waking up at night in the new house and not knowing at first how to get to mom; not being allowed to sing in the choir or join in the game of the older kids. All these situations may be taken much more serious by a little child’s mind than seems warranted from an adult’s perspective. And they are unavoidable and usually are worked thorough in time. However, if they are only one incident in a line of similar situations or if this is just the beginning of a chain of events the memories of these events can become locked in our energy field.
Working through some of these seemingly unimportant (and of course all the important) events allows us to finally let go, to grow up and take responsibility for our life from here on, to create the healthy and balanced life we truly want. These lives will look different for everyone but there is one thing that they all have in common: they are conscious, choiceful and joyful lives. And they support a healthy body and a healthy life style.
And while we are at it: don’t forget that every child needs downtime and play time. Summer offers many wonderful opportunities to (re-)connect with the Inner Child simply by being out in the sun, playing games, meeting friends, going for a swim (and splashing quite a bit) and just allowing ourselves to “hang-out”. That way we access the happy emotions in us and that allows for an easy, gentle and relaxed connection.