Setting Limits with the Inner Child

When I first got to know my Inner Child, it seemed like she was a sad, shy little thing. Often she wouldn’t appear when I sat and called to her, and then if she did, she cried a lot. I needed to learn to sit still and be patient, not commanding her but being ready to listen.

It was after I knew her a bit that the memories of abuse came back, and then my little girl was very, very needy. Every morning she needed to sit in my lap and cry and be comforted. I learned a lot by listening to her and seeing how her fears were triggered in everyday life when people were angry or demanding or distant.

Some time later, when I was right in the depths of the feelings of betrayal and grief, my inmost little girl wanted me to be right there with her, merge completely. It was then that my therapist said, "No, you need to visit her and then return.  Becoming her and staying in that place of fear and despair is not going to help." This was the first time I learned clearly to set a limit with my inner child.

There’s another part of me who likes to take over—I call her Eager Girl. This aspect of my Inner Child is just bursting with energy and ready to go anywhere. She loves to get involved in projects and go on adventures. One time I dreamed that she wanted me to throw her the keys to my red sports car so she could start up. That’s when I learned that she doesn’t get to drive the car. She’s wonderful and eager, but my inner grownup needs to be in charge and get her to take rests, to make space for the other aspects of being.

It's quite a rich and exciting family that lives inside me!

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