I spend time each morning sitting and talking with my inner children, so it surprised me when an interviewer from ZenTactics asked me “How do you know if you’re in touch with your Inner Child?” But on second thought, the question made more sense. This inner child stuff can be nebulous and changeable.
When I first began doing inner child work, I felt the Child’s presence mainly through grief and pain. I experienced great waves of sadness whenever she was near—the pain of betrayal, the grief of realizing how my parents had failed me, the loss of my illusions about my family. It was often hard to stay with the little one and not run away from her pain.
It took longer for me to learn to feel the tenderness and love towards this child and learn to listen to her subtler feelings.
These days our time together (what I call my “Big Jane” and the little ones) is varied. Some days I feel the presence of my Good Girl and her anxieties about the world and I need to soothe and reassure her. Sometimes I sit with the intention of being present to the inner children and I feel blank or confused, only gradually getting a sense of their needs. Some days I feel a yearning for love and I sit in my imaginary cabin and rock for a long time in the rocking chair, simply hugging and loving the inner child.
In this way, being present to the inner child is a meditation. Things are always changing and it takes some clear intent for me to be patient with the experience as it comes and goes.