Who is your Inner Child?

Last month, we learned that 95% of us in unconscious and that the language that this Unconsciousness speaks is archetypes, patterns of behaviour that we work through during our lives in order to find ourselves. According to the American Medical Intuitive, Caroline Myss, each of us works mainly through twelve major archetypes, four of which we all have in common.

The first of these shared archetypes The Child. The Child represents safety, loyalty and family and teaches us how to go from dependency to self responsibility. We first meet The Child in fairy tales and one of its most common aspects is The Orphan. For example, Cinderella’s mother dies and her father goes away, leaving her to be bullied by her wicked stepmother and her daughters. She has to endure bullying and injustice but her good nature wins out and she gets her Prince in the end. The Orphan reflects the fear of abandonment and forced solitude and loneliness is its cry but, if we work with the archetype, it will teach us how to grow up independently, reinvent ourselves and become self responsible. As with all archetypes, The Orphan has a shadow aspect. This manifests when the wounds of abandonment and rejection stop us from growing up and discovering how to live alone gracefully.

The Wounded Child is another version of The Child archetype, this time seen through the lens of the abuse, neglect and trauma suffered during childhood. Its shadow aspect may manifest as an abiding sense of self-pity and a tendency to blame parents for everything, but the person who works through the Wounded Child archetype can ultimately learn compassion, forgiveness and how to be of service to others.

The Magical Child represents the part of us that is both enchanted and enchanting, seeing the potential for beauty in everything and embodying qualities of wisdom and courage in the face of difficult circumstances. Anne Frank was a Magical Child who believed in the potential of love in everyone even though, as a Jew, she faced death from the Nazis. Its shadow is pessimism, depression and a retreat into fantasy, which can be as a result of the ridiculing of a Magical Child’s dreams by cynical adults.

The Nature Child has a particular affinity with animals and combines tender, emotional qualities with inner toughness and an innate ability to survive. However, the shadow side can manifest as cruelty to animals and a disregard of nature.

The Eternal Child manifests as a determination to remain eternally young. Peter Pan resists growing up, determined to live a life outside the boundaries of conventional adulthood. The shadow aspect manifests as an unwillingness to grow up and embrace the responsible life of an adult and can be seen in unreliability and the overuse of cosmetic surgery.

There are many more versions of The Child archetype and searching inside the Self is the only way to determine which we are working through. Common to them all is the journey from neediness and dependence to self-responsibility that this archetype helps us to go on. Sometimes it is most easily identifiable from its wounds of abandonment, loss and rejection and can be heard in language such as: “I can’t”, “It’s not fair”, “It’s your fault”, and “You don’t love me”.  So listen to what you  say, most particularly when your buttons are pushed and you default into unconscious behaviour. The trick is to recognise what is happening and then using The Child to grow up, toughen up, accept consequences, forgive, be compassionate and embrace self-responsibility. It can be a tough challenge, but, if we don’t take it, we will experience failure, defeat and be unable to engage in the game of life.

Most of all, keep in mind that it is The Child in us that enables us to play. Embracing our Inner Child will not only reveal our wounds so that we can begin to heal them, but it will also show us how to have fun!

Happy April!

Love Laurelle