The Inner Child Longs for Connection
The Inner Child is created when s/he experiences the trauma of separation. It is the experience of being separate from all that was needed: a sense of protection and safety, and feeling loved and cared for.
This experience was probably the rupture from being held by a loving mother as if snatched from her arms.
After the young child is hurt by feeling separate, strategies are created to find that comfortable loving place again. The search for love begins. The search for connection begins.
On the spiritual level, it’s the feeling of separation when exiled from the Garden of Eden. The soul longs to return home to Oneness, the Garden of Eden (https://www.amazon.com/One-God-Awakening-Through-Spirit/dp/099657851X).
However, on the human level, when the young wounded inner child chooses strategies for life, it’s essentially seeking to return to being loved, protected, and safe.
Sometimes adults find their hearts satisfied by a partner/spouse/friend who loves well enough to satisfy the inner child’s broken heart…sometimes.
Also adults may find their hearts full when they are connected to a true community.
This is the story of Roseta.
The Richness of Community
The first story in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers (https://www.amazon.com/Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell/dp/0316017930) is about a town called Roseta, Pennsylvania. It is the result of thousands of immigrants from Roseta, Italy who escaped poverty to find the kind of work they knew in the quarries of Pennsylvania.
The migration started with 9 villagers. When news reached home, more and more came, until a town was formed of these immigrants in their new country. Homes and other buildings were erected. Businesses, gardens, churches grew to become a complete town.
No one would know about this village today were it not for a medical curiosity. A physician reported extremely low rates of heart attacks there when heart attacks were of major concern to the medical establishment across the country.
Medical investigators flocked to Roseta to determine an answer to this medical phenomenon. Very thorough study was made of every conceivable factor related to cardiac disease. Nothing was found. The health of Roseta’s citizens wasn’t due to genetics, diet, exercise.
The medical investigators concluded that the community was the source of health.
The Answer to Health was Community
The connections that existed in generations of a family living together, townspeople greeting and sharing time together on the streets, enjoying many meals together–living in a way that they felt connected through knowing, supporting, and caring for each other.
This explained their good health.
What the Inner Child lost was a sense of being connected to what was essential to life—connection with a source that would provide safety, protection, nurturance. It makes sense that this child would seek to fill the emptiness in the heart with a felt connection, connected to a source of love.
Oftentimes in the search for love, unconditional love the adult focuses attention on individual relationships in friendship and romantic relationships. Not finding that love, an individual may stop looking, especially as the decades pass.
What if the search for love could be broaden to include community, perhaps there would be more hope.
What do we think of when we think about our health?
Whenever the usual American patient wakes up to an alarm about health usually by way of a heart attack or diagnosis of cancer the immediate and common focus in on physical health.
In fact, our general attitude about health attends to physical factors such as diet and exercise and perhaps, our level of stress.
We don’t normally think of lowering our stress levels by seeking community, or related to a need for connection and for love.
Aren’t the Cries of Our Hearts a Cry for Love?
The story about Roseta, Pennsylvnia screams out the message about the essential need for community and love in our lives.
It may seem like a stretch to you, but doing inner child work is about creating connection like Roseta. That is, taking in the essence of community—the kind of relationship that is secure, stable, and comforting.
It’s about love. It’s a connection that the inner child yearns for.
How does one love the inner child?
I use to healing the wounded heart, an inner child process set in the context of an imaginal space: a space where two gather for a common purpose of healing, allowing a greater wisdom to show up–a space of imagination, intuition, inspiration where all possibilities exist.
It’s a space different from everyday consciousness. Linearity is foreign. So is logic and analysis. Not tight but loose.
In this place, the resources and sources are infinite. Therefore, a perfect place for healing.
A young inner child younger than 5 or 6 is invited to come forth so the compassionate adult can be with him/her. The child has a wounded heart.
Rapport is encouraged. The adult is asked to make a connection by being present, showing care and concern, seeing and acknowledging the young child.
The experience is intended to be heart-to-heart, a corrective experience, to the inner child’s sense of aloneness.
It’s like an antidote to the trauma of separation and can heal the heart.
How more basic and important can it be?
Love starts at home. In this case, the home of our heart. What more important a purpose can we have in life but to meet split-off child-selves with love and compassion for integration?
This is the personal healing of an inner child. The Roseta community represents an alternative to provide safety and protection that young heart yearn for.
Perhaps it makes sense then how groups can be attractive and address a deep longing, depending on the nature of the group.
Or, that adult collect their family “of choice” by finding kindred spirits to bring the sense of connection and protection that young inner child seeks.
copyright, Anne K Uemura PhD, March 2020