Seeing the best in life's challenges

Healing the Inner Child

on October 12, 2012

The following is a story that speaks for itself.  Thank you, Mathew and Nola, for sharing.

The true story that follows is a somewhat mystical account of my inner child and an unexpected healing that occurred with the help of my guardian angel. I have decided to share this personal story here in order to shed light on an important subject that doesn’t get a lot of serious attention. Prior to my healing, I hadn’t been aware that my inner child could be perceived as a distinct being and that he was my conduit to creativity, imagination and play. Nor did I realize that as long as my inner child was unhealthy, I was unlikely to fully realize my authentic self and highest purpose.

♥ ~~~ ♥

Early one morning in 2004, I was reading some old personal journals when my wife, Nola saw me and asked how I was feeling. “Not so good,” I replied, prompting her to ask for clarification. Unfortunately, as much as I tried to communicate what was ailing me, all I could come up with was that I was dealing with issues having to do with self-worth, and I wasn’t dealing with them very well. No sooner had I said this, however, the words didn’t sit right with me. There was something else that was causing me to feel “not so good,” but try as I might, the only other thing I could come up with was that I was feeling disappointed with myself. Beyond that, I hadn’t a clue. Although I was suddenly compelled to read to Nola an odd little piece of stream-of-consciousness writing I had come across earlier that morning in my journals — something I had written several months earlier.

“Once upon a time, in a far away land, there lived a Prince who was tormented by his illness. The King was so fed up with this Prince that he locked him away in the castle and forbid him to go out until he found joy in his heart. But the Prince could only find unhappiness and misery and so, in the castle he stayed forever and ever.”

No sooner did I finish reading it, Nola reacted by saying that it was unjust of the King to have locked the Prince away in the castle. “That was not helping the Prince,” she said, “that was cruel.” Well, I don’t know what I had expected her to say, but it wasn’t that! Because as many times as I had read that little story, and I had read it many times, never once had it occurred to me that the King was cruel. But suddenly, Nola made me see it that way. And then she really floored me. “You are not responsible for the fact that your father locked you away,” she said. “You understand me, right? You are not responsible and you need to forgive yourself. You did nothing wrong.”

I don’t know why I was so incapable of admitting that, but I was! I thought I had forgiven myself for the choices I had made in the past. And I thought I had forgiven my father for the choices he had made. But when Nola suddenly asked me to say the words, “I am not responsible for the fact that my father locked me in my room, and I am now free to walk out the door,” it took a good two minutes before I could actually bring myself to say those words. When I think back to that moment now, I find it fascinating how each time I thought about repeating those words, I laughed in a nervous and embarrassed way until finally, under unrelenting pressure from my wife, I said the words.

When I wrote about this event in my journal later that day, I wrote that after I managed to say the words, I felt like I had emotionally distanced myself in order to say them. Thus, I hadn’t really said them at all. Realizing that, I suddenly wondered if I subconsciously agreed with the King – did I really believe I deserved to be locked away until I found happiness. But then Nola’s point of view drifted into my field of awareness. “The Prince was ill and he needed help. As the Prince’s father, it was the King’s responsibility to help his child overcome his illness in any and every way that he could.” And with that realization, I finally accepted the fact that my father had been truly incapable of loving me, and I shed some painful tears.

Just to clarify, it’s not that I had ever been locked away in a literal sense. But I was definitely a victim of physical, mental and emotional abuse at the hands of my father. And clearly, as much as I thought I was over it by the age of 44, I still had unresolved issues. Also, in order for the rest of this story to make sense, you need to know that just after Nola and I were married (in 1985), I changed my name from David to Mathew because in my teenage years I began to experience a disassociation where I no longer identified with David. By my early twenties, this disassociation had become so severe, I recall a time when a friend shouted my name from across the street and I didn’t respond. Not because I chose to ignore him. The truth was, I heard someone shouting “David,” but I didn’t realize that David was me, so I kept right on walking.

A few years later, when I finally changed my name, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was effectively sealing little David’s fate. Thus, when the painful tears suddenly rose to the surface as I was writing about this incident in my journal (the moment I finally accepted the fact that my father had been incapable of loving me), I found myself strangely detached from the tears. “Why am I so detached,” I wondered. And then suddenly I understood. It was because my inner child, David was crying, not Mathew the adult. So I let David cry while in my mind I called upon the angels to be with us and help us. Strangely, I felt the little boy starting to surface through his tears, and I tried to encourage him. “I love you,” David, I said in my mind. But I could feel that it was hard for him to break through — by then, he had been locked away for so many years. “It’s okay, David,” I cooed in my mind. “Everything’s gonna be okay.” And finally, David surfaced and tried to say something through his tears. It sounded very much like, “I love God. I love God.” Because he was crying and trying to talk at the same time, I wasn’t exactly sure if that was what he was saying. But the thought did cross my mind, “I wonder if David has been mad at God all these years for allowing him to be locked away as he has been?”

As I sat in my office and continued to write down the details of this experience, no sooner did I finish writing about the possibility that David had been mad at God, stream of consciousness words began to flow off my fingertips – words of love to my wounded inner child:

“You are free, David. I love you and you are free to come out of the castle and go anywhere in the world you want to be. You may go forth with all the wonder and joy that’s in your heart, without restriction, without judgment. You are allowed to be whoever you wish to be, in any way you see fit. No one will criticize you for the way you choose to exist and wonder at the world. It is your world to discover and to do whatever you wish with it. God bless you, David. Go forth. You have existed in the castle for too long. Now that you are free, go forth and enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds and smells and tastes and beauty and wonder of the fantastic world around you. It is okay. You shall see. Everything is okay for you. It is safe. You are protected and nurtured and no harm will come to you ever again. God bless you little David. God bless you.”

A few minutes later, I thanked my guardian angel for participating as he had in the events that transpired earlier in the day. I told him that I now knew that I had unresolved forgiveness issues, and that my inner child was still very wounded and needed a lot of love. Was there something he could recommend that I should do to continue along the road to health and well-being? Here was his answer:

“Thanks indeed to Nola for recognizing the truth in your story about the King and the Prince. We gave you that story several months ago for this very reason. You needed to understand that you had been treated in an unloving way and that you did not deserve this treatment. It is an unfortunate experience that you arranged to have. And you have been dealing with its unfortunate consequences for many decades. God bless you Mathew AND David. You are both one and the same and neither is more valid or worthy to live out their life than the other. You both must coexist; your inner child and your adult persona. Together you will find much happiness. But remember, it is your inner child that has been very neglected and badly treated for your entire life. He will need a lot of love and encouragement to come out of the castle and stay out in the light of day where he belongs. God bless him and you, Mathew, for having the courage to look within and find this little boy. You have done a wonderful thing by letting his pain leave your body. There will be more pain. But it is all good. You are forgiving yourself and others, and in the process, you are recovering your lost creative child.”

Later that day, with Nola’s encouragement, I cleaned out my office and threw away a lot of useless paper that had been sitting on a shelf above the computer table where I regularly sat to write. In its place I suddenly felt a strong desire to hang some old framed pictures I had stored in a box that little David had drawn many years ago when he was seven. I wanted to show David love and respect now that he had ventured out of the castle, and I felt that by hanging up his art, that was as good a place as any to start. ~ Mathew


One response to “Healing the Inner Child

  1. […] Healing the Inner Child. Share this:PrintEmailTwitterFacebookMorePinterestDiggTumblrLinkedInStumbleUponRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted on October 18, 2012, in Words of Wisdom From Others and tagged awareness, coaching, Emotions, forgiveness, God, heart, inner child, Karma, life, love, pray, sadness, self love, self worth, selfhelp, soul, spirituality, thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment […]

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