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Section 2 - Changing our automatic responses

Order from chaos

When our thoughts are filled with negativity (chaos), it can be challenging to find peace and calm (order). When something is worrying or angering us, it can be almost impossible to stop thinking about it. The thought keeps endlessly repeating and after a while, we may not even hear it anymore - but it is still repeating. Without resolution, these often-repeated thoughts create accidents, illness and chronic confusion for us by lowering our vibrational frequency and keeping us stuck in feedback loops, to say nothing of creating karmic situations.

Resolving our inner conflicts frees our conscious mind to dwell in the current moment. We can focus on the matter at hand and this improves our memory and our ability to solve problems.

Figure 07: Chaotic thoughts, attitudes and emotions

Figure 07: Order from chaos

Automatic responses

The key to changing our automatic responses to our daily life experiences is to discover our reasons for choosing to respond the way we do. Those reasons can be found deep within our childhood memories and require focused effort to reveal. Inner child work is the practice of recovering the memories and resolving the issues they created. This initiates the spiritual decluttering process. Begin by building a relationship with your inner child, and then with your guide.

Build a relationship with your Inner Child

Start doing things to support and honour yourself and to encourage self-expression. Do the things that you loved to do (or wished you could do) as a child: drawing, colouring, finger-painting, running, playing skip-rope or hopscotch, hula-hooping, writing in a diary, or whatever gave you comfort and/or joy. Use your imagination. These activities will help your inner child to feel acknowledged, respected, safe and secure. Aim to do this at least once or twice per each week, even if only for 30 minutes or an hour. Whatever you do, try to memorialize your thoughts and experiences by journaling.

Build a relationship with your Guide

We are accompanied in life by our guide/teaching angel who is a messenger of God; a divine representative. The guides are the bridge connecting us with the Universal Intelligence. Nothing escapes their notice. Nothing in our experience is ignored or overlooked. Our thoughts are every bit as audible to our guide as the spoken word is to us. In fact, our entire life experience is recorded in our akashic record.

Learning to communicate consciously with our guide, by asking questions and, just as importantly, by listening for answers, opens the door to finding the root causes of our negative behaviours. Armed with this knowledge, we become able to resolve the difficulties in our lives and begin to meet our soul’s purpose.

The process of inner child work

Identify a negative behaviour

The first step is to identify any negative behaviour that causes problems for us. Could be addictions, chronic lateness, verbal sniping, withholding communication as a punishment, pathological lying, feeling like a victim, or any pattern that you wish you could change.

This can be challenging, since we can tend to feel fully justified in doing whatever we are doing. Until we accept that we are not perfect; that we do things that hurt ourselves and others; and that our motives may not always be pure, we remain unable to change. Learning the root cause of negative behaviours can also be challenging since our childhood memories are not always complete or accurate. This is where our guide can help.

Learn its root cause
The second step is to recall the traumatic event that triggered the negative pattern. This can be challenging if we dismiss an event simply because it was not necessarily traumatic in the clinical sense, or if we believe that early childhood events cannot be recalled. Ask your guide to show you the event while in a meditative state, and then pay attention to your thoughts. They will reveal your original reaction to the event. Your body is likely to feel how you felt then. Download the spiritual questionnaire if you need help to recall details about your childhood.

Note: If the thought pattern that drives a negative behaviour is not changed, the behaviour will manifest at the next triggering event.

Figure 08: The process of inner child work

Figure 08: The process of inner child work

Recall the thoughts, attitudes and emotions that you felt when it happened. Recall the decision that said, "I am going to  (fill in the blank)". This could be something as simple as “I am never going to cry again” or as complex as “I am not worthy of respect or love” or “I am bad”. The decision you made then is the root cause that continues to create negativity in your life because it was made without understanding. Unresolved experiences tend to replay in our thoughts as we continually try to figure out why they happened. We get triggered whenever we are reminded either of the event, or of the conclusion we drew from it. Inner child work enables us to learn our motivations and validates our painful experiences. It also helps us to see that we were not solely responsible for their occurrence because after all, as children, we are simply not responsible.

Work with your guide to gain full understanding about why the event happened, why you reacted in the way that you did, and why you continue doing the behaviour. As adults, we can look at our childhood experiences and find understanding that is not possible for young children. This is not to place blame, but to accept responsibility for our part and to recognize that, as children, we were not solely responsible for their occurrence.

Grieve the losses it has caused

The third step is to feel the emotions and think the thoughts that could not be expressed as a child. Grieve the losses that were felt, and say the angry thoughts out loud, if possible. Cry, cry, cry. Let it all out, as scary as that may sound, for crying is an important part of the physical (and spiritual) healing process. Unresolved, repressed or suppressed issues create harmful toxins in the body and crying provides an escape route for them. Acknowledge the pain that made us choose to react the way we did, without understating its importance.

These events were important, for they have made us who we are today. It does not matter whether anyone else thinks that our experiences were easier or worse than theirs. What is important is that they happened to us, they hurt us, they were traumatic for us. All our experiences have helped to create all the thoughts, attitudes and emotions, beliefs and inner conflicts that we have now, that are creating our negative behaviours.

Forgive

The fourth step is to forgive, both self and others. This is a crucial action. Without forgiveness, we remain stuck in the past, constantly replaying unresolved experiences in our thoughts, hoping that somehow we will be able to figure out why they happened, or that we will be able to magically transcend the experience just by remembering it.

Achieve peace

The final step is to appreciate the peace that comes from resolving an issue. Revel in it, and use the satisfaction as a reason to keep on working on yourself. Then it will be time to identify another negative behaviour and repeat the process.

Doing this self-work changes the ways in which we interact with others, and our family and friends may be less than enthusiastic when uninvited change is thrust upon them. However, do not wait for anyone’s permission or approval before starting this work. This is your life; this is your choice; only you may decide what is right for you.

Food for thought
Doing this work enables true ‘freedom of thought’ because
we learn to stop repeating the thoughts that create negative life patterns.

Identify another negative behaviour
Identify another negative behaviour and repeat the process. After all, we all have more than one bad habit. The reasons for our behaviours are multiple and intertwined, so there is always more understanding to be gained. Keep working toward inner peace and enlightenment.

Not doing this work puts us at risk for developing many chronic diseases, but don’t just take my word for it. Science is now proving that traumatic childhood experiences impact our health in adulthood - check out this TED Talks presentation: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime in which "Nadine Burke Harris reveals a little-understood, yet universal factor in childhood that can profoundly impact adult-onset disease."

About belief systems

Our core belief systems are incredibly powerful. Our self-esteem depends on them; they determine how we interpret and experience life. We begin forming them in childhood and our innate confirmation bias ensures that we continue to find them to be true.

Inner child work roots out negative or inaccurate beliefs (and thoughts, attitudes and emotions) and reveals the Universal Truth about them, rather than what we have come to accept as truth. Looking back on our childhood as adults, we can recall the thoughts we had as young children and find validation. Here is an example of what can happen if inner conflicts are left unresolved:

Many of the experiences we have as children are written off by our caregivers as being unimportant, or even worse, the Truth of the experiences becomes wrapped in their denial. We can end up believing that we are wrong or crazy or just plain bad (the source of many of our issues), so we must validate ourselves. Finding Universal Truth through meditation enables us to become strong and confident by ensuring that our beliefs are based in Truth, rather than having to rely on someone else’s biased version of our pivotal life vents.

Figure 09: Inner child work fits all my pieces together

Figure 09: Fitting all my pieces together

Next step

The next step on the path to spiritual awareness is learning to meditate in a new way.

Self-test

1. What is needed before beginning inner child work?

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We need to build a loving, supportive relationship with our inner child, as well as a functioning relationship with our guide.





2. What are the five steps of inner child work?


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  • Identify a negative behaviour or physical condition
  • Find its root cause
  • Grieve
  • Forgive
  • Identify another behaviour or condition and repeat the process






3. How do our belief systems impact our lives?


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Our self-esteem depends on them. For better or for worse, they determine how we interpret and experience life.

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© Copyright: Sheila A. McBeath 1999-2022  
All Rights Reserved     ISBN  978-1-7753521-2-9
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