Could this be why do we overeat or smoke or do other repetitive behaviours?
A great deal has been written about “The Child Within”. Bruce Davis, in his book “The Magical Child Within” (1982) explains how the way we live our lives depends to a very large extent on the relationship we have with our child within. He bases some of his ideas on the theory of Transactional Analysis, and sees the child as that spontaneous part of us – the child we once were, but also the child that is very much alive and present in us each moment of each day. How we relate or choose not to relate to this child determines to a very large extent not only how we live our lives, but also our quality of life.
The only way we can ignore the child within is by running away – and in some cases this can be quite literal. Davis explains how we are taught to ignore our child from quite an early stage of our lives, and how we become so ‘busy’ doing other things that the voice of our child is lost somewhere in the noise and confusion. We may engage in repetitive behaviours, such as overeating or smoking or drinking in an effort to still the muted cries of our child. Sometimes we live our entire lives in a way, which totally ignores our inner child. We may become very severe parent type people, who keep the child locked away in a high tower, like Rapunzel in the fairy tale, or we may drown the child in constant sensory input – whether it is work, drink, food or pleasure. There are many patterns of acting out, which deny the reality of the way we feel inside – the feelings of our inner child.
Davis’ solution to this almost universal problem is that we allow ourselves a second childhood. He speaks not only of the process of growth from within, but discusses how this impacts on the external world, just as the presence of a small physical child affects others. Just as a physical child needs support from the environment, so our child needs an external world that is safe and supportive if it is to venture out. This can mean something as simple as setting aside time for yourself to do the things you need to do, without being imposed upon by the needs of others. Sometimes this is difficult – but even an hour or two in a ‘safe’ place will be Good Enough.
So, let us assume that we choose to begin looking at our lives in this perhaps unusual way and that we want to listen to that little voice and respond to the feeling inside. What can we do? How can we begin to free ourselves from the voices of others telling us what to do, or how to live our lives?
There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”. Download chapter 1 free now!