Our spiritual evolution depends heavily upon our recovery from our worst addiction -- our addiction to the victim archetype, which traps us in the past and saps our life energy. The inner child represents nothing but a metaphor for our woundedness and a cutesy form of victim consciousness. Wrapping our victim consciousness in baby clothes does not make it any more acceptable. Invoking our inner child still represents addictive behavior.
Please note, I am not talking about the playful, creative and life-affirming inner child, such as the one described by Richard Bach, [Running from Safety] nor the part of ourselves that comes forward to inspire and to awaken us. I am talking about the whining little brat that lives in the back room of our mind, that unhappy victim who always can be relied upon to blame everyone else for our unhappiness. This is the one we pandered to at all those inner child workshops of the '80s. For the sake of our spiritual evolution and of our eventual release from the victim archetype, we must bring the inner brat's life lovingly to a close. I, therefore, propose that you hold a funeral and pronounce him or her dead.
If you choose to go ahead with this exercise, you will probably grieve the loss of your inner child, and that is okay. No doubt your inner child has given you solace and comfort in your pain over the years, but now it is time to move on. Radical Forgiveness releases you from the need to hold on to the woundedness, so allow yourself to release your inner child now.
As long as you hold on to your past wounds, Radical Forgiveness remains impossible. Holding onto your inner child only holds you back, because that child represents your past wounds. While you want to move on with your life, you maybe surprised to find that your inner child may want to move on, too! To release your inner child, try the following meditation.
The Funeral Meditation
Sit comfortably, and take three deep breaths allowing your body to relax as your breath leaves your body. Notice any areas of your body that remain tight. Consciously relax them, knowing that during this meditation your body will continue to relax with every breath you take, and soon you will be profoundly relaxed from head to toe. Now look inside yourself and find the room in which sits the young person who has willingly carried your pain. Find the inner child who holds your memories of being abused, ignored, betrayed, abandoned, unaccepted, unloved.
As you come upon this little person in that room, notice that he or she is surrounded by ledgers and score lists.
The walls of the room are covered with people's names, what they did to you and what punishment they deserve. In the ledgers, the child keeps a careful tally of all the times someone victimized you and what it cost you. Notice the joylessness of this room. As you look at this young child, realize how sad he or she really feels locked down there alone with the pain, mired down in victim consciousness. Realizing that it is time for a change, you walk across the room and throw open the windows to let in the light. As the sun floods into the room, the ink on the wall charts starts to fade and the books start to crumble and become dust. The lists on the wall also fall to the ground and crumble. Look at the little person who has lived in this room for all those years keeping resentment scores day by day. See his or her broad smile and joyous expression.
"Now I am free to go," the child says. "Go where?" You ask.
"I'm free to go to the next place. I should have left years ago, but I've been waiting for you to release me from this job."
Suddenly you notice that this person, who was young and childlike such a short while ago, is growing old and becoming wizened and grey-haired right before your eyes. Yet, a great peace has replaced his or her sadness. "Thank you for letting me go," he/she gasps, lying down slowly on a couch.
You say, "I'm sorry it's taken so long to bring light into this room. I'm sorry I've held you back."
"That's quite alright," comes the quiet reply. "It really is okay. Time is just an illusion anyway. Good-bye." With that, the little person dies, looking peaceful and serene. Lovingly, you wrap the little person in a white cloth and take the body upstairs and out into the light. There waits a horse and buggy, and angels hover nearby. A choir of angels sings softly. All the people who have ever been in your life are waiting to pay their respects. All past hurts are forgiven. Love is everywhere. The bells on the horse and buggy ring softly as the entourage slowly begins its journey to the hill where a grave has been prepared. At the graveside, everyone sings and great joy envelops the group. Your angels are with you and support you as you say your last farewell. See the little person being lowered lovingly and gently into the grave as the celestial choir sings. As a stone is moved over the grave, you feel a new sense of freedom and love moving through you.
You walk to the bottom of the hill where you find a fast running stream. You wash your hands and your face in the water and see your reflection in the water. You feel the cleansing water of the stream running through your being, taking with it all the dust and debris from the room where the little person once dwelt. Hear the sound of the water babbling over the rocks. See the sun sparkling on the water, and feel the warmth of the sun on your body. Notice the green of the surrounding fields and the many bright flowers around. All is well. Open your eyes whenever you feel ready to do so.
Being without your wounded inner child will feel strange for a while, but you also will begin to notice some positive changes. You will feel lighter, less burdened, more in the moment. Your life energy will increase as you retrieve the energy that previously was spent holding onto the wounds of the inner child.
Be prepared to encounter problems with close friends with whom you previously spent time sharing wounds. They will not like the change in you, for they will see that you no longer give your wounds power. Since they remain committed to their wounds, they may be uncomfortable with you; they may even begin feeling as if you have betrayed them. If you are member of a support group that thrives on the sharing of wounds, such as Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) or Incest Survivors, be prepared to disconnect yourself from the group. You probably will find your need to attend group meetings diminishing anyway, but, if you are the least bit co-dependent, you might still feel as if leaving the group is a challenge. Stick to your guns, and do not take personally other people's attempts to disconnect from you or talk of betrayal. These people will come around eventually and probably will want some of what they see you have gained.
This article is excerpted from the book:
Radical Forgiveness, ©2002,
by Colin C. Tipping.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Global 13 Publications.
Info/Order this book.
About the Author
Colin Tipping is an award winning author, international speaker and workshop leader. Educated at London University, he is the Founder/Director of the Institute for RADICAL Forgiveness Therapy and Coaching, Inc., and founder of the International Center for Reconciliation and Mediation Through Radical Forgiveness, Inc, a non-profit corporation. His most recent other book is Reconciliation Through RADICAL Forgiveness. Visit his website at www.radicalforgiveness.com.