#26 - Bringing My Inner Little Boy Into My Adult Life
Updated: Aug 29
by KC Johnson
#Our Inner Child is always with us, it is our responsibility as adults to not forget about its inclusion in our adult world by making it feel loved and safe.
Making Him Feel Safe -- At Last!
For forty-five years I have been slowly discovering just how lost my inner little boy has been feeling as I struggled to understand my complicated adult mind. Turns out, linking with my little boy once again has been the most important step I could take in my self-healing. It’s more than just making the link, the real importance is understanding how central a role he has always played in my life all of these years.
The other evening as I prepared for sleep, my mind began exploring an even deeper awareness of the life I experienced when very young, and what emotions I felt during those experiences. As I thanked my little boy for his amazing strengths and relived some of those early feelings I noticed that my fingers were rubbing knuckles and squeezing tightly together. A visceral reaction to re-experiencing those long-held emotions. I knew this was an important area needing more exploration.
Rather than avoiding his long-held distressing emotions, I purposefully immersed myself into those old feelings trying to discover even more deeply held emotions. I was too young to remember specific events, but I could ‘re-feel’ some of those early senses that were the source of my dis-ease.
As I ‘re-felt’ some of those emotions I more clearly realized the burden my little boy had been carrying all of these years. Moving into adulthood I basically left my little boy behind to deal with his difficult emotions by himself. As we are all destined to do, he too had to devise methods for enduring his burdens. Using various forms of judgment he tasked my micro-voices with creating a false-front image for the world to see, thus protecting him from the painful held-emotions that he did not know how to process.
(I want to be clear that my parents were loving, supportive, and dedicated as much as 1950s parents could be struggling to build a family. They were the products of their own childhood dynamics and the social standards that eschewed emotional security for physical safety. Even today, most parents do not provide the emotional nurturing needs for touch, holding, and acceptance every child requires to develop healthy, loving, and sharing sense-of-self identities. The arbitrary societal standards for raising children are the central driving forces responsible for the nature of national emotional health. Most researchers gloss over this basic nurturing need.)
By re-experiencing my little boy’s pain I began re-connecting with him. Without criticizing him in any way, I wanted him to know that he has done an amazing job silently helping me as I created my adult-self. But I still had to make him feel safe so I imagined pulling him to my chest and hugging him deeply. This has always been a need of mine since we were not a hugging, cuddling, kissing family and those nurturing needs have never been fulfilled. He is an ever-present part of me now and the peace this has brought both of us is as healing as anything I’ve ever experienced.
Making our Inner Child feel as wanted, safe, and loved as possible are the most basic emotions we all have. When that does not happen our Child develops methods for trying to create its own safety. It is too much to expect our young Inner Child to handle these difficult emotions in logical, adult ways, so it develops techniques that evolve into the behavioral characteristics we see as our personality. The greater the intensity felt from our incomplete nurturing and love, the more strongly will be our behavioral reactions towards ourselves and towards others. Our sense-of-self becomes a reflection of the intensity of emotional experiences being held on to by our Inner Child.
With as much work as I have done already to untangle my early emotions and traumas, my talks with my little boy still tell me there are even deeper layers I’ve not been aware of that are yet to be discovered. As long as I make it clear to my little boy that he will be with me always in my adult life, and as long as I recognize his importance in every aspect of my adult life, then I believe he will finally feel safe and loved.
If I do not embrace him fully as an important part of me, if I do not listen to him, or if I forget about him once again, then my dysfunctional behaviors and thoughts will reappear. If he returns to being a forgotten, disowned part of me, then he will again constantly affects my daily thoughts and actions in attempts to get me to accept and love him. The consequences of disowning him again could be more dire than I can imagine as my little boy has committed to loving my ‘adult me’ and allowed himself to be loved.
A precept that I believe is true with our soul efforts to help us learn vital life lessons is, if we don’t learn the message sent to us, then the next attempts sent to us will be more intense, more consequential until we get the message and make changes in our lives. That same principle may be true for my inner little boy. If I disown him again, then his efforts to get my love and attention may be more forceful than I want.
How To Start The Journey To Discover
Your Earliest Inner Child Emotions
It may seem impossible to reach back in time to re-connect with your frightened and lonely little child and re-nourish the missing emotions from childhood. This connection between your early Inner Child and your present adult self may be the fundamental need for genuine healing and your ability to love another person as well as yourself. Back in the late 1980s when I first experienced Voice Dialoguing work and discovered that my little boy just wanted me to play with him, to love him, and to not forget about him, I doubted that I could have grown to where I am now with my self-awareness.
What I have since discovered is that my little boy is amazingly forgiving, incredibly persistent, and more durable in handling his lifetime of emotional baggage than I ever thought possible of myself being. When my sincere loving and nurturing thoughts were re-introduced into his life, he gladly, if a bit warily, opened his heart to me without judgment, without retribution for my past absence.
My concept of our inner dynamics may be a good place to start your self-exploration. At birth our Inner Child begins developing the physical skills for exploring the world around it. These are pure skills not affected by the world of people it will have to learn to interact with. When human contact is loving, fully nurturing, supportive, and accepting the child will develop a healthy sense-of-self belief. It will feel safe and will build healthy relationships with others. The original pure early micro-voice skills will remain intact and undistorted.
But when the interactions with people are less than loving and supportive, or even in the extreme abusive, whether perceived or from real traumas, the pure micro-voices begin degrading. The healthy ideal sense-of-self begins being distorted as we start accumulating clues that we are not fully loved and accepted. To deal with these challenging emotions our Inner Child begins the second aspect of our being by tasking the pure micro-voices with protecting it from feeling unsafe. Our re-tasked micro-voices begin seeing the world through emotionally distorted perceptions reflecting our deepest sense of our worthiness.
A child can only develop these tools using the youthful level of skills at that time, and the most effective tool is judgment. Our Inner Child can protect itself by insulating itself from hurtful attitudes, it can strike out at perpetrators, and it can learn to manipulate. These learned behaviors become the core components of our personality based on the distorted views it has learned..
My thirds aspect of our being is our connection with our soul. It is the non-judgmental guide helping us discover how to love, our ultimate life purpose. It speaks through our inner voice I call our aware self. When I communicated with my inner little boy I was speaking through my aware self. We hear it in our quiet moments coming from the deep recesses of our consciousness. It never judges, does not go on long rants, and is always present if only we learn to listen to it.
Most people only interact with their daily experiences through their judgmental micro-voices. These voices are reflections of the sense-of-self our Inner Child feels about itself. It is very difficult dis-engaging our Inner Child from a micro-voice because each voice is busy protecting an aspect of the Inner Child and cannot give us non-judgmental answers. They are the protective barrier our Child uses to hide behind. It is important to focus our search on our sense of self and not on our micro-voices with their protective methods.
If there is any judgment involved during this deep conversation with our Inner Child, then it is not our pure aware voice speaking with our child but a micro-voice interfering with the conversation. We may need to ask our micro-voices for permission to let us speak directly to our inner little child. This process will take as long as needed for our Inner Child to begin trusting that we are sincere and open to hearing what it has to say. Once our Child feels safe enough it will begin sharing the outer layers of fearful emotions it is holding on to.
The micro-voices are not the villains here, no matter how intense their reactions my be to our requests to talk with our Child. They are our Child’s protectors, and they are the clues to what emotions we have been holding inside us all of these years. It is possible to make peace with our micro-voices once they believe we only want to help them, too.
Imagine Peeling Away The Layers Of An Onion
Our Inner child’s protective layers represent the multiple times we have had emotionally traumatic experiences. A more traumatized person will have more layers, more tightly held on to, that can bring tears to our eyes as we re-live those old, long-held, and often forgotten experiences. Less intense experiences may be easier to access, more easily peeled away. This is where I recommend exploring first.
But we also may be holding onto very deep, very early emotional perceptions that can be much more difficult to discover. Perhaps that is why it took me forty-five years to finally realize there is more to explore after making several attempts to release those early fears. Work first with what is easily available and don’t push. The truths will expose themselves when they are ready.
We need patience with our progress. Each new discovery slightly changes how we see our inner-self, meaning our many personality characteristics begin changing who we have been. Like taking a marble from the bottom of a jar of marbles, all marbles slightly change positions. We gradually begin healing our wounded Inner Child.
My sense is that our micro-voices and our Inner Child do not want to continue carrying the heavy, judgment-ladened emotional baggage. It is our job as adults to figure out how to release the burdens by helping our Inner Child begin feeling safer. It’s finally time for us to become the loving, fully nurturing parent our Child has craved all these years.
Just as I see myself being in partnership with my soul, I see myself in partnership with my inner little boy. My purpose needs to be as a loving mentor with my Inner Child. My role is to uncover the areas within me that were not fully nurtured and fulfill those missing needs. As I do this I believe I can re-program my sense-of-self identities that became distorted from my childhood distresses.
My mantra for life is love every moment without fear, without judgment.It is working for me. - kc