The yearning soul-child inside you, the one who has a sense-memory of her connection to the Creator—this soul-child is your spiritual inner child. Your deepest, hidden inner child, the one that you might recall as a long-ago dream.
And though you recognize the term “inner-child”, psychology’s inner child is a construct that is not the same as your spiritual inner child.
First brought to our attention by Jung, the psychological concept of the inner child has been used as a way to help us get in touch with our feelings of vulnerability and as a way to heal shame, fear, and anger. This inner child refers to all of our mental-emotional memories stored in the sub-conscious from conception until right before puberty.
But the psychological inner-child concept can be limiting. We might use it as a way of experiencing not only her innocence, but her neediness, her dependency on others, her dysfunction (caused by the dysfunction around her), her victimhood, even. And her raw and often painful emotions.
Was there an inner child before the psychological inner child, one that might have informed the psychological model to some extent?
Your Spiritual Inner Child
She’s come down, down, down, a long way into this World and this body. She’s got a life-mission. She existed before your childhood and still exists.
Your spiritual inner child radiates joy and awareness of her Divine Source. This is the inner child you want to play with, love, understand, get to know.
One way (and there are several) to get in touch with your spiritual inner child is to begin learning and practicing what Rebbe Nachman of Breslov calls Azamra, a practice of singing the song of your soul.
First step begins by seeing the good in others. Actively seek out their good points, collect them and gather them up, if only in your thoughts. When you’ve identified the good points, give their owners the love and respect you crave yourself, either openly or in your thoughts.
The second step is to get in touch with your inner child by searching out the good points in yourself. Your good qualities, such as generosity, for example. And your good actions, such as giving of yourself. Collect them and put them in a safe place inside, but take them out to look at them, even several times a day if necessary.
Remember the ultimate good point inside you receives its life and nourishment from the Creator. This tender, innocent, self; the goodness inside; your soul; the heartbeat of your soul;–this your true inner child.
What if you can’t find your inner child?
Maybe it seems that a lifetime of clutter is clogging you up with its noise, harshness, despair, anger, scheming, hate, or jealousy. Maybe it feels like you’re a pack-rat and all these bitter remnants have pushed your spiritual inner child into a corner of the attic. Maybe it feels like she is lost forever.
This doesn’t have to be true.
On the skin-deep level, the weight of all that baggage is designed to make you give up searching for your spiritual inner child and her soul-connection.
True, that negative voice inside pushes you.
You say: Look, I am filled with despair alternating with jealousy and scheming. Anger, rage, sadness, too. I don’t feel spiritual at all. If I seem spiritual, it’s because I’m faking it. Inner child? Nah. Good points? Nah. Bitterness is weighing me down and all I can do is mock this Godly spiritual stuff.
Rebbe Nachman reveals however that the obstacles in our life also exist for a deeper and higher purpose—they are actually there to increase our yearning for spiritual growth.
The Rebbe encourages us. Don’t give up. Look for your connection to the Divine. Seek your good points. Focus on them. Find your inner child. She’s in there.