My friends have a dog named Silent Bob. He's deaf. He's not often silent and has enormous ears, but that isn't important. He knows sign language. Smart dog. When you're trying to give him a sign and he doesn't want to do it, he looks away. We've always joked that inside his mind he's saying, "What? Sorry. I can't hear you." while we know what he's really saying is "I'm not listening to you!" like a petulant child with fingers in ears.
Within all of us is a child archetype. When in balance and in the light, it manifests as innocence, nature-loving, and Divine. It is the part of us who can see through the craziness of this world at the beauty, the part that has child-like curiosity and wonder, imagination and creativity. It is the part of us that loves with grace in moments that melt the heart of the recipient of the love.
When out of balance, the child can be inflexible, intolerant, untrusting, manipulative. It operates in a state of fear. It refuse to open up to others as way of protecting you from pain. It often makes you act righteous. It is stubborn, rigid, even controlling. It is quick to temper when it doesn't get what it wants. You've seen a child's meltdown before. I'd be willing to bet if you were honest with yourself, you could reflect back to a time as an adult that you experienced a similar emotional meltdown or exhibition of any of the previous traits. It's normal.
Our child archetype is here to help guide us with innocence, in harmony with nature and Divinity. When we fall out of balance, for any number of reasons, usually stemming from a need to feel safe, secure, accepted, or loved, the shadow version takes over to guide.
The shadow may manifest as the wounded, orphaned, abandoned, or dependent child. All of them have trust and fear issues. All seek love while holding it at bay. All work closely with the saboteur archetype. Together, they work in tandem on safety by keeping you playing small. From procrastination to overwhelm, missed opportunities to self-doubt, this dynamic duo can get and keep you stuck. Fear not, though, with a little commitment and a little work, you can befriend the shadow child and guide it lovingly back into the light so it can guide you!
Sometimes it just needs to be heard. You've seen it happen, a child repeats, "Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mooooommmm!" until mom finally responds. What if you gave your child the opportunity to say what's wrong, what is scary, what is bothering it? Sometimes a child wants something and providing that would not be in the child's best interest, so a hug and kiss have to make due. That said, a loving hug and kiss can make many, many things better! Are you willing to spread on the love after listening?
Be aware of when the child is acting up. There are likely patterns. Awareness is what starts the shift. How can you change something you don't know about? Once you're aware, you can catch them early, before the meltdown or manipulation has a chance. Accept what is coming up, listen compassionately, and love that part of you.
What is fascinating is as you become aware and begin to shift, you soften the outer edges that have served as a protection mechanism for a long time. That opens the channels of flow for some really miraculous things to take shape in your life. Plus, life becomes much more fun when you're willing to team up with the child to bring forth the energy of play, fun, and love.
I want to know how your inner child plays in the shadows and what's one thing you do to bring it back into love and light?