Healing Your Inner Child For Tinnitus Relief
Sun Child vs. Shadow Child?!
Sounds weird? Well, then let´s say happy and sad child.
I guess everybody has heard about the inner child. And this is what it is about. I read this book about it, by a German author called Stefanie Stahl. She is a psychologist and therapist and she says by working with your inner child and by giving it a home you can solve basically all your problems.
That sound promising, right?!
So what is it about?
Well, she says our inner child has two sides. The happy side, where all our good memoires and experiences from our childhood are. And then the sad side, where all our negative experiences are stored.
Those negative experiences get triggered quite a lot in or daily life and when that happens our inner child acts up. We don´t behave like adults anymore, but like that hurt child that feels treated unfair.
A big part of her work is about discovering our inner child. So what is on the sunny side and what is on the dark side. What makes are happy memories from your childhood? What makes you feel good and what are positive things people have told you?
That is a fun part right who doesn´t like to think about those good old days when life was easy and we got treated like a king or queen.
But then we also have to dedicate some time to think about when and how we felt mistreated, were spoken to badly and didn´t get what we wanted or needed. Obviously there are always things kids don´t get what they want, but we don´t talk about the doll here that you really wanted and didn´t get and neither about the time you wanted to go to a party and weren´t allowed to go. No, this is more about when you needed to be comforted, but didn´t get that. When you felt all alone and sad and nobody was there for you, but even still kicked you when you were down. We are talking about when someone in your nearer circle kept telling you that you were not good enough or when you opinion never mattered and never got taken seriously so that you took on the opinion that you are not important and that your opinion doesn´t matter. So think about that.
Now, she says we have to identify those triggers, what triggers this inner sad child to come out. Now when you know what your sad child is like, it might be easier to identify those triggers in your adult life. Her example is a man, who completely flips because his girlfriend forgets to buy this favorite sausage. Of course she doesn´t understand why he gets so angry and aggressive about something like that, but his inner child got triggered activating old believe systems, that he was not important enough to be remembered to get what he likes or to get what is important to him.
According to her, if you know what it is, then you can work with your inner child. Take that inner adult within you and give that little child inside you what it needs. So tell it, that you love it, that you are there for it and that it matters and that it is important. You can also tell it that the situation from back then is over and that it is not related to that current situation at all.
So basically it is about making up and give the child now what it needed so badly but didn´t get.
How to do that?
The author basically states three steps.
1st Step: Get to know your inner shadow child – the part of your personality that stnd for your negative experiences in your childhood and trauma
2nd Step: Empower your inner adult – the rational part within you
3rd Step: Discover your sun child – the strong, happy and healthy personality traits within you
- We already talked about getting to know that shadow child within you a little. Stahl even made a workbook, she says to work visual. In order to work visual she recommends to take a picture of a figure (a sad child) and write down your parents and what they have done that made you feel bad. Also a negative thing they usually said and an order or assignment you always felt you had to fulfill for them.
From there she goes on to find the believes resulting from that and the feelings coming with those inner believes.
Then she also helps the reader to find the protection strategies you took due to your believes and emotions connected with them.
Once you have done that you can see in situations what is really behind it, for example one of my inner believes is “I am not enough”. That brings emotions of fear, failure, insult and rage with it. So when my boyfriend doesn´t write back for a long time (for a day or two), that believe comes to life and I feel like I´m not enough for him – and I get afraid he´ll leave me, that I fail at love / relationships. If I don´t catch my inner child acting up like that because it feels like its parents aren´t there for it – my protection strategy sets in. I get supper upset and throw a tantrum or I behave like I don´t need that relationship either. Neither of those two strategies is helpful for a relationship. Which leads to step two.
2. Let your inner child feel those feelings, acknowledge that they are there but not take over.This sad inner child needs the inner adult. The inner adult does what adult should do, it is there for the inner child. It listens to it, it acknowledges its feelings and gives it what it needs. It tells the child what it always wanted to hear or needed to hear, but never did and then comfort it for feeling so sad. Imagine hugging it. The inner adult loves the inner child and then rationally explains why it is not true what the inner child suspects. It explains for example that the situations from back then is over and that the situation now is not the same. It helps the inner child to see the other person as a normal person and not as a reincarnation of your parents. The adult helps to take the position of an observant and to see the situation like an outsider, it helps to see the other side and to react accordingly. An adult can also show and tell the inner child that it is enough. Like “Enough now, stop that.”
The job of the inner adult is to comfort the inner child, then catch it in its vicious cycle and projecting the past into the present and helping it to rethink and see what is actually happening in the present – to react accordingly.
So it helps to see a situation from three different angles – the feelings the sad inner child has, from the point from the other person and as observant from the outside. The inner adult can help with that.
So it is important to not react impulsively but to check where your feelings are coming from. Now as you know your inner sad child and activated your inner adult – you need to empower your sun child. The happy and fun emotions. So what did you parents do or say that made you happy? What resources do you have? What things make you feel good? And what are your good as well as positive character traits? Write them down.
3. What are some inner believes that your happy inner child has? And then also those negative believes you wrote down, turn them into positive ones – just don´t use negative words in them. When you feel that happy inner child – what kind of feelings come up. And what kind of values would you need to overcome those negative believes you have – write them down. The author also encourages the reader to find ways to develop treasure strategies, in her words that are ways you can empower your sun child to take over and to encourage it to take the lead in your life.
That depends on what you need and what kind of protection strategies your sad inner child uses. Like for me a few treasure strategies are saying NO, letting go, set boundaries, learn to trust . . . for that you can use your inner adult to help convince or explain the inner sun child why those fears the inner sad child spreads are not valid or if they are – what would be the worst case scenario? And what would happen if the worst case scenario should take place?
The author says the best way is to be specific.
She says not only to that when you are in the situation, but to practice before hand. So the conflicts or situations you already know activate your inner sad child – find out what triggers them and already use your inner adult to work with your inner child. Empower your inner sun child to get over those protection strategies.
This is just a quick teeny-tiny overview, if you really want to work on your inner child – then I strongly recommend to read a book or do so with a professional.
Why do I think that is connected with tinnitus – or is there a connection?
I personally think it is connected. The better we get to know yourselves the better we understand our tinnitus and what it reacts to.
The better we understand ourselves, the calmer we are – the calmer we are the calmer the tinnitus is.
The more inter-personal problems we resolve – the better life we lead and the less our tinnitus bothers.