All of us have an Inner Child. Yep, you read me right: There’s a part of us that still needs love and good parenting. Learning how to create a strong connection with this aspect of yourself is essential to becoming a Naked Dater. In the second half of this article I will give you a technique that will show you how build this bond, but first let’s look at who this Inner Child is and why it’s so important for you to learn how to communicate with it.
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So who is this Inner Child?
“We can bury it, distort it, handicap it, make it sick, but we can’t get rid of it.”
–Recovery of Your Inner Child
In the 60s and 70s, experts Hugh Missildine and Eric Berne introduced the idea of an Inner Child. Nice work guys! Even though most of us like to think of ourselves as mature and capable adults, Missildine and Berne believed there’s a child living in all of us that still needs parenting. But here’s the kicker: Not only do we continue to need parenting, we are actually the ones who need to become our own parents.
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I know that sounds strange, but let’s take a minute to explore why becoming your own parent is such a good idea. Most of your current attitudes and beliefs about relationships were formed from observing parent’s and guardian’s relationships. Unfortunately, the love you saw your parent give and receive was probably conditional in nature. In other words, it wasn’t given freely; it came with expectations and strings attached. There was a kind of unspoken agreement: “I’ll give you what you want but only if you’ll give me what I want in return.” When the adults around you didn’t get what they bargained for in their relationships, you might have watched them become angry and punishing to the point of cutting off their love from the people who hurt them. No wonder so many people grow up to become guarded and suspicious of love.
I’d wager a bet that your parents didn’t intentionally teach you bad relationship skills. They gave you the only tools they had to give, the ones they learned from their parents and their parents before them. But not to worry: as a Naked Dater, you are about to learn become the kind of loving parent to yourself that you always needed and wanted. As your own parent, you will be able to build a foundation of safety and trust with your Inner Child that will help you to stop pushing love away and sabotaging your relationships.