The Inner Family as a model for happiness
We often hear about nurturing our Inner Child, but I was taught a framework that i like to share which considers the whole 'Inner Family,' so the Inner Mother and Father too.
This is nothing to do with our external parents, this is the sense of the inner male and female within us that we can grow and nourish. This is irrespective of gender, so everyone has a feminine and a masculine aspect.
The Inner Child - these are aspects of our creativity, spontanaity, playfulness and safety etc.
The Inner Mother - these include aspects of nurturing, (ourselves and others), self care, encouragement of what we love doing etc.
The Inner Father - can be thought of as more linear aspects, like time keeping, boundaries and protection, money, determination and self discipline.
So when we consider how we are feeling and we come up with ,'I'm not sure, I just dont feel very happy,' it can be useful as a model to apply the Inner Family idea.
So, how is the Inner Child, is it getting enough play and creativity,and does it feel safe ?
How is the Inner Mother, are you nurturing yourself, or do you feel like you are spending too much time looking after others ? Are you taking time to do the things you love, and encourage the Inner Child in its ideas ?
And the Inner Father, how is our self discipline ? Are we pushing too hard, are we remembering to play with our Inner Child and are we helping the overall balance by giving and receiving and connecting with the Inner Feminine ?
So a balanced Inner Family helps induce feelings of contentment and well being. The Inner Child has fantastic ideas that it wants to do right now ! The Inner Mother encourages those feelings and ideas, and the Inner Father helps set the framework, the time and the structure that will help make it possiible, safe and that all our Inner needs are met.
Sometimes we might recognize that we are working too hard. Our Inner Mother rather than criticize, might help remind the Inner Father to find ways to nurture ourselves in a busy time, to get out in nature , to take 5 , have a nice bath. The Inner Child might come up with a great idea.. 'when you've finished working can we go and see a friend , or watch that programme I love ?' Dance ?'
This kind of dialogue helps us to maintain a balance. We all need to be heard, and all of our parts need to be heard.
I love working in this way to help clients identify their needs, and to work with them to help create a plan that might encourage a greater sense of well-being and happiness.