The Parent ego state becomes focused on helping others, rescuing, protecting, caring for others.- a survival mode that becomes life style.The perspective on life associated with this mode becomes embedded in the heart and become a person’s life mission.
The mission to Rescue, Help, Control, Protect and Care is always taken very seriously. As a result each and every Mission Failure is threatening and produces a sense of guilt and failure. It triggers self-condemnation.
So the more the young child brings safety and order to a dysfunctional family, the more the Inner Parent needs to keep the Inner Child under control. Therefore, the Critical Parent is constantly suppressing Inner Child. So the Too Serious Kid becomes and stays the too serious adult - not playful, not passionate, not expressive and not asking that his or her own needs be met.
Emotional health requires moderating the messages of the Critical Parent and freeing the Inner Child. Critical messages will need to be less extreme, less anxiety producing and less shaming if the Inner child is to recover from the depression, suppression, fear, guilt and shame generated by the unmodulated Inner Parent/Inner Judge. The Inner child will need to be unlocked from this suppressed state, accepted into the personality without shame. This leads to a time of emotional healing and maturing for the Inner Child. This leads to a much healthier and happier personality.
However the Inner Parent will initially be very resistant to these changes. This resistance comes from the Emotional Brain and is based on perspectives rooted in many childhood memories. The core beliefs that are the structure of the personality are solid and nearly impossible to change just by choosing to do so.
Nor does it help to blame the Inner Judge. Remember that this is part of the Inner Parent that had responsibilities like avoiding risks for themselves and the family, avoiding conflicts in the family; calming people down and protecting people. Safety and order became top priorities of the Inner Parent. This while mission and one’s sense of meaning and identity is linked to these tasks.
That is why allowing freedom to the Inner Child is not a priority to the Critical Parent, instead it is perceived as undermining the mission and work of the Inner Parent.
Listening to the Inner Judge / Critical Parent
The Parent ego state is the source of a lot of critical messages to the Inner Child. When the Inner Parent is acting like this toward the Inner Judge it is called the Inner Judge. The Inner Judge takes on the following forms.
1. The Inner Judge is a voice rebuking, scolding, criticism of the Inner child. Do you live with inner criticism that never stops?
2. The Inner Judge is, in effect, suppressing the Inner child’s right to be. This is the voice of shame. The message not to care for oneself. The message you do not deserve good things. Even the (suicidal) message to get rid of yourself.
3. The Inner Judge keeps telling the Inner Child to be quiet, to stop expressing needs and feelings, and, in fact, to stop expressing yourself at all. You could experience this as trouble expressing yourself. You may try to write but you cannot find your voice. You are always blocked by the Inner Critic.
4. The Inner Judge in you may always want perfection and voices a constant correction of errors. The personality trait of perfectionism is linked to higher depression risk. People who are perfectionists worry about making mistakes and they tend to be heavily critical of themselves and expect others to have high standards for them. Do you worry about mistakes too much?
Harnessing the Risk Assessor
The Inner Judge is also tasked with warning the Adult about possible risks. It keeps generating possible risks from major ones to minor ones. This is a major source of anxiety in a person’s life. And can be the reason that one tends to be a Risk Avoider.
Understanding all the things the Inner Parent is wanting to avoid may help us to understand this person. For example, if they have decided to avoid all intimate relationships we have a basis for understanding of the Avoidant Personality.
The Risk Assessor is the part of the Inner Parent that always thinks about what could go wrong. Please note that risk assessing can be constructive if we are planning and we want to assess risks. Thinking about what could go wrong can be destructive if it overwhelms any willingness to move forward and makes one hesitant, fearful and living with high levels of anxiety.
I suggest the Adult work with the Risk Assessor and ask that there also be an assessment of how likely an event is. An agreement can be struck with the Risk Assessor that we focus only on highly likely events and let go of concern about unlikely events.
A program of desensitizing of some of the risks that are unlikely can be devised. One can do healing of memories or EMDR desensitization.
Our Overactive Inner Judge
An overactive Inner Judge creates these life Outcomes:
1. Relentless criticism tears down your self worth. You lose confidence in your self living with self-criticism that is life long and relentless.
2. Relentless criticism is like verbal abuse from your Inner Parent. Of course, thatresults in depressionin your Inner Child.
3. Life-long and relentless criticism from your Inner Parent will generate anxietyin your Inner Child.
4.The perfectionist Inner Judge leads to the Inner Child to the anxious thought that I will never be good enough. This generates anxiety and depression.
4. The Inner Judge is tasked with the suppression of your Inner Child. That limits your ability to be free, creative and expressive.
5. An example of this is a ‘writer’s block,’and the loss of one’s own ‘voice.’ It is true of all forms of self-expression and is an example of living in shame.
3. You become very sensitive to the criticism of others, easily wounded and very reactive. People living with a vocal Inner Judge seem to over-react to criticism.
7. Other people notice how touchy you are to their criticism. You may be very easily triggered by criticism. You over-react. They do not know you are living with an Inner Judge. It would help if they understood that you are already loaded down and wounded by the abuse of your Inner Judge.
6. One’s Inner Child gets very little fun and may feel like it is living in a prison.
Calming and Healing the Inner Judge
Taming this Inner Judge is one big step in the healing of the Too Serious Kid pattern. It is a giant leap toward a more balanced and healthy emotional life. When the Inner Parent relaxes if relieves the Inner Child of the hold of depression, the pain of anxiety, the curse of shame and the sting of guilt. Here Comes the Judge - Healing of Memories:
1. First Step: As you move toward quieting the Inner Judge, the first step could be to talk openly about it with God.Confession means you talk about it with God, so that is what you do.You acknowledge the issue in prayer to God and out loud.
2.Second Step: A second step would be to put Jesus to take charge.If, you are used to having to do everything yourself, be careful to ask Jesus to be in charge not to help you.
(Careful, your tendency may be to ask Jesus to help you. That is not putting Jesus in charge. No.Ask Jesus to take charge as you let go.Let Jesus be Lord; not you.Let Jesus be Saviour, not you.Let Jesus take on the responsibility since he died for your sins.You did not. Do this by declaring Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Healer and Deliverer over this problem area – the Inner Judge and the harm that it does to the Inner Child.)
3. Third Step: Take some time to be still and listen. If any memories come spontaneously to mind use a Healing of the Memories procedure to deal with those and the core beliefs in them. Taking this time to listen puts the Holy Spirit in charge of the inner healing process and that makes it much more efficient. You go straight to the most important first issues to deal with. Note 8: The report of the two pastors who did deliverance.
4. Forth Step: Make use of Listening prayer (perhaps combined with EMDR) for healing of memories.
The Courtroom Scene Prayer Drama
Use an imagined courtroom drama to take this to the heart level.Set up the court scene: the Inner Child is on the witness stand as the accused and the Inner Judge is on the Judge’s chair.To start off with, put yourself in each role and report how each one feels. Remember that each role is being played out within you. It may be best to have someone there to coach you through this.
Now become aware that we have a problem, because God is the Judge. That means that the Inner Judge has usurped God’s place as Judge.Imagine what would happen as Jesus – who is the true Judge – comes in to the courtroom.
Imagine Jesus coming in to the courtroom.Report what the Judge feels and does.You may find that the Inner Judge steps down and gives the gavel to Jesus and asks Jesus to take over the courtroom.
Let Jesus take over the courtroom.What would Jesus do? Let Jesus end the trial, empty the courtroom and take the Inner Child out to play.
Notice how you felt at the end.Do you have any different sense of who you are?Write down how it feels and remember to thank Jesus.
Follow Through with these Self-change Practices:
1. Become aware of the negatives in the inner voice that is suppressing your Inner Child.
2. Ask Jesus help you to overcome a life driven by guilt:Lean to overcome the pattern of blaming yourself for everything that is creating a life full of guilt.
3. Learn how to shut down a lot of your negative self talk. Our Inner Parent is often causing depression in our Inner Child by criticism, guilting, creating worries, and negating fun, enjoyment and good experiences for our Child. 4. Learn to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones by focusing more on solutions rather than going on about the problems. Ask yourself ‘What is the outcome that I want and picture that.’
5. Notice how often you tend to take responsibility for others and blame yourself when anything goes wrong, this will leave you depressed and anxious.
My Personal Inner Critic
My first assignment in mental health was in the Psychology Department of a Mental health facility in Alberta. There was good professional training to help my personal growth. There were many external workshops I could attend and, in addition, an active in-service department providing many opportunities for my professional development.
During this time I grew in self-understanding. Then is when I became aware of an inner voice of criticism - an Inner Critic. This inner voice of criticism was loaded with guilt messages. I now realize that mother used guilt to get us to behave and to get housework done. What she started was continuing in my head.
As my self awareness grew, I was able to choose to change. I chose to shut down the inner critic guilt messages. I no to these guilt messages that I had lived with. That decision put an end to living with guilt messages at least at that time. It inly returned in a time of extreme grief and stress. At that point I used the TwoChair Dialogue to calm the negative voice. In one chair I put in words the negative thoughts and doubts, then switched chairs to respond to those. I went backhand forth a few times and the negativity went away.
These guilt messages had been below the surface and must have created feelings of guilt that led to depression. Once I became aware of how I was living with guilt messages I was able to stop that pattern. Self-change is not usually that easy but, in this case, my one decision seemed to end those inner guilt messages. This is how investing is self-growth and awareness can be liberating.
Getting Professional Help
If you are frustrated with do it yourself self-change and your own efforts to talk to Jesus did not work out, then consider a coach, guide or professional therapist who can work with you. An outside opinion will usually make self-change efforts much more successful.
You may want a Christian counsellor to work with you. However, if one is not available let me give you a tip. Prayer for self-change can be successful if you have an outside perspective on what you are dealing with. Once you have that perspective from your counsellor, then your prayers can be a helpful part of your self-change journey. Research confirms that.
Professional prayer therapy in line with our knowledge of memory reconsolidation will help you gain permanent changes. Very few Christian prayer therapists are equipped this way except those using ‘TheoPhostic’ from Ed Smith. I would suggest a professional equipped to use Smith’s methods. I would avoid any therapist using Smith’s techniques who ‘binds’ demons at the start of a prayer session. Note 7-1: More information about ‘binding’ demons and why it is not a good idea.
Angela’s Report on Adult and Inner Child Reconciliation
Invest fully and with enough time in the right process and you should be able tolet go of other people’s problems and let go of judging yourself. That will be a happy day!
My client ‘Angela’ reported an example of the Inner Child reconciling with the Adult/Parent ego state. This is work that she had done on her own based on tools that I had given her and EMDR. (Note 8: ) Next day we went back to the driveway - me the child, Jesus and the adult me. The first day the adult was impatient. Today the adult came around with tears in her eyes. She was realizing how hard it was on the child. She was asking the child for forgiveness. Quite easily the child forgave the adult and held her hand too. I asked Angela to ask Jesus if she had to keep her Inner Child quiet. This is what she believed before and I wanted to see if Jesus would help her to let go of that attitude. Jesus said I will need to spend time with my inner child to build trust. Listening to the inner child is important to build trust. Take time to get to know one another better. Before this report Angela had experienced her Inner Child as being unavailable. In this prayer encounter her Inner Child was out of hiding and interacting with her Adult state. I was delighted at her progress. The process of reconciling with her Inner Child had begun!
Bible Prayer Scene
Revelation 3:20 “Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into his house and eat with him, and he will eat with me.”
Notice how dramatic the language is. Now develop that scene as the basis for an encounter with Jesus. You can picture yourself in the scene. You can imagine Jesus wanting to come in to your house and commune with you.
You can use this picture for your own inner healing. Imagine inviting Jesus into your ‘house’ and talking with him. You ask him questions. He converses with you. Do this daily and you will build a very close personal connection with Jesus.
Jesus can also talk to the Inner Child as well as the Inner Parent.