The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Falling In Love With Your Inner Child

John Bradshaw wrote “Healing the Shame that Binds You” where he talks about shame and his experiences of healing. He used the Twelve Steps but also did some inner child healing that he talks about in the book. This book goes into more depth. I will receive it today and keep you updated.

Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child

My focus is still Christ or the glory of Christ. When we lose ourselves and turn our focus towards Christ (present moment faith) we fall in love. We become the Bride of Christ as we fall in love with our inner child. When we are lost in the now we fall in love. We take care of ourselves but this isn’t the focus. Christ is. I am hoping to find insights here and maybe some things to do to help me on my journey. His other book “Healing the Shame that Binds You” was outstanding. One of my favorite at the moment.

I’ve written about the Holy Eros here:

While it can be found in sex it’s not limited to sex. It can also be found in hope and compassion. It’s a longing for closeness without sex. That joy and delight. A better analog would be the love between a mother and her baby. There’s nothing abnormal about falling in love with your baby. This is the falling in love with your inner child that I speak of. One cares for and protects the garden within. In surrendering and abandoning oneself in total trust to Christ one is trusting the true self within. In falling in love with Christ as the Bride one is falling in love with the true self within. It’s the child within or true self. Divine Child. Wonder Child.

I try to keep an outward focus but when I find times when I start to go inward then it works to be positive and look for the good.

Recovery of Your Inner Child: The Highly Acclaimed Method for Liberating Your Inner Self

The Inner Child lives within all of us, it’s the part of us that feels emotions and is playful, intuitive, and creative. Usually hidden under our grown-up personas, the Inner Child holds the key to intimacy in relationships, physical and emotional well-being, recovery from addictions, and the creativity and wisdom of our inner selves.

Recovery of Your Inner Child is the only book that shows you how to have a firsthand experience of your Inner Child—actually feeling its emotions and recapturing its sense of wonder—by writing and drawing with your non-dominant hand. Expanding on the highly acclaimed technique introduced in The Power of Your Other Hand, here Dr. Capacchione shares scores of hands-on activities that will help you to embrace your Vulnerable Child and your Angry Child, find the Nurturing Parent within, and finally discover the Creative and Magical Child that can heal your life.

From the “Self-Esteem Workbook” by Glenn R Schirald Ph.D

“Unconditional human worth” means that you are important and valuable as a person because your essential core self is unique and precious, of infinite eternal, unchanging value, and good. Unconditional human worth implies that you are as precious as any other person. ~~ page 33

When worth is separate from externals, human worth is intrinsic and unchanging, irrespective of outside events of circumstances. ~~ page 39

There is within each of us a light…a core of peace, wholeness joy, goodness, innate worth, and feelings that are good and make us human. The core being is sometimes called the “inner child”. The inner child possesses, in embryo, every attribute it needs, plus the inborn tendency to grow and polish the rough edges. ~~ page 84

From “Healing The Child Within” by Charles L. Whitfield, M.D.

Charles L. Whitfield, M.D. is a physician, psychotherapist and internationally recognized expert on mental illness, behavior problems and recovery.

Real self, Child within, Inner Child, and Higher Self are all used interchangeably. It has also been called our Deepest Self, our Inner Core. No matter how distant, evasive or even alien it may seem to be, we each have a “Child Within” - the part of us that is ultimately alive, energetic, creative, and fulfilled. This is the Real Self - who we truly are. Horney, Masterson and others call it the “Real Self”. Some psychotherapists including Winicott and Miller, call it the True Self. Some clinicians and educators call it the “Inner Child”

Our Real Self is spontaneous, expansive, giving, and communicating. Our True Self accepts ourselves and others. It feels and expresses those feelings.

Page 9



To learn more about Holy Eros here’s a good book on the subject called “Holy Eros: Pathways to a Passionate God”

Evelyn Eaton Whitehead is a developmental psychologist (Ph.D., University of Chicago) whose work focuses on spiritual development in adult life. James D. Whitehead is a theologian (Ph.D., Harvard University) who studies the interplay of religion and culture. In their shared career spanning forty-five years and fifteen books, the Whiteheads continue to explore the vital themes emerging in contemporary Christian spirituality.

A few quotes from the book:

Eros is most often associated with sexual arousal, but essayist Noelle Oxenhandler recognizes it’s presence in the midst of parenting. She describes the overwhelming delight of caring for her baby daughter. “I remember how palpably I experienced her too-muchness. It was a shudder in my body, an energy I had to soften, reign in, lest I squeeze her too hard, startle her with too exuberant a kiss.” She adds, “It is this feeling I want to call the eros of parenthood: an upswelling of tenderness, often with a tinge of amazement” ~~ Holy Eros, Pathways to a Passionate God, page 16 by Whitehead

From the chapter “Eros of Compassion”

Jesus told the story of a wayward son who returned to the father he had sorely wronged. The son’s homecoming took a surprising turn when his father did not respond in anger or withhold his welcome until after he had received an apology. He seemed uninterested in pointing out the error of his son’s ways or in ensuring that he had learned his lesson. Instead, the father rushed out to meet his son, overjoyed at his return. Sensing the boy’s humiliation and despair, his father treated him as an honored guest and planned a great celebration. Jesus tells us this is what God is like. God receives us not as judge but Abba, an extravagantly loving parent who wants our care for one another to show the same abundant concern. The lives of the godly will be marked not so much by the conspicuous good deeds of the righteous as by the humble compassion of those who to the world’s needs. Compassion is an experience of eros. Ordinarily we think of compassion as commiseration, as feeling the suffering of another person, but compassion has a more expansive meaning.

This is taken from the Novel by MacDonald “What’s Mine is Mine”. It’s about a woman named Christiana as she is falling in love with another man.

To save man or woman, the next thing to the love of God is the love of man or woman; only let no man or woman mistake the love of love for love!

Here MacDonald is describing love of God as being in love with love. God is love. And the closest thing to love of love is the love between a man and woman. We are not to mistake the love of love with the love between man and woman. It’s the same thing Rumi is talking about:

I Am In Love With Love

I am in love with love
love is in love with me
my body fell in love
with my soul
and my soul fell in love
with me
we take turns in loving
we take turns in being loved


I’ve wrote about this here:

Alvin Plantinga has developed a model where basic Christian belief can be rational and warranted. I will outline it here. For a better and more in depth treatment see “Warranted Christian Belief”. According to the model humans have fallen into sin and this has disrupted or clouded our awareness of God. It affects not only our rational faculties but our affections as well. They have malfunctioned or are to some degree dysfunctional (some worse than others). When these faculties are functioning properly (the way they ought) we will come to sense God’s presence. Not only from looking at a beautiful sunset but the beautiful Christ in the Gospel as well. When things go as they ought to (according to a design plan) we will love God above all else and our neighbor as our self. The Holy Spirit produces within that firm and certain knowledge (faith) that we are loved by Christ. When held firmly enough these beliefs will constitute knowledge. Because the beliefs and affections are functioning properly according to a design plan successfully aimed at the production of true belief we are justified and rational in holding our beliefs. Plantinga doesn’t claim to argue or prove that God exists or that Christianity is true. These beliefs just rise up within. But FOR THOSE who have changed and love God above all else and their neighbor as their self their beliefs and faith in Christ have warrant FOR THEM and they are rational in holding them. That is, they are functioning properly according to a design plan. God’s design plan. And are therefore rational.

The images in the Bible for God’s love for His children are erotic. It’s the kind of love a mother has for her baby. There’s nothing abnormal about being in love with your baby. It’s called the eros of parenthood. It’s also found in the love between a bride and her bridegroom. Eros can be found in sex but isn’t limited to sex. It’s also found in hope and compassion. It’s the longing God’s children have for eternal life with Him. Alvin Plantinga recognizes this in Warranted Christian Belief. Eros can be found in sex but isn’t limited to sex. It’s a passionate longing. A desire for closeness and intimacy with God without sex.

It is a longing filled with desire and yearning…It is erotic, and one of the closest analogues would be with sexual eros. There is a powerful desire for union with God, the oneness Christ refers to in John 17. Another perhaps equally close analogue would be love between parent and small child; and this kind of love too is often employed in scripture as a figure for love of God - both God’s love for us and our love for Him. Here too there is longing, yearning, desire for closeness ~~ Alvin Plantinga

Adopting this attitude depends on the quality of your self-love. If you feel terribly superior to others, or gripped by insecurities, your moments of empathy and absorption in people will be shallow. What you need is a complete acceptance of your character, including your flaws, which you can see clearly but even appreciate and love. You are not perfect. You are not an angel. You have the same nature as others. With this attitude, you can laugh at yourself and let slights wash over you. From a position of genuine inner strength and resilience, you can more easily direct your attention outward. ~~ Robert Greene, The Laws of Human Nature, page 50.

Again, if we go inward it’s best to look for the good.


Bundle of Wonder

Little bundle of wonder
How glorious is your love
Little bundle of wonder
Sent from heaven above

New hopes are born
New dreams are birthed
The days have just begun

Little bundle of wonder
Let’s travel into the heart of the Son


For the childlike is the divine ~~ George MacDonald, The Child in the Midst

The tenderness of the heart of a true Christian, is elegantly signified by our Savior, in his comparing such a one to a little child. The flesh of a little child is very tender; so is the heart of one that is new born. This is represented in what we are told of Naaman’s cure of his leprosy, by his washing in Jordan; which was undoubtedly a type of the renewing of the soul, by washing in the laver of regeneration. We are told, 2 Kings 5:14, “That he went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child.” Not only is the flesh of a little child tender, but his mind is tender. A little child has his heart easily moved, wrought upon and bowed: so is a Christian in spiritual things. A little child is apt to be affected with sympathy, to weep with them that weep, and cannot well bear to see others in distress: so it is with a Christian, John 11:25, Rom. 12:15, 1 Cor. 12:26. A little child is easily won by kindness: so is a Christian. A little child is easily affected with grief at temporal evils, and has his heart melted, and falls a weeping: thus tender is the heart of a Christian, with regard to the evil of sin. A little child is easily affrighted at the appearance of outward evils, or anything that threatens its hurt: so is a Christian apt to be alarmed at the appearance of moral evil, and anything that threatens the hurt of the soul. A little child, when it meets enemies, or fierce beasts, is not apt to trust its own strength, but flies to its parents for refuge: so a saint is not self-confident in engaging spiritual enemies, but flies to Christ. A little child is apt to be suspicious of evil in places of danger, afraid in the dark, afraid when left alone, or far from home: so is a saint apt to be sensible of his spiritual dangers, jealous of himself, full of fear when he cannot see his way plain before him, afraid to be left alone, and to be at a distance from God: Prov. 28:14, “Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” A little child is apt to be afraid of superiors, and to dread their anger, and tremble at their frowns and threatenings: so is a true saint with respect to God: Psal. 119:120, “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments.” Isa. 66:2, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and trembleth at my word.” ver. 5, “Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word.” Ezra. 9:4, “Then were assembled unto me everyone that trembled at the words of the God of Israel.” Chap. 10:3; “According to the counsel of my Lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God.” A little child approaches superiors with awe: so do the saints approach God with holy awe and reverence: Job 13:2, “Shall not his excellency make you afraid? And his dread fall upon you?” Holy fear is so much the nature of true godliness, that it is called in Scripture by no other name more frequently, than the fear of God. Hence gracious affections do not tend to make men bold, forward, noisy, and boisterous; but rather to speak trembling: Hos. 13:1, “When Ephraim spake trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended in Baal, he died;” and to clothe with a kind of holy fear in all their behavior towards God and man; agreeably to Psal. 2:11, 1 Pet. 3:15, 2 Cor. 7:15, Eph. 6:5, 1 Pet. 3:2, Rom. 11:20.

Jonathan Edwards

A quote from “The Child in the Midst” by George MacDonald

The God who is ever uttering himself in the changeful profusions of nature; who takes millions of years to form a soul that shall understand him and be blessed; who never needs to be, and never is, in haste; who welcomes the simplest thought of truth or beauty as the return for seed he has sown upon the old fallows of eternity, who rejoices in the response of a faltering moment to the age-long cry of his wisdom in the streets; the God of music, of painting , of building, the Lord of Hosts, the God of mountains and oceans; whose laws go forth from one unseen point of wisdom, and thither return without an atom of loss; the God of history working in time unto Christianity; this God is the God of little children, and he alone can be perfectly, abandonedly simple and devoted. The deepest, purest love of a woman has its well-spring in him. Our longing desires can no more exhaust the fullness of the treasures of the Godhead than our imagination can touch their measure. Of him not a thought, not a joy, not a hope of one of his creatures can pass unseen; and while one of them remains unsatisfied, he is not Lord over all.


by Diane Adams

My eight-year-old was up a tree in the backyard. It was a clear, cold day. His cheeks were red from the wind and exercise. He called out to me, his voice high with the triumph of reaching the top, “Mom!”, he shouted, “Look at all of this. Now I know why God made the world. He just wants us to have fun in it. Look at it all; it’s made just like a playground with trees to climb and rocks for slides. He gave it to us for us to play in; he wants us to have fun!”.

I wasn’t really having fun, sitting outside halfway watching him, with a million worries in my head, dealing with the reality of living every day with an illness that was tearing my life and body apart. I was not feeling it. I looked up at him, and his eyes were glowing with excitement, his face bent down to see what I would say, hopeful, so innocent and beautifully simple. In that moment, I saw he understood something about God that I did not.

There was a moment of decision, something offered that I could take or to refuse. The simple plan of God, to give us good things, to make us feel loved and happy and excited by all he has done or my own burdened thoughts–the gift of a child’s delight against my adult vision of ‘reality’, cold and expected, hard and painful. I stood up and went over to the tree, turned and looked out, trying to see what he saw.

The wind was tearing over the field in back, bending the branches, ripping at the brown, dying grasses. The sky was crystal blue and endless. I chose to take the gift, to see God in that moment together with my son. I imagined his delight, holding out the world to us, saying with wonder and expectation, “Go on, open it”.

Could it be that God has something of the same heart as the boy in the tree? Is there a God who laughs when the wind blows, rejoices to see his children play, even a God who is not above playing himself? The childlike expectation that the world is a good place, that people are kind, that fun is important, does not come from us alone. It comes from something deep in the fabric of creation, is something every child is born knowing, and it tells us something about the maker himself. No one can create what he does not know.

So it would seem, and so Jesus taught when he told us to become like a child, and so MacDonald understood when he wrote, “God is the God of little children”. The childlike vision is the God-like vision. In the heart of a child is an unbounded playfulness, a joyful freedom from self and the daily expectation of hurts and troubles. Every child knows simply and without the confusion of thought that of course God wants us to play! He made the world like a playground! In his heart there is a joyful conspirator, very much like an eight-year-old, hoping that we will choose the perspective that climbs trees and has fun and shouts to those struggling below, “Look! Look at all of this!”