How To Effectively Connect With Your Inner Child
They told you to grow up. They said they liked you better that way. They said you were, ‘mature for your age’. You liked the sound of that. Relished it even. After all, you yearned to make them proud. To bask in the praises. It made you happy. You were so pleased with yourself that you set about your days donning the suit of satisfaction.
You dropped everything that bonded you with your inner child — that person anchored at the core of who you are. You dropped the tiny but powerful elements that made you giggle and come alive. You walked away from your playfulness. You abandoned your childhood dreams, most of which you had been nurturing for years.
You spent less and less time engaging your brain and connecting with your creativity and more time conforming to the standards set by others. You abandoned your toys, deeming them unattractive. Instead, you went after those that the world told you were lustrous and fun.
Oh, you also lay your creativity at the graveyard and moved on, never to look back. And just like that, you forgot the exhilaration that emanated from bringing something new and unique into existence — whether it touched the benchmark of perfection or not. It became more of something of a distant past.
As you grew up and continued to climb the hill of life, you drew farther away from what resonated with your true self and closer to what made you more acceptable to ‘them’– the world.
In the same breath, you abandoned your spontaneity; the very power that gave you the freedom to make your own rules. You meshed with the rules and methodologies set by others.
Unbeknownst to you, you were setting our world on fire, little by little.
With your inner child famished, connection to your essence was severed. Sure, you are still are alive and breathing. In fact, from the outside, you seem like a fully-functioning human being who works, exercises, eats and leads a somewhat-productive life.
But on the inside, you bear a husk. And you know it. It is a husk begging to be filled with the joy of fulfillment, true happiness and a real purpose for living.
How do I know this so well? Because your story is my story. Ave got my footprints on the same road as yours.
When I finally understood the implications of adopting their attitudes and outlooks the penny dropped. I learned that they matter a great deal.
Adopted attitudes have a way of braiding themselves into your personality. And subsequently influencing who and what you become.
They become the shadows that trails your every step.
As you trim pieces of yourselves to fit into the mold that the world dictates as acceptable, you never truly see it for what it is; a nuclear bomb, ticking away.
And eventually, it explodes. All of a sudden, you find yourself grappling with an identity crisis, and struggling to keep your head above the water. Issues like anxiety, mental and personality disorder soon set camp in your mind. But that’s not all. So does substance abuse, mood changes, and eating disorders.
Without a doubt, it would be stupid — ridiculous even — for anyone to assume that neglecting your inner child is the only base upon which these disorders take center stage. However, it would be equally ignorant to overlook the role it plays in the same.
So here comes the big question: How can you free yourself from the spider’s web to awaken your inner child? Because we all know that rubbing salt on your wounds only inflicts pain — besides acting as a constant reminder of how far off you have fallen from the cliff. It’s no fun and clearly, no one wants that. Not even you.
After all, are we all not in pursuit of the best possible versions of ourselves?
So, here we go.
To find yourself, you must begin by pulling back the multiple layers that you have clothed ourselves in over the years.
It is never too late to sift through the pile, believe me. You must begin to untangle the knots imposed by society and the world in general. You must rid yourself of attitudes not authentic to you.
Attitudes which, I am willing to bet you know all too well. For example, comparing yourself to others — a pestilence that has infected many in this social media age — instead of directing your energy towards decisions that can tip the scales in your life.
Or perhaps keeping up with a fake lifestyle, one that stretches you beyond your means. Often, it is for a flimsy intention like that of reserving your spot in the group.
If you are ready to do the work of reconnecting with your inner child, it is worth considering the following:
Your child waits
You wouldn’t fill a hole unless you admitted its existence. That simple statement sure sounds light and in fact, a pretty obvious thing to say. But if you were to play it over and over in your mind — enough to be able to feel every word — you would then be able to glean the magnitude of its weight.
Hence, it goes without saying that acknowledging the child within you should be your first step if you are to find your way back to yourself. I know, I know, we think we are too grown. Too accomplished and far too much time has passed. We tell ourselves it is almost impossible to reach deep within, much less feel the heartbeat of our soul; our inner child.
And yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Again, I know you consider yourself a strong man/woman. But it doesn’t matter really. That neglected and forgotten child is still very much alive. All you’ve got to do is acknowledge that.
Here’s the thing: Standing in this acknowledgment enables you to tap into your authenticity.
You get to determine the operating systems of your life. There’s nothing to prove to anyone because you are now in full ownership of your power. As it should be. Pretty awesome right?
Standing in the light of your authenticity allows the good stuff starts to permeate into your personality. Gradually, you start to unlock your playfulness and creativity. This leaves you feeling a little more alive, day by day.
It is here that the light begins to stream in as you get comfortable in your skin. As you learn to love yourself and what you stand for, people will ultimately be drawn to you. After all, your light is a tower that illuminates a wide scope. And just like that, new friendships are born and relationships birthed. And don’t we all need that?
You see, when you are in touch with your inner child, it shows. Like a well-lit lamp, it is impossible to hide. It is evident in the silent confidence that you radiate. You are not easily swayed like a reed on a windy day. You carve out your little world where you consistently show up to fill your cup. You own it. And still, you do this in spite of the endless demands of life.
Now imagine what happens when your cup is full. Great things my friend. For starters, life as you know it takes a turn for the better. You are no longer squeezed into a wedge as you try to fit into the mold already created by others. This is everything. This is true freedom.
Also, you start to delight in your own company, because now you realize there’s strength in stillness. Unlike the old you, you are now aware that you have all you need to be happy, fulfilled and at peace. It’s all humanity’s ever been after. Nothing trumps that.
Fill your bubble
Ever seen a child playing alone? Don’t you simply admire their independence? How is it that these little human beings are so confident in themselves? I mean, they happily spend hours on end playing by themselves in the sand, mud or their toys.
If you are anything like me, you can’t help but deduce something of value by the silent statement they seem to be stating: I am fine by myself.
I am convinced that for our inner child to thrive, we need to adopt the same mentality. We need to be OK with ourselves, just as we are. I hear you asking, ‘How do I get to this level?’ Well…am glad you asked.
For starters, you need to stop expecting others to fulfill your needs.
No seriously. You should stop.
You alone must do the work necessary to fill our own bubble. Be it with air or water, or whatever it is that keeps your bubble inflated. And you must do so with child-like independence.
What you don’t feed doesn’t grow
Unless you are heartless and selfish — in which case you have no business being a parent — surely you would not starve your child. And yet it happens.
Fortunately, you can alter this by showering yourself with as much self-love as possible. I get it. There’s a boatload of information going around about self-love. It has been made to look like this huge feat which requires formulating a strategy. But really it’s not.
What is it then? Look, I have no formal education in psychology by the slightest measure, but, I have scooped these basic truths about self-love through personal experience. I define self-love as the rope that connects you to the elements that nourish you.
It is giving yourself permission to let loose and be free. It is learning to be your own advocate. It is celebrating your achievements. It is forgiving yourself. It is allowing your hopes and dreams to take off.
I don’t know you, but I know you and I want the same thing. We want to truly experience the wonder, awe, and joy of this life. And it all starts when we are in touch with our inner child and hence authentic to ourselves.