Written By Jasmine
We are adults…right? What concern is it to us about this “inner child thing”? Is it some new buzzwords scripted by high dollar psychologists? Something else to be concerned about that we are not paying attention to along with what we are eating or not eating, ingesting thru the environment where there is no control but that could contribute to our quicker demise…what is good for us then is not now?
We were told ever since we could remember to “grow up”. So…grow up we did. We tried to follow all the rules that society, morality, any religious blueprints inflicted on us by family connections or by choice, to only come full circle and discover we might have left our “inner child” stuck in the mud and muck and we should consider ourselves responsible, on top of all the other head mess ups we might have picked up along the way, not to mention responsibilities to jobs, bills, relationships or the hope of, children etc.
Hmm…well, who am I to say for anyone else, after picking thru the yes and no’s, coupled with changing contradictory no’s and yes’s, over the last 30 “conscious of adulthood facts or fiction presented to this human soul” years …that I truly believe the inner child is something that we should be conscious of on a developmental spiritual soul level.
My first experience with discovering there was such a thing as an “Inner Child” was when I found myself going thru therapy 18 years ago for abuse inflicted upon me as a young child. Understand, as a child, these were the times of “silence is golden” and as I was raised…don’t make waves or upset anyone else where silence might alleviate someone else’s potential pain. The sad thing is that as a young sensitive child, I took these ideals straight to the wall and very seriously! The amazing thing to me, as I grew into an adult, I considered myself as someone who had come to terms with this abuse, in my own silent way, and did not think I had any outstanding issues that conflicted with my life directly at that time as to need addressing outside of my own mind, thus I considered myself “healthy”.
I entered this circle of professionals at the request of someone very close to me seeking their own salvation in the form of outside help for their particular problems and family was encouraged to play a part in their therapy.
I attended the first meeting with the intention of helping this person by showing my support with my attendance, as requested. However, as I listened to the conversations going on between the professionals in attendance along with the “patients” I felt a slowly growing creepy realization in listening to what was being said that I had a real problem that needed to be addressed in order to be considered “healthy”. It was so like the vision I had heard of Pandora’s Box….the more I heard the more I felt something deep inside me begin to crack open ever so slowly and what was crawling out was nothing short of disturbing. I was caught so off guard as to not be able to slam that box closed in time before I discovered or was ready to admit, to myself even, I might be in need of some help. Scary…very scary, for someone who thought they had their silent nasty secrets all boxed up in a place far, far away.
So…I offered myself up to the process of outpatient therapy. It was nothing short of an extremely painful process however peppered with surprising evolving relief as we went along, which was the magic pill to allow me to continue. Long story short…part of their plan was to address the “inner child” as an adult. They provided a way to go back in time…well…what it seemed like to me was to tap into the past via my desire to better myself, and acknowledge that little girl I used to be.
There was no hypnosis.
Thru my memory of myself as a child…I was able to, with their help, go back in time with my visual memories and “meet” myself as a child. The “mature adult” I had grown into could meet and converse with the younger version of me. By suggesting an envisioned scenario by which I might, for example, as an adult enter my childhood home and progress thru the house to my old bedroom where I would “find my young self” and pop in for a visit. Just as I would talk to any other child except this one I had inside information on regarding her past and her personality and could relate to on a deeply personal level.
Therapeutically it was very validating and healing in recognizing to myself as well as voicing aloud, as sort of a third person observation, the emotions and thoughts I had kept locked up for what seemed like a lifetime. I left the session with the only words that can describe such a feeling…a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and deep down inside I felt such relief. Of course there was more to my healing than this one session but it was an important layer, as one would peel an onion one layer at a time that took me to my center with guided efforts on my part with their help.
Over time I have come to realize how important it is to acknowledge this “inner child’ as something that is always a part of us but seldom is time taken to recognize this as a valid part of us to be seen to. This last 4th of July, my husband and I went out for a nice dinner then chose to come home in lieu of attending any formal fireworks celebrations. We were watching a movie when the fireworks began to burst and blast outdoors. My interest in what we were viewing on the TV was challenged by my inner desire to run outside and see what I knew was being displayed in the sky. Recognizing my unrest…he smiled and suggested we head out the back door.
I forgot he was behind me and scurried to the middle of the back yard to behold the best and most impressive display of backyard domestic fireworks I had seen to date. With my head tipped toward the sky, I forgot all responsible thoughts and enjoyed the show. My pleasure was deepened in the knowledge that we were in our own private space and far away from any crowds or the impending traffic jams that follow the organized extravaganzas. I looked over at my loved one as I realized he was looking at me with an amused smile. He saw the “raw delight” as I watched the show and a little self-consciously felt like I had been discovered in a private moment but honestly delighted he had been as aware as to see it. I remembered that as a child, it was never the actual lighting of the fireworks, or the sound of the explosion that gave me that “thrill”, it was watching the impending results in the darkened sky that took me away.
Since that night I have been thinking about the childhood activities that made me feel good and free. Thunder and lightning storms came to mind. Not when I might have been alone mind you, but when I was with someone I cared about and felt safe…I loved them. The loud power in sound followed by the incredibly brilliant light flashes and streaks that followed along with the pounding rain always made me want to run out into the middle of it. Of course, safety expressed by the adult I was with denied me such indulgence however the urge always inhabited me. The onset of such a storm still instills a passionate urge to run outside and behold nature’s display of power with the same feeling of a child.
I don’t find myself in the position as much as I used to, but going to the seaside and frolicking in the surf can instill the same feeling of freedom and young at heart. Course now as an adult I am aware of not messing up the make-up that adorns my face due to vanity issue but I can still manage to enjoy the feeling of floating on top of a wave if for only a second or two!
Winter has its own delights with the serious falling of snow. Once I see it falling I get a slight thrill inside brought on by, I know now, from that childhood feeling I used to have. I feel the need to keep checking the progress out the window of the house and if it continues on into the night, and I lose a little sleep, especially when it’s a serious snowfall, all the better to my satisfaction of watching it happen. The adult in me can take over if I have to worry about driving in it the next day, but for that time I can indulge my pleasure.
I think it’s easy to lose sight of the “inner child” over time and the responsibilities that come with age. Maturity instills a sense of “well that’s just silly.” It might be as simple as thinking back to your own childhood and remember what gave you the feeling of delight. Check back with your own upbringing and see what your inner child might relay to your waning memories. Also, if there are children growing up close to you…consciously watch them at play. Uninhibited by being “grown up” and the “rules” that accompany it and how they seem to become one with whatever they are finding any delight in and how simple sometimes the experience in front of them really is.
When you find yourself experiencing something pleasurable…relax your conscious mind that chatters to you about bills, jobs, commitments, appointments and responsibilities, letting them go, for the moment. Allow yourself to enjoy by using all your senses and let the agreeable emotions take control in the moments you can feel delight in. It could even be as simple as going a little out of your way to find that particular type of candy that used to make you scramble for the nickels, dimes and pennies that would allow the purchase that would bring that sweet smile to your face , if but for a few moments!
I wish you warm blessings on your own paths with hopes you will take time out to indulge your inner child, and find something you can feel the emotion of raw delight in