It’s so hard to hear what we need when we are cluttered either mentally or physically by the ideas of what we are supposed to be. the thing that brings us joy isn’t that far beneath the surface but we continually push it down in favor of the responsible or right decision. WE are incredibly mean to ourselves. We restrict and deny and we punish and we inhibit what we are meant to do under the pretense of being someone else’s idea of success, in order to be accepted in a society, to feel part of the crowd. There are times being part of the group is far lonelier than being alone. It can be frustrating too when the group doesn’t hear what you’re saying, or if you’re made to feel unheard. We are taught to relish and enjoy our “silliness” and the play of childhood up until we are about 5 or 6 and then it becomes the serious business of life and making ourselves mean something.
As adults we spend a gross majority of our time undoing what was done, trying to figure out what comes next, what we are meant to do, and time healing. Some take longer than others to get on the healing path because we don’t know we are broken, we simply don’t know how to do the work. And healing brings up demons that we often aren’t ready to face. If we start simply, start with listening to that voice inside of us, we hear what we need. Our minds, our souls, and our bodies are incredibly intuitive. They all know what we need and they tell us—it’s our job to hear those messages. Doing inner child work and learning to hear that voice again is a beautiful exercise in validating who we are when we spent a good portion of our lives being invalidated, ignored, told that we need to put our needs aside to appease the adults, our teachers, our bosses, whoever it is. But when we finally hear that voice and identify what’s missing, it’s a breath of fresh air, a key to what we’ve been missing.
This is work I’m engrossed in at the moment and it is super uncomfortable. There are moments it feels foolish, but when I’ve really listened, it’s been amazing. I shared the Harry Potter experience with you from a few weeks ago and I’m not sure I was ever more child-like. It was the greatest experience I’ve had since I was able to really connect and play with my actual child. We’ve talked about the value of play and I will tell you that feeling of laughing and joy that enveloped my being in that moment (and when playing with my son) is unlike any other. I’m trying to be very aware of how I interact with my boy because I often find myself telling him how it should be done—and I always regret it. Yes, I want him to learn the basics, but I want his creativity highlighted and his joy expressed. And inner-child work is about that at its core: finding and expressing the creativity, joy, and love we had as children.
Once we clear the clutter and accept that there are parts of us we simply need to re-engage, it becomes easier. It’s about connecting with something that was never truly lost, but something we didn’t have the courage to engage with regularly so it became a spectator. But once that spectator started suffering, it needed to be set free—and it tells us so in many ways. The act of acknowledging and allowing those parts of us to come through is significant. It’s freeing. And it’s necessary. Those unhealed parts of us, whatever caused the wound, need to be acknowledged and loved as much as we can. It’s an embracing of who we are. Truthfully, that inner child, that part that knows joy inherently, is far wiser than we give it credit for. We only think we need to do the things we do, the inner-child, and the ever present children in our lives, KNOW what we need to do. Love this life and experience every joyful moment of it while we can. Don’t waste a drop of that joy, fill your cup so much it infects others with the same feeling. Listen and love and live your life as it’s meant to be.