Often the simple things that we enjoyed as children or teenagers are what lights us up, gives us confidence and lets us have lots of fun.
When this concept of finding your inner child was mentioned to me, I was unsure of what I could learn from it. I went back to my childhood and focused on what I found fun back then. I brought back the pleasurable, the curiosity, the lightness, the flow and the adventure to my life that was missing. By listening and seeing what the little girl inside said, my life was flicked on like a light switch.
When you are a child you are curious, playful, full of optimism, resilient and spontaneous. As we grow, we lose that depending on our upbringing. If we see our parents be fearful of risk taking, we grow safe; if we see them being serious with life by not having any fun then we grow grave; if they are pessimistic about life then we lose our optimism.
The biggest thing is we lose our uniqueness, our individuality and our distinctiveness. We are told to conform, to be like everyone else, to not stand out or cause trouble. We need to look like a particular person to succeed so we stop being quirky, fun, spontaneous and stop listening to our needs and wants.
I brought my inner child out of the dunce corner – because this is where we put our inner child. We are taught as we get older to stop being childlike, to become an adult, to take life seriously. Where has that got most of us? A grim, boring, overwhelming life.
By acknowledging what I did to my inner child and listening to that inner child, I became lighter and I have more laughter and adventures in my life. I found that I could have everything that I felt had been missing and I learned that happiness is not a goal for the future.
I can have happiness now; it is a change of state and looking at your own garden and not everyone else’s garden. Looking at yourself, tending to your garden by removing the weeds that hold you back and directing your attention to cultivating the blooms, will nurture a place within your body, mind and soul, so you flourish.
Some of the clues that your Inner Child has been wounded are things like having low self-esteem, no clear boundaries in place, eating issues, self-harm practices, wearing a mask, identity problems, lack of trust in yourself and others, lack of genuine friends, being too passive or too aggressive, excessive lying and addictions.
To bring back who you truly are, you have to know that you are worthy, that you are lovable and that you are enough.
When these three elements are in place you become restored, content, centred, balanced and able to relax into the exceptional and quirky person you really are.
When I started restoring these three elements into my life, I became happier immediately, I became more assertive and better at articulating what I wanted out of life.
If you can articulate it, you can have it.
I also made sure I looked at what had stopped me from blossoming.
My biggest turn around was when I realised I was wearing a mask or taking on a role in adulthood that I had as a child. This hid the wounding of my Inner Child. I was the good girl, did not make close friends, did everything else for others, did not know what I wanted because I had only been told by others what I should have or do. I strove to do well intellectually because I thought that is where I would get recognition, I became too serious about life.
When I did some work on the role, I realised I did not have to be this person anymore. I found that the energy it took to keep the mask was enormous so no wonder I fell into a hellish life. By letting go of the mask I felt released.
I found I could be assertive without being aggressive, I stopped being critical of everything, I started seeing the good all around me. I started to articulate my wants and desires.
Here are some ways to start healing your inner child, to remove the mask and start lighting up your life.
Be curious about life and about yourself
Stop the guilt and shame
Be kind and patient
Look back and see how special and wonderful you were as a child
Address the upsets of the past
Forgive and be thankful
Value your Inner Child and love and appreciate this side of yourself
Ask your Inner Child how they are feeling and see what would help them blossom
Look at what brought the joy to your Inner Child and do that whenever you can
Celebrate every milestone, holiday, achievement with energy and zing
Bounce and dance
Do craft, doodle
Open up and allow yourself to have physical and emotional intimacy
Make peace with the past
Do not judge for wanting to do these activities
Seeing what lights you up and makes your heart sing and what gives you a zest for life is a crucial way to see yourself blossom, thrive and prosper.
Remember when you were a teenager and you had your first kiss, get that feeling back by kissing your partner out in public or at the beach or in the rain.
Looking back to when we were teenagers, will often bring back powerful images or visions of the excitement of life of doing things for the first time. Certain smells, music, or people bring this back to me.
Reflect on those moments and consider about bringing more of those into your life. The moment you were brave enough to sunbake topless, jump in a pool naked, hold a boy’s hand, were at a music concert, wore a certain piece of clothing that made you love how you looked.
Bring that back and feel the blossoming that you were experiencing when you were young.
Being assertive will allow you to thrive, prosper and bloom. Stop being critical of yourself and others because you were not able to be assertive enough to stand up for yourself. Stop living a stagnant and passive life.
I have had people say to me now, wow you have just blossomed in your 40s. I know this is true because I stand up for what I believe and I am adamant about living my best life where I am in control, I take responsibility for myself and I can be the genuine and quirky person I always dreamed of being – my true self.