How many times do we hear about the inner child and let it out or honouring it, but just what is it and are we really carrying some kid around with us?
Our inner child is our childlike aspect. It includes all that we learned and experienced as children, before puberty. The inner child denotes a semi-independent entity subordinate to the waking conscious mind. It is part of us in fact its part of the three parts of us! We have an inner child and inner parent and an adult all part of our minds - sounds crowded doesn’t it. But most of us are not aware of those three states, the parent is all about 'should and ought' what we think we have to do - is what we have learnt from our parents, caregivers or adult who influenced our childhood, when we criticize ourselves that’s from them too. The adult is when react in the moment no influences from anyone just a real and authentic response.
Now the inner child is all of what we learnt to survive as a child - so did we adapt or rebel, did we learn it was not good to be angry or even worse to feel at all, could we make a mistake, were we good enough or abandoned. All this influences how we react as a gown up. This child can be wounded and so as a gown up be placid and nice as anger is wrong, eat, drink or take drugs to never feel again or never ever feel they have done anything right - the perfectionist.
With that troubled child is the free child the one that laughed for no reason, loved the seaside, played in the garden and loved life. The child, who got excited, danced and sang out of tune. This child is the part of us that often struggles to be let out as an adult but is the part who will bring us real joy by allowing us to really enjoy simple pleasures like dancing and singing, playing with our own children and having a paddle.
There is no set way to let this child out but doing things you did as a child for the sheer fun of it is a start, stop worrying about the small things and move on , spend time with your kids and just do what they do, eat a lollypop or have a bar of chocolate and don’t care if goes on your shirt or how fattening it is.
You may struggle with ‘playing’ and that’s when you know your inner child needs some help - John Bradshaw’s book about the inner child helped me it’s a great place to start.