When did the word "childish" become negative? Doesn't a part of you long to go back to such an authentic way of being? To cry when you are sad, be upset when you are angry, laugh when you are amused, and to run when you have somewhere to go???
Your inner child is waiting for you to have a playdate! You know your inner child - it's you... before IT happened. It's who you were before you ever became wounded. And "little you" is still there waiting for you to go back for them - to cry again, be upset, laugh, and to run!
Today we talk about our inner child - finding them, nurturing them, and learning from them... all the things we used to know!
CONNECT THROUGH FACEBOOK
CONNECT THROUGH INSTAGRAM
ACOUSTIC GUITAR # 1 by Jason Shaw https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jason_Shaw
Creative Commons — Attribution 4.0 International License
Inner child - a person's supposed original or true self, especially when regarded as damaged or concealed by negative childhood experiences. (Oxford Languages)
It’s who you were, before “it” happened. It’s who you were before the tragic, painful event changed everything in your life. It’s who you were before that experience taught you that it is not safe, to be you.
And as I’m saying this, I know that many of us will be going back to specific memories saying “that’s the one. That’s what happened. That’s what hurt the little one inside of me, changing everything going forward. That’s what happened that changed my inner child, into a wounded inner child.
But before we address this wounded little one, I want to talk about the inner child that existed before that one. I want to talk about the little one that let the whole room know. They cried when they were upset. They giggled when they were amused, they screamed when they were hungry, and smiled when they were happy, and took off running when they had somewhere to be. You know that one, the one that was what they were, and they didn’t even think to hide it, shy back, pretend, or tuck it in.
It was your free little child, not worried about embarrassment, rejection, pride, or anything else that feels heavy. Just free.
Purely free, before the pain, fear, and grief entered into your inner child, as a result of being wounded.
And please don’t get caught up measuring your story against someone else’s. Don’t start feeling shame on top of the pain, because you don’t think your wound was a deep or serious as someone else’s. Your wound is valid, it matters, and it’s significant to your story.
Even though you have moved on in life, and maybe even feel the sting of your pain less than you used to, it still matters. Your little one, that inner child within you, still matters and needs you.
And you need them.
Don’t you sometimes sit and think about how great it would be to just laugh at a cloud? Or truly enjoy the way a stick feels in your hand? Wouldn’t it be so fantastic to have moments where nothing else mattered except the ice cream cone in your hand? There was no extra stress or worry or fear to steal the joy of the moment?
There is a little one inside you who knows how to do that. But they’ve been told to be quiet. Grow up. Sit down. Stay out of the way. Go away. Hide.
We think this is part of growing up. To put aside childish ways. But when did the word “childish” become known as something of negative thoughts, feelings, or behaviors?
Childish has come to represent ways in which we should change from, in order to be considered mature, and grown.
But like we’ve said in the last few podcasts, “grown” has been sold to us as something to aim to achieve… and yet it’s a ridiculous thought. Grown would indicate I am done learning. I know it all. I am now grown.
I’m never going to be able to say that. I’m committed to growing until my last breath.
So why then, and when and how, did the word CHILDISH become negative.
Because the more I look at my inner child, the more I want to engage, reunite, learn from, and well, honestly, have a play date with.
I want to be called CHILDISH and have grace for that space of innocence before that happened. Before the wounds. Before the fear and pain and grief decided that was what maturity was all about.
Somewhere, it seems that we were taught a false lesson that being a responsible adult included holding close the wounds and function from them, in them, and through them… and anything less would be turning a blind eye to how the really is, how people really are, and who I really am now.
And I’m working hard lately to shake these lessons from life. To not see my wounds as lessons to wear like a shield, but events to learn something from.
But what I’m aiming to do is see them as walls to go around, climb over, dig under, or knock down altogether.
Because these walls of wounds, they were not preventable. Life has happened all around me and to me. But somewhere along the way, I did get to the other side of the wall, I was able to keep going forward. But my little inner child, I left her on the other side. Alone. Left behind. Somedays forgotten altogether.
And what I left back there with her, was my ability, my privilege, and my right really, to be childish.
Maybe some of you are still struggling with this term childish. It still rings like something negative in your ears. Because you hear it, and you envision sights like a toddler throwing themselves on the floor in a temper tantrum.
But I say ya, even that. I need to get back in touch with those ways too. It is not maturity to allow for injustice and to stay sat down quietly with my hands folded neatly on my lap. There have been moments when I needed to have a temper tantrum and say “this is not ok. I will not be quiet and allow this to continue one more moment”.
I’ve needed to say yes to the ice cream for breakfast. I’ve needed to say, “I don’t want to share”, when something was mine and I didn’t claim it or fight for it.
I needed to say, “I don’t want to clean my room today, I want to go outside and play with a tree”.
I have needed to say I will laugh at that because it gives me joy, cry at that because it makes me upset, scream at that because it makes me mad, and walk away from that because it makes me uncomfortable”.
Yes, I need to be childish again, unapologetically, and I will only be able to do that if I go back for that little one, I left behind.
And it is not that the wounds didn’t happen. It’s not that they didn’t happen and don’t matter. They happened. They mattered.
It’s not that I was not taught life lessons by things that have happened in my life. It’s not that my story reads a certain way now.
It’s not that I don’t now know what I know. It’s just that it can’t keep me and my inner child, my precious little one, separated anymore.
Yes, I know what I now know about this world, the people in it, and even versions of myself… but I am not governed by any of it.
I must go back for my little one to learn from her. To watch her live in the moment. To watch her respond and react to the moment in pure genuine honesty with herself, her thoughts, and her feelings.
Have you ever seen a small child running to the back door stop, and check the weather app first? No, they either play in the sunshine or jump in the puddles, catch snowflakes with their tongue, or fly a kite.
Have you ever heard a small child say “I can’t colour this picture of a dog? I only have a purple crayon, and dogs aren’t purple”. No, they colour the dog purple, then rip the page out of the coloring book and take it for a walk to the park. Showing every stranger on the way. And calling out those big people who we don’t think took a proper look and seemed to care about our purple paper dog, out for a walk to the park.
And it’s times like that, when we were little, addressing big people in a way like that, that’s when we’d be told things like “we’re getting too big for our britches”.
Ya, anyone remember being told they were a little too big for their britches? No? Ya, me neither.
But honestly, I think that’s what happens when we grow up letting our wounds light the way. When we let our grief and fear and pain guide us. We grow into our britches. And that’s a shame.
Cause being too big for your britches means to have too much confidence. To be too proud of yourself. I can’t ever remember telling my children to calm down on the confidence level there.
I can’t remember ever hoping a child would lack confidence and not be proud of themselves.
So, is it CHILDISH then, to have confidence and pride?
If it is, that sounds like another great reason to go back for someone who can teach me the ways.
So maybe that needs to become a goal of ours. To become childish again. To go back to the wall that our wounds built between us and our inner child, and figure out how to climb, dig, or demolish. We do it if our own child was on the other side wouldn’t we.
We need to do it for the child in us.
And once we master that wall, our goal is to nurture the little one so that they can teach us once again to be childish.
To be hopeful without all the fear and doubt.
To see the beauty in the mess of anything.
To see the joy in the little things that otherwise seem insignificant.
And to be too big for our britches, instead of hiding and pretending just in case we are judged harshly for it.
And to do this in spite of what my history has tried to teach me about the world, people in it, and myself within the big picture of it all.
My history though. I can’t undo it. I can’t redo it. So, what do I do with it? Because going back to reckon with the wall of my wounds, to get to my little me, doesn’t destroy the past, even if it breaks down a wall.
I might break down a wall and still find that I have a broken heart.
Nurturing your inner child, is looking at them seeing them from what they are. A child. We don’t shame children for what has happened to them. We don’t make them feel guilty for not knowing how to handle situations. We don’t blame them for the experiences they’ve had to endure.
So why, when you think back on a younger version of yourself, do you cringe? You have to see a child, and comfort, support, and cradle them, like you would any other child.
No one looks at someone with scars or burns acquired in childhood, with disdain. Why are you looking at your inner child like that? That child needs empathy, compassion, and gentle care.
To nurture and take care of that child, is to allow them to be childish again. Before being taught anything different.
But in order to deal with that history, we have to be able to be convinced in our present that we can go back for that little one. That we are worthy of that. That we deserve that. That we can handle that.
Cause remember our wounds are trying to be in control. And they whisper to us things that we don’t need to listen to. They say things like you aren’t strong enough for that. Go back for who? Someone full of bad choices, poor coping, and pure weakness? You weren’t capable then to handle things, you sure aren’t now either.
But I want to position you into a place where you may hear those whispers, but you know how to reply. And it isn’t with a whisper.
When they say, “you aren’t strong enough for that”. You reply with “how do you think I got here?”
When they ask, “go back for who? Someone full of bad choices, poor coping, and pure weakness?“ You answer, “no, someone who didn’t have a lot of choices, someone who did cope because they made it, and someone who was pure innocence”.
When they whisper, “you weren’t capable then to handle things, you sure aren’t now either”. You say, “WATCH ME”.
And then, you give those whispers something to talk about.
For real. You give those whispers new language. Because as you go back for your inner child, your little you… When you go back and face those wounds… When you unlearn what the wounds tried to teach you and learn to be CHILDISH again, you shape a future for all of you.
I want to be a childish adult who has new whispers in the future.
Whispers that say “you got this girl. I’ve seen what you can do”.
Whispers that say “get up girl, this is not like you to give up. You didn’t survive, go back, unlearn, and relearn just to get to here. Get up. Keep going”.
Whispers that say “let’s play in the sunshine or jump in the puddles, catch snowflakes with our tongue, or fly a kite. Or hey, let’s take a purple paper dog for a walk”.
Friends, let us be childish again, in a playdate with our inner child.
Can we do that? Can we? I think we can. And I think we ought to.
I think we deserve it. Today, yesterday, tomorrow.
Go back and get her. Go back and get him. Tell them, I know what happened to you. It matters. I’m sorry. I’m not even asking you to get over it. That’s not how it goes. But I’m telling you, I need you to teach me to be childish again, so that EVEN though that happened… we can still have a good life.
I need you to help me to again, be too big for my britches.
I love you guys. Until next time, this is Tina saying goodbye for now, and we’ll speak again soon.