"Be yourself" is great advice, but how to achieve this may seem confusing. We are told to be who we are, but many of us have little idea who that is. Some of us may get glimpses when we feel the aliveness of loving doing what we love, regardless of judgement from people who don’t know who they are, let alone who we are. As children, this lack of love, often disguised as love, came from our parents or caretakers. We looked upon them as Gods, we needed them for survival, and together with our society, they taught us that they knew what was going on. We allowed ourselves to be lead by the blind. In order to achieve this, we had to cut off our inner child. We stopped listening to him or her, we even shamed her or him, we gave our inner child little love, because we didn’t know who we are, we didn’t know what love is. Reconnecting with our inner child, after years of abandonment and abuse can be both a beautiful and painful process.
Here are some tips to support this very real and far-reaching relationship. It is the most important relationship for you to nurture.
Keep healthy boundaries. Like a lioness protect your inner child from judgement. This can come from family and close friends. It can be hard to accept this, but often those closest feel threatened by your true happiness.
You must also keep a close eye on your inner critic. Explain to your inner critic that it’s only fair that you finally start listening to your inner child instead now.
Do the things you most loved to do as a child.
Give your inner child loads of love, but also specific things you missed out on as a child. This could be words of praise and encouragement, giving your inner child full respect and attention or adopting a pet.
Become aware of your feelings and give yourself full permission to feel however you feel at any time.
Keep a photo of you as a child somewhere visible.
Write your inner child a letter from your heart.
Play and have fun!
And finally, my other favourite, is holding my inner child. You can hold your inner child, ask them to forgive you for all the times you were not present, you did not listen to them, you may bow before them in awe of the abuse they have endured. In little time you may yourself feel held, you may feel the excitement of being here in the now, you may yourself be heard, and you may start to observe with awe, the immense power you have always had. You just had to reconnect and unleash your inner child to become truly aware of it.