‘Life is a race, if you do not run fast, you will be like a broken anda.’ This is a dialogue from a popular movie, and perfectly explains the rat race that we are all running in. We are caught up with office work and chores at home so much, that we do not even remember exactly when our stress free days took departure from us. If we go back in time of our college days we see ourselves worrying about being the best dressed person for a school music night. Further rewinding into our childhood, we remember how having the latest Lego range was all that mattered, other than that who cared about the future when we were so busy celebrating today.
Walking down memory lane, you will realize how different you have become – the child you were before might look like a stranger to you now. All the while you were learning, struggling, witnessing the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, accumulating all the feelings inside you, you never realized when your childhood was locked inside a frame of an adult. That child locked up inside your adult being is your ‘inner child’, also known as the ‘wonder child’, ‘divine child’ or ‘true self’.
Psychologists now strongly believe the “inner child theory” has been in the books for a long time. The inner child is not a physical entity living inside of you, nor a spiritual one. In fact it is a complex of memories, emotions, attitudes, habits and behaviors, which molded you into what you are today, as an adult. One of the facts that plays a major role in building the adult personality is your childhood. An abandoned child will grow up to be a different person than a sexually abused child. In short, the inner child carries all your pain, agony, anger, sad memories that you buried deep inside you. This part of your personality lives in your subconscious mind, but it is a living part. It can and does affect the way you behave as an adult.
Heal Your Inner Child
Although each of us is different, we have all been through thick and thin and we all have our pasts. We have all had our part of pain and sadness. You might wonder “why do I need to shuffle around your past, when you have managed to stay away from it for so long?” Here are some reasons why:
- You have anger management problems
- Your relationship is deteriorating with your parents, spouse, boss, children and friends
- You have stress management problems
- You complain a lot about your parents
- You tend to blame others for what is happening to you
- You are too defensive and cannot except your mistakes
You might not relate to all these problems, but even one of these problems reflects your inner child and its yearnings. All your sorrow and negative memories from the past are not gone but somewhere suppressed with in you. The inner child needs you to come back and give it a hug. It wants your attention. It wants you to listen and help, it wants your love. Only then you can get over irrational bouts of anger, stress, anxiety, critical thoughts and being intimidated.
Once you let your inner child take over your conscious, listen to it. Give it what it demands. Initially you might not be able to pin point what is going wrong but gradually with time the internal block will thaw away and let the genuine problem come to the surface. Your inner voice can lead you to inner peace and bring you to what matters to you the most; your relationships, your weight, your office work, your relation with your children or an irrational fear. Then it can bring you back to why are you failing in that certain aspect of your life that matters to you the most. The reason can be any day to day memory: watching and hearing your parents fight, witnessing too much violence, being abused, and chased by a dog or any embarrassing story from your school.
What Should You Do?
Assess yourself getting over your past grudges and sorrows. Go back to things that made you happy as a child. It can be anything:
- Feel free to walk down the toy aisle in the super store
- Spend time playing with mud with your children in the garden
- Buy yourself candies and stop worrying about calories
- Buy yourself the cereals you liked when you were a kid
- Watch any shows/cartoons you loved as a child
You should also work on mimicking the stress free time you spent as a child. Maybe take a leave from work and have a day of your own. Spend time with people you love, rekindle your relationship with your spouse, parents and friends. Discussing your problems with your siblings and love ones can also prove to be extremely helpful. Try to gain back anything that you lost and miss. Lastly, but very importantly stop telling yourself you are too old for anything!