What to expect from this blog:
- Kavitha’s journey of finding and healing her inner child
- What happens when we lose touch with our inner child and how we can reconnect to it
There was a time when the very concept of the inner child was alien to me.
“What inner child? I am an adult now and it is important to act and speak like one”
“Come on Kavitha, grow up and act mature. How long will you be childish?”
My mother’s words constantly echoed in my mind. Little did she know the impact those words had on my mental wellbeing.
But what does it mean to be an adult? Does it mean to be serious all the time?
Does being an adult mean you need to be wrapped up in adulting and sacrifice yourself for the benefit of the family? To take into consideration everyone else’s wants and needs and to push your own needs to the bottom of the pile?
I looked to my parents and extended family for answers and it seemed like that was exactly how they lived as “adults”.
I buckled up and braced myself for the ride. It was a struggle – the more I embraced adulting, the harder it got for me to relax.
I got angrier, more bitter, and more stressed and increasingly it started taking a toll on my mental wellness. I remember the days my then 2-year-old son wanted to connect and play with me and all I could think about was finishing housework and preparing for work the next day.
I’ve lost count of the times I told him off for disturbing me while doing chores, for bothering me when I was answering a work email, and after putting him to bed feeling guilty for not spending time playing with him.
The more I pushed him away, the more disconnected I felt with myself.
I could not figure out why this was happening or what I did wrong. I was adulting the way I was told to. This was supposed to make me independent and happy. Yet here I was feeling lost and wallowing in self-pity.
‘Child’ vs ‘Adult’
What does connection with my child have to do with my connection with myself? Let me explain…
There was a part of me that grew stiff and cold every time the words ‘play’ was mentioned. My mother’s words – “grow up and act mature,” hung like a decree around my neck. This part of me wanted to run as far away from the idea of playing as possible. Its programming was ‘adulting’.
Yet there was another conflicting part that simply longed to play – longed to have fun, to laugh and to be free – my inner child. When these two parts collided, they left me feeling unhappy, disgruntled and stuck.
A lot of us have these conflicting parts. These parts may show up in an intimate relationship as a general dissatisfaction with our partner, or feeling trapped in the relationship.
- It may show up as resistance to our child’s efforts to connect intimately.
- It may show up as the excessive need to bury oneself in work.
- It may show up as the compulsive need to shop, or a feeling that nothing in life seems satisfying anymore.
No matter how this conflict presents, we have a choice to either continue living discontented or seek ways to heal the conflicting parts and bring inner peace. I chose the latter.
Finding the right professional to provide emotional support therapy and guide you through the process can be very helpful. From experience, I know this process takes time. Sometimes it may feel like you are progressing, yet at other times it may also feel like you are regressing. Remember to choose to walk the journey with compassion and kindness.
The ongoing journey of healing
My son is 6 now at the time of writing, and even though I have done a lot of inner work – I still find myself struggling with not knowing how to relax around him, or just letting my inner child come out and play.
Each time I sense this, I remind myself to breathe and be present with the discomfort. I know I am working with my wounded inner child and it takes time to heal.
Just as I am patient with my son when he throws tantrums – I am learning to be patient with the tantrums of my inner child, by holding space for her to heal for the sake of her mental wellness.
Our children mirror us. They can read our subtle cues and reflect our emotions with ease.
Watching my good friend play with my son completely engrossed in his creative spins, matching his energy levels 8 hours straight for 3 days in a row taught me how it feels to be completely connected to my inner child, to be in joy every moment, to be present, to laugh freely and love unconditionally.
I pray that each of us learns the beauty of connecting to self and the transformative power of healing inner child wounds.
Are you looking to reparent your inner child, but can’t seem to figure out how to?
Learn more about how you can work with us to improve your mental wellness. We at Intracresco are here to support you through your journey of rediscovering yourself through our curated emotional support therapy services.