The inner child sits and waits. It waits patiently for the adult to notice it, to talk to it. It wonders how many more nights, months, or years it must wait. It asks itself: "How can I get her attention? How can I get her to talk to me, to listen to me?"
It thinks back of its past experience with parents and teachers and remembers that many times, to get attention, one had to be 'bad' or naughty. That always got attention. So it wonders... if I am the inner child, how can I be 'bad' or naughty and get the attention of my adult self? The child, trusting her intuition, does what comes up.
The adult finds herself compulsively eating, getting into fits of anger, sadness, and fear. As a rational adult, she cannot see where this behavior is coming from. As a conscious person, she feels that this has to do with some unresolved issues. "What are they? What is the problem here?" she questions.
The child cries out! "Listen to me! Pay attention to me! I can help you. I have many insights for you, and much joy. We can have so much fun together, so many experiences of love and laughter. Reach in to me. Touch me, feel me, heal me, and I in turn will touch you, feel you, and heal you."
The adult feels confused. She feels the need to nurture and be nurtured. She senses that she is wounded, yet cannot see the wound. She feels that something is trying to come to the surface. What is it?
The child cries out, "It's me! I'm here crying out for you. I need you. I love you. I can be your partner, your helper, your guide. All you need is to start acknowledging my presence. Stop ignoring me. Stop pretending that you are all grown up and are past 'that' stage. Come back to earth. Come back to being present in this body — after all it's the only one you got and it's all ours. Yours and mine. The inner child and the adult.
"I am the part of you that you have hidden inside — the sensitive one, the caring loving one, the exuberant one! That's me! You have become the serious one, the one that has no time to play, to simply be. You are the busy one... wanting to do better, to improve, to advance your growth, your career, your relationship, etc. I simply want to be — mostly joyful and happy.
"It's ok to be sad now and then, but I don't like to stretch that stuff out. I feel it, let it out, and move on! The adult that you are seems to enjoy mucking around in that stuff. Not me! I'm a child, and I want to play and enjoy life. I don't believe that we are here to be miserable. I think some miserable people made that up so that everyone would be miserable like them. Well, I don't buy it! I trash that thought!
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"I think that God made us and God loves us, and He/She surely wants us to be happy! After all, don't all parents want their children to be happy, deep down? It's just that because they have buried their own inner child, they think that happy means having a good job, a big house, secure income, and all that stuff. We inner children know that is all crap. What's important is the love and the joy and the simplicity. We don't need fancy toys. We just need a loving lap that we can sit on and feel loved. And then we can make up toys as we go along.
"Adults make it so complicated! Give yourself a KISS. Yes! K.I.S.S. Keep it simple silly! Look inside yourself and invite your inner child to come out and play. Tell it that it's ok. That you won't scream at it anymore, won't tell it to go away, or tell it that it's not behaving appropriately. A-prop-riot-e-lie. That's a big word that I learned from you. I know what a prop is. I know what a riot is. I know what a lie is. All those words together just don't make any sense to me. Except that maybe behaving appropriately is a lie which becomes a prop for a riot. Did you ever think about that?
"You told me that it was not a-prop-riot-e behavior to dance in the street, or to sing with the birds, or to talk to the new people that I discovered on the street — you call those people strange-hers. You told me that it is not appropriate to be playful and childlike, and that I had to act your age. Well I've got news for you. I'm an inner child and I am eternally young... so my age is whatever I choose. And today I choose to be five years old. So it is okay for me to sing and dance and love everyone I meet, because I know that God loves me, and that I am loved by everyone because God is in everyone.
"Do you know what is not appropriate? When you frighten me with your grown-up mixed-up beliefs. You have a picture of the world that I do not like, and you try to frighten me into doing what you want by telling me about your picture. Well your picture is all wrong! Do you know why? Because your picture has a nasty God in it that punishes children and he gets very angry when they make a mistake. Well, my God loves me and loves you too. And my God does not frighten little children. Instead S/He provides birds that make music, fruit trees for food, sun for light and warmth, grass to roll on and lay on, animals to play with, and lots of other good things.
"Your picture is just a horror movie that you have made up, and I don't watch horror movies. So if you insist on watching a horror picture, keep me out of it. Don't even tell me about it. I don't like to hear yucky stories. They make my belly and my heart hurt.
"But if you decide that you would like to watch and live a beautiful love story with me, then simply switch channel to the Inner Child channel. You and I can get to know each other and then we can have some fun as well as some love and peace together.
"You probably don't even know where I am. Well, that's because I'm scared of you and I've been hiding. I would suggest you tame me, just as if you were dealing with a scared kitten. Just imagine that your inner child is a scared kitty hiding under the bed. What do you do? Well maybe you start talking gently and lovingly to it even though you can't see it. And then maybe you bring it a saucer of warm milk (for me a saucer of unconditional love will do), and then you back off a little and keep talking softly.
"After a while, I may peek around the corner to make sure that you are really for real and that you won't judge me and criticize me again... after all, you have done that a lot. And if I feel that you are really ready to love me and be nice to me, I'll come out and we can talk and play.
"Another way that you can get in touch with me is to listen to what you call your intuition. Lots of times that is me telling you what would be great for us. So the next time you feel that it would be good for you to go for a walk, or to sing out loud, or to dance... pay attention. That's probably me making my presence known. And the more you spend time doing the kind of things that I like, the more you will start feeling me there, and enjoying our time together.
"And keep talking to me. Soon you'll start hearing me. You see, I talk very softly cause I'm little and sometimes I'm scared of you cause you're big and you talk loud and gruff. So listen softly, and then you'll hear me. And remember I love you and I really want to spend time with you. And I know that once you start spending time with me, you'll be much happier than you are now. You'll find yourself singing and maybe even taking silly little dance steps in the street. And the people around you will start smiling for no apparent reason when you walk by, because their own inner child will recognize me and will also pop up to the surface.
"Can I come out and play? I love you a whole bunch! I hope you'll come visit often and invite me to hang out with you a lot too! We can really have a great time together, you and I."
Your Inner Child
Disney's The Kid
with Bruce Willis, Spencer Breslin, and Lily Tomlin.
Successful, high-powered Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) has spent all of his incredibly empty life forgetting the child he used to be -- until one day, he meets him face-to-face! At once funny and charming, DISNEY'S THE KID is a magical comedy that's filled with adult-sized laughs (and insights).
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
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