We all have these. The Inner Children. Maybe I shouldn’t say taming. It’s more like integrating. Integrating your inner child to the adult you. Depending on events in our childhood, we are either quite tuned in to our inner child or completely out of tune. So out of tune that our inner child may sometimes act up. How? You ask me. I am not an expert, having started learning about my inner child only recently. I can however tell you what I’ve figured out thus far.
The inner child is very powerful, and he/she will not be ignored. How does the inner child get the attention they think they deserve? Ever acted in a way that was completely out of character? Made decisions that you later wonder how you could have made such a decision? Mostly, these acts/decisions are on the negative, believe it or not. Imagine a child. A child who has been calling for attention and is not getting any. Imagine what this child would do. They will tag on you dress, and if that still doesn’t get your attention, they will go ahead and throw a tantrum.
This dear readers, is what our inner child is capable of doing. The times when you find yourself wondering, ‘how could I do that? How could I have said that? What was I thinking?’ You probably were not. Your inner child was calling for attention. Some ways in which, I’m learning, that the inner child calls for attention include:
i) Addictions: – We are fond of looking at some addictions as cute. We only think that the only bad addictions are drugs and alcohol. These are just two of the highly publicized as having negative effects on an individual. There are addictions like caffeine, work, chocolates, sugar, internet, love, persons, e.t.c. Make no mistake ladies and gentlemen. These addictions are as deadly as drugs and alcohol. They are by no means cute.
ii) Codependency:- Do you find yourself being the savior of the universe? Offering help even when it’s not solicited? Being the go-to person when anyone is in trouble and they want to talk or want to be bailed out of trouble? Do you find yourself not wanting to talk about your problems because you think none of these people you are ‘saving’, who you even refer to as FRIENDS will understand you? Do you sometimes find yourself resentful of people because they don’t take time to ask you how you are doing, yet you keep asking everyone how they are doing? Do you at times feel extremely drained, yet, you cannot stop till you ‘help’ that one more person? Feel taken advantage of? Can never say no even when you don’t want to do something or help? Like your relationships are always one-sided? Trying to parent the world? You could apparently be suffering from co-dependency, and though it might not look like it, your inner child is calling for attention.
iii) Narcissism:- You tend to think the whole world is wrong and you are right. The world suddenly revolves around you. Everyone and everything lives to gratify your needs. You lack compassion and you have to be in control at all times. This, coupled with passive aggressive behavior, driven to the extreme becomes a problem. We do need to love ourselves and be loved by others. But we also need to realise that there are other people out there. The whole world is not bad or out to get us and we can as well be compassionate.
These are 3 examples of how our inner child calls for our attention. They are of course not the only ones, but do you see child-like behavior in all of them? Why we are not likely to pay attention to our inner child, talk and listen to that inner child is because we are too busy living as the society expects us to, busy building walls around us or just too busy to sit and reflect. To listen to ourselves.
There are many ways in which we can begin to address the inner child, and they are quite deep. Some, believe it or not will require a therapist, who will help you analyse your childhood to determine what effect it had on you and your adult life. Understanding this ‘child’ will be the first step to living a healthy life and forming healthy, constructive relationships.
Again, I’m not an expert and I’m just beginning to understand the powerful effects of childhood and the inner child in how I live my life. Only you can look at yourself and determine if you and your inner child are in perfect harmony by critically examining yourself, your friends and your relationships. Happy hunting.