Why do so many people feel nostalgic about childhood?
Even when looking back and realizing the flaws of systems, parents, and illusions, we still feel a pull to reach back into our past and relish in the comfort of being a child; an unblemished soul.
But there is a deeper reason why we constantly return to fantasies of childhood; why we ache for our old story books, innocent desires, and imagination worlds.
Our higher selves recognize that our ultimate goal is to return to that child-like state.
A state in which our deepest desires and selves are not yet veiled with the many masks that adult life requires us to use.
A state in which creativity and play are not luxuries, but needs for a content soul.
We often feel such pressure to settle into our “adult selves,” but in truth, the more we appreciate and work with our inner child, the more wisdom is available to us, and the more fulfilled our lives can be.
Listen to the child-like voice inside of you
Sometimes, even after smothering our inside voices for years, little urges will still work their way up to our consciousness. It may be the child-like urge to jump into rain puddles, or hum to yourself while waiting on line. Take those innocent urges and run with them.
The child inside you is not only wise, but very knowledgeable about who you truly are, and what you need in your life to grow and thrive.
The best advice for someone who is struggling with an unhappy and unfulfilled job is to think back to what they enjoyed doing when they were a kid, and to follow their gifts and passions. So, listen to what the child inside you wants to do. The more you listen, the more he/she will speak up with valuable advice to guide you through your life.
Example: While passing by a local toy store, a wooden build-it-yourself airplane caught my eye. Though I passed it every day and it was a meager price of five dollars, I found myself promising to buy it “eventually”, but never stopping to actually do it. (Quite literally like promising a kid a prize “next time”.)
Last week, while writing this article, I realized this and finally gave in and bought it. I could actually feel my inner childs victory as soon as I left the store.
Heal your wounded or hidden child
Just like any child, the child inside you needs tender love and care in order to flourish. And sometimes, your child, after having been pushed down for a while, needs time and attention to heal again. Just as any child, it needs an attentive and supportive mother who can be trusted to raise him/her up.
A wounded inner child is one that was ignored or quieted for a long period of time; or perhaps even abused or talked down to. Our inner child is especially sensitive to negative self-talk, and negative beliefs.
Example: While dealing with a difficult bout of depression, I could not hear my inner child at all. I believed that the negative voices that had take over were all that there was. It needed very specific gestures from me in order to speak up again.
A lot of coaxing, soft words, and mother-like hugs brought her back up to the surface. And since then I make sure to check up on her all the time to make sure she feels safe and listened to.
This is truly having a relationship with the child inside you.
Take time to live as your child would
Once we’ve established communication with our inner child, the next step is to integrate his/her wisdom into our daily life. Set dates to do something that would make your inner child happy and fulfilled; whether it’s doing an art project, picking flowers, or throwing a ball around the park.
Or just small things each day that make you break out of the adult mold and into the freedom and imagination of the child. The next time you find yourself spending time or taking care of a child, play on his/her level.
Get down on your hands and knees and delve into their world of imagination. What better practice than to truly play as a child. Much love and luck on your path!