Our Inner Child And Us

The key to truly loving ourselves and our loved ones without any resentment is to love who they were before adulthood happened.

Time and again I go back to my time spent with 12 bright and beautiful girls in an NGO back in my hometown of Kolkata in India. Working with them for six weeks opened my eyes to a whole new different world, it was as if a switch went on in my mind and suddenly everything I viewed was much more deeper , I realised everyone has another level to what they show.

Definitely the strength and perseverance that these young girls have is something beyond my wildest imagination. However, I did take back certain lessons learnt from them, like how to decode and get in touch with one’s inner child.

I still remember when I would sit with each of the girls and discuss their life and help them gain a positive outlook, I couldn’t help but notice the child in every person in my life since then.

The fact that we carry a piece of our childhood, the experiences and the environment within us, essentially, we are all products of everything we have grown up with. At times when I struggle to understand myself or the people intrinsic to my life, even my parents. I switch to the mode of inner child.

I sit with myself and truly to understand where is this fear or insecurity stemming from? Is it really something to align with today or tomorrow or is it a reflection of yesterday?

Countless times in the past year and a half I have tried to sit down with my inner child and understand her, why after so many years is she still lacking in confidence, why is she always on edge of losing people.

If need be, I even rally back and forth to any event that has a significant effect on my overall personality, like my innate emotional dependence on junk food when I feel overwhelmed.

Till date I have struggled with the habit of emotional eating but whenever I sit with myself and rationalise if I really do need to stuff my feelings down my throat, I actually end up understanding my issue and sharing it with someone rather than just eating it away like the child version of myself would have done.

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I do the same with the people I love, whenever I feel I am not understanding where they are coming from. I go back to the times when they shared their experiences growing up, their home environment, their fears as a child that they still hide in their put together adult exterior.

Whenever I see my mother still at the age of 56 struggle with expressing herself in front of people and stating her needs and wants out loud; instead of getting frustrated with her, I actually understand that this is how she has been since the age of 5. Her life path has moulded her in such a way that she will always put her needs last.

Whenever I have viewed anyone from the lens of seeing that child in them, I have truly understood the why and the how. As much as we want to admit that our childhood is behind us, it is indeed very much in us, driving some of our innate characteristics.

The key to truly loving ourselves and our loved ones without any resentment is to love who they were before adulthood happened. Before they had to grow up much earlier than they should have. I know I am much kinder to myself nowadays and especially much more understanding towards some of the key individuals in my life whom I immensely love.

Love is after all, loving every bit of a person, even the residual child in them.

Image Source: Maxime Bhm via Unsplash

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