Today I accidentally received an email not meant for me and since it was very short, I read it before I realized it wasn’t for me. It said, (I’m using different names) “Hey Mary I got another email about this inner child thing, what do you think about it? Maggie.” Attached to the post was one of the testimonials from one of my readers. It made me wonder what “Maggie” thought and what she’d say to Mary.
I think the hardest part of understanding this inner child thing is attaching a persona to thoughts we think that are contrary to what we want to do. In other words, unless we are very aware, we do things that are self-sabotaging. Self-help is nothing new and yet how many of us really know how to help ourselves? We like to get help from professionals, books, support groups and such when all along there is wisdom within us that unless we pay attention to it, we miss it.
I have loved the results of meeting and forging a relationship with Nelly my inner child. She’s not a real child with blood and bones, but she’s a real child with thoughts and feelings and she was with me even though I didn’t know it, 15 years ago when I was under the pressure of $26,000 plus in credit card debt. When my house was a mess 40 years ago I now know she was there because my reason to get the place organized was so that I’d have more free time to play! And I played with her to lose the 35 pounds I wrote about in my book, The Mouth Trap: the butt stops here!
Suggesting to those having trouble imagining this inner child, to find a photo of themselves from their childhood has helped many. When you look at a picture of yourself when you were young and innocent it can help you be more patient, kind and compassionate with yourself as you reclaim your balance and the peace that comes with that.
I can only speak for women, but I can guess this concept of an inner child works for men too. (Just read what St. Paul had to say in Romans Chapter Seven: 17-20.) We women grow up and most of us have babies and are thrown into motherhood with the force of a crashing wave. My neighbor just had her first baby and she has that look! I visited her at 11:30 am one morning and she was still in her night gown, the house was a mess, her hair was tangled and shaped a little like a rooster. Charlie slept peacefully in a vibrating baby holder and Buckley (the family dog was needy for the first time since I’ve known him). “I’ve been up all night,” were her rather dazed first words to me.
Sleepless nights, cracked nipples, healing stitches, spit-up splotched blouses, shirts, skirts, shoes, you get the picture. I think it’s with the onset of motherhood that we start forgetting our own well-being. We can only neglect ourselves so long before we start to see the results of neglect. It usually shows up in a messy house, an unbalanced budget or overweight. (Sometimes all three!)
My motto is Make it fun and it will get done! The main message I have for this inner child thing is, to learn how to have fun with YOU. If I had my way, the title of this Make it Fun article would have been, Have Fun Playing with Yourself! But of course that title would cause an upheaval! But I really, really mean it when I say I hope you can learn how to play with yourself. When you are your own best friend, you will love your life with a passion only those of you, who know, know.
I remember when I was young I whined to my mom that Donna Trotland said she didn’t want to play with me. Mom said, “Well you go outside and play by yourself and act like you are having fun.” I remember wondering what to do? What I did was start running and doing cartwheels and rolling around on the lawn. I remember it being an act at first but soon I was having fun! And you know what? Donna came over and wanted to play!
I’ve said this before; all of our problems are windows of opportunity to get to know ourselves better. What a wonderful plan God had for us! When you spend the time getting to know and understand what has caused a problem in your life, you get the joy of getting to know YOU. The YOU God made and loves and if God loves you, you should love YOU too. Now go play with yourself, and you know what I mean.
Hopefully Mary and Maggie have a little better idea of what this inner child thing is all about.