I have found that many clients are either unaware of the little child that exists within them or feel alone in their belief of the existence of the little kid within them. So, to be very clear: We all have a little child within us. No one is exempt from this rule. We may grow up and become distanced from our little ones but they exist within us daily. Oftentimes, if we are unaware of them, they have probably been in control of us and our lives for some time. Growing up makes us aware of our own judgments, the judgments of others, and we become bogged down by responsibilities that add to our fears and judgments. For many of us, this dims our ability to view and connect with the little child inside.
But we can change this. We can reconnect with our inner kids and even heal them. In turn, this can help us heal our present selves. As we learn about the traumas and pains that we experienced as children, we can see how these themes and lessons have influenced our lives – both consciously and unconsciously – and we can learn to make changes to our lives that help us to live more fulfilling and rewarding lives.
1. Laugh more. Laughter is good for all of us. It improves our immune systems, floods our bodies with endorphins, relieves stress, and reduces tension in our bodies. If we are laughing, we are in the moment and present in our environments, rather than stressing about the past or the future. It means that we are spending time experiencing emotions and for that moment, we might even experience freedom. As kids, we laugh freely and experience the emotions that come with laughter. However, to be able experience the freedom of laughter in adulthood, we must be able to let go of judgment and shame.
2. Engage in quiet time. Don’t be afraid of quiet time. Many of us spend so much time running away from silence, we don’t realize that this can harm us. We spend a lot of time taking information in; but spend no time filtering out what is not meant for us, whether it is harmful or irrelevant, or information that we just do not want or need. If we are uncomfortable with quiet time, how do we hear our own thoughts? How do we know what our feelings and emotions are on any topic? Spending time with our thoughts can be one of the most enlightening acts we can do for ourselves. Spending time alone with ourselves can quiet the noise from the outside world to allow space to hear our inner child.
3. Reduce our own judgments. If we spent less time judging ourselves, we would experience more freedom to experience other emotions. If we don’t judge ourselves as severely, and instead focus on having self-compassion, we open up paths of positivity that can reshape our lives. If we take the time to reflect on our lives, we may find that a lot of the words we use harshly on ourselves as adults may have been projected onto us as children.
4. Develop the art of writing and/or creative expressions. Whether it is journaling, letter-writing, or other creative expressions, these activities force us to spend time with our thoughts and feelings. Oftentimes, these types of activities bring up emotions and themes that may have laid dormant in our psyches. If writing is not for you, consider other creative outlets, such as painting, drawing, sculpting, and music. Creative outlets can be vital in helping us discover emotional and mental trauma from our childhood. These traumas usually have an impact on our adult lives. When we are unaware of these traumas, they unconsciously affect our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
5. Practice self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is a daily ritual. We are inundated daily with negative feedback and emotions that threaten to overwhelm and shame us in to believing that we are unworthy. But we have the choice to receive grace that is given to us daily. The grace that allows us to forgive ourselves and grant ourselves compassion and acceptance. Practicing self-acceptance and compassion helps us to process and integrate traumas we have experienced rather than avoiding them and burying them.
Consider these 5 steps and the impact they can have on your lives. These are in no way, the only steps that can be taken; bear in mind that everything is not for everyone. So, if these activities do not work for you, then consider similar activities and substitute them. The important thing is doing the things that will help you experience fulfillment and joy that comes with taking care of your needs and building the life you have chosen.