Hello again! Today, I wanted to talk to you about what our inner child does for us, and why it is so important for us to keep nurturing our inner child despite all the problems and obstacles that we may face in our daily lives.
This blog post was inspired by a Facebook comment that my older cousin made earlier this morning, in response to my status update about taking a break from the rat race to smell the roses. My cousin’s comment was “There are no breaks in [the] rat race. Die or quit.” My inner child of course disagreed with his sentiment, and it triggered an avalanche of thoughts about why exactly nurturing our inner child is so important.
In fact it is only because I have finally started actively nurturing my inner-child that I have been able to start and develop several projects (including this blog) that I had put off for years. My conversations and interactions with everyone around me have also become more positive, less stressful and over-all just more satisfying and genuine.
So, here are 4 wonderful things that I’ve been able to think of, that our inner child does for us:
1.) Our inner child reminds us to not become jaded and cynical.
As children, we take everything and everyone we encounter at face value. As we grow older, our negative experiences color our perception and create these (sometimes justified) biases about how to interact with others around us. We may think that others have ulterior motives, or impure motives. We may think that others do not take us seriously, or do not value our words, time or effort. We become “serious”, overly pragmatic adults who over-analyze every single moment we experience and find problems where there are none, which in turn creates a self-destructive cycle of mistrust and miscommunication.
Nurturing our inner child allows us to break through this vicious cycle. When we stop over-analyzing and stressing over petty issues, we have time to focus on the more important albeit intangible things in life such as contentment and satisfaction. These positive feelings elevate our mood and performance, allowing us to function better as productive citizens in the too-fast world out there.
2.) Our inner child reminds us to still appreciate the simplest wonders in life.
I remember when I was a little girl, I was so mesmerized by the different colors, sizes, and shapes of shells that I found on the few occasions that we went to a beachfront destination on vacation. Or I would try to find as many dandelions as I could to create a “rain” of dandelion petals. For the past 9 years I have lived not more than 10 minutes from a beach, whether it was in Hawai’i or in Southern California, and I cannot remember the last time I spent an afternoon enjoying the simple joy of collecting seashells or the last time I even went anywhere near a dandelion.
Many, many philosophers, doctors, and great leaders throughout history have tried to teach us about enjoying the simple pleasures of life — people like Plato, Descartes, Deepak Chopra, and of course, His Holiness The Dalai Lama to name a few. Several of us reading this have had the privilege of living relatively uncomplicated childhoods. As we grow older, the simplicity and curiosity of our inner child get more and more “contained” in a small, often neglected back corner of ourselves because of growing responsibilities. Under the guise of “seriousness”, “adulthood”, and “maturity”, we fool ourselves into thinking that we don’t need our childlike aspects anymore in life. What we fail to realize is that as adults, we need our inner child more than ever to keep our lives balanced, healthy and sane.
3.) Our inner child allows us to develop our creativity and imagination.
Remember when you were a little kid, and you would come up with the most wondrous inventions and worlds in your head? What happened to all of those ideas? They are still somewhere, locked up inside deep inside of you. Unlock those child like dreams and indulge in them, just for a bit.
Some of the most beautiful and profound creations I have seen in life have come from people who embraced and nurtured their inner child in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. If you want to see what I mean, just visit my new sister Amal’s lifestyle blog to experience the simplicity and beauty of her creations. Or ask my friend Janea (@janea_HI) to show you some of her mind-blowing creations, or talk to my favorite photographer Sarah about some of her most inspired and inspiring shots.
There are countless examples of great minds in human history who have thrived by allowing their inner-child to grow and develop. I choose to highlight these three amazing women, because I have known them for considerable amounts of time and I am able to see each one’s “inner child” in all aspects of their beautiful lives. They will be the first ones to tell you that when they ignore their “inner child”, that is when they experience frustration, resentment, and a decrease in productivity. This is because in those moments, they are sabotaging their own performance processes by not nurturing the deepest, truest part of themselves.
4. ) Our inner child reminds us constantly that we still have a LOT to learn, explore, and, “discover”.
When we look at the world through the simple wondrous eyes of a child, we then truly see how little we know, and how much more we still have to learn. I am by no means arguing that we all need to live like children. That is simply not plausible for a functional society. What I am saying is that we need to acknowledge and cherish those innermost child-like qualities in us that allow us to connect with each other, and with the Universe. Those child-like qualities — curiosity, creativity, and thirst for knowledge — are parts of the very essence of our species. Ignoring these qualities in adulthood is ultimately detrimental to us on a personal and on a societal level.
So, only one question remains:
Oh, by the way, want to know the secrets to balancing your “outer adult” and your “inner child”? Please stay tuned! I promise I won’t disappoint you. I will address that issue within the next month. In the meanwhile, why don’t you tell me how you balance your “outer adult” and your “inner child”? I would love to hear your thoughts on this!
Thank you so much for reading! Your visits, comments, support and love inspire me to make my blog better with every post. If you like what you read, please subscribe so that you may get notifications when I publish new posts. I will not share your information with anyone else without your permission.
— Dr. AJ