As someone pursuing a career in the field of Psychology for a few years now, I have noticed a sudden surge in the conversation around the “inner child.” It is common to find debate surrounding this topic on social media, with some saying it is just something else our generation created to justify ‘irrational’ behavior.
However, many don’t realize that previous generations did not have access to the knowledge and resources we have today, so just because it is now trending on the internet does not mean it is a new phenomenon.
We can trace the inner child concept to psychoanalyst Carl Jung, with his archetype of the “divine child.” According to the CPTSD Foundation, the inner child is the “inside part of all of us that influences all we do and the decisions that we make.”
The inner child “holds all the memories and emotions, good or bad that we experienced.” In other words, our inner child is a direct consequence of everything we experienced growing up, from happy times to those filled with sadness and trauma.
According to a study, “the phenomenon of the inner child is reflected in events during childhood, and these experiences are remembered throughout life and relate to the well-being of older persons.” Thus, healing our inner child is a matter of acknowledging and healing childhood trauma. It is understanding that our adult behaviors stem from our childhood experiences and finding ways to cope with this.
You must embrace your emotions and validate what happened to heal your inner child.
This is why I am here to tell you not to listen to those ill-meaning, negative human beings that want to rain on your parade. Being in tune with your emotions and tending to the child at heart is not wrong. We are not childish. We are strong and have overcome enough adversity for one lifetime.
Instead of becoming individuals that allow their trauma to rule over our lives, we choose to embark on a journey of healing and happiness. It is never too late to nurture your soul.
Growing up, I experienced my fair share of trauma, all thanks to a family that only knew how to provide toxicity and aggression. Healing my inner child is coming to terms with all that I experienced as a child and allowing myself to enjoy the little things in life. It serves as a reminder that no matter how old I am, I can still experience happiness from the things I felt I missed out on.
For example, I am in my late 20s and am a strong, independent woman who has been working since she was 16 years old, pays her bills, and deals with her own responsibilities. I have yet to have children because I have determined that I must heal myself first before I decide to bring someone else into the world.
(Remember, the generational trauma ends with us. We have the power.)
However, I still love to go to Disney World and truly feel the happiest when I am there. I randomly purchase stuffed animals that catch my attention and watch movies of my favorite cartoons. I sit on the floor with my friend’s kids and get all messy playing with them. One look at my school purse, and you will find a wide assortment of pens with fluffy eraser caps and a pencil case I found in the children’s back-to-school section this past summer.
While this may strike some as odd and, to a degree, may believe you are immature and should learn to act your age, it is important to realize that this is a manifestation of our healing journey. It’s not that we need these “frivolous” things; it’s that it helps us reimagine our childhood. And that is okay.
No “estamos muy viejas para esas pendejadas.” We are simply healing and, quite frankly, should not care about the opinions of others.
We spent far too much time feeling oppressed.