Revisiting Your Inner Child

“The reluctance to put away childish things may be a requirement of genius.”
~ Rebecca Pepper Sinkler ~

Smiles contain powerful energy, the kind that transcends pain, dries tears, and heals wounds. Children know this, instinctively. They haven’t yet learned to dwell on regrets from the past and miss today’s blessings. Some have pain and sadness in their lives, but they’re ingenious, and they find ways to survive through laughter. And that little girl–that little boy–will always be a part of who you are. But how often do we get so busy, we forget that wonderful part of our self?

Lately I’ve become more aware of my sense of self when I laugh and when I frown. It’s like laughter brings out a part of me that frowning can’t touch. Laughter expresses from the heart, while frowning is from the human mind. And each provides a very different perspective of self. Laughter reminds us of our true self as we were created, and when we frown we lose sight of that beautiful truth.

I remember when my own children were growing up expressing their curiosity, creativity, humor and forgiveness. Our home wasn’t always a happy one, and sometimes they cried. But they made airplanes from scraps of paper, or fought with playmates one day and laughed together the next. In winter they flew on the sled, in summer they swam the ocean in the kiddie pool, they read stories and said their prayers, and gave me hugs everyday. They created the happy times. And I miss those times.

One time I was behind a family in the checkout line in the grocery store, and a little girl about 3 years old sat in the basket ahead of me. She found the child in me, and we had a great time. We waved, blinked our eyes, and giggled together. It reminded me of the little child in each of us–that part that needs to laugh and play–that part that has not forgotten what is truly important and enduring in this human condition.

“The kid in you holds the key to living a full and rich life. Let him or her out to play.”
~ Cheryl Richardson ~

When times are hard, or any time, look to your inner child who remembers how to turn a painful challenge into a time of hope. And learn to smile again, even when you feel the situation doesn’t deserve one. Try it, and watch a grin become a smile, a smile break into laughter, and your heart find peace and joy. You are not your illness–you are not those bills you can’t pay–you are not the crises in your life. Those are challenges you’re dealing with. You are beautiful. And your inner child can show that to you.

“Release your inner child. Be a little wild.” ~ Laura E. Brusseau ~

I do silly things once in a while, but now I intend to let my child out more often. Of course, due to physical limitations, I can’t stand on my head or walk five miles to the old swimming hole like I used to. But I can still play music and dance around the house, or play in my yard in the rain, or laugh at myself in the mirror instead of moaning at what I see. And I don’t have to eat brussels sprouts if I don’t want to. Then when someone shakes their head and says, “You must be in your second childhood,” I’ll grin and say, “Absolutely.

I wish you joy in your many second childhood shenanigans.

Marilyn Fowler, Author/Writer


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