Do you remember being a fearless child? Or do you remember dreaming of how fearless you could be? As a young boy or young girl, you may have continuously put yourself out there by walking up to a stranger and sharing your day spontaneously to make enduring connections, try new things like the taste of a foreign food like a cricket to scoring a homerun on your first baseball game. The possibilities were endless and the thoughts "you can't do it" seemed non-existent or on low volume.
However, as you age and become adults; you become “mature.” Maturity is associated with respect and honor. On the contrary, is not widely talked about that adulthood is also associated with a loss in resilience. Compared to when you were a child, as an adult you have a lot more obligations, concerns, demands, roles, and the list continues… The truth about resilience is that everyone can use a bit more of it, particularly because it can help you get through challenging, uncertain, and stressful situations. Nurturing your inner child is the key to developing more resilience. According to Jackie Tassiello, a board-certified licensed art therapist, "we live in a culture that perpetuates a lot of dysfunctional, difficult, and hurtful institutions." She continues, "these systems could push us to foster just the aspects of ourselves that are valued, and many of us lose sight of cultivating our inherent abilities, hobbies, preferences, or even personality structure." Let’s discover what it means to accept your inner child and how doing so may help you develop into a more resilient adult.
Accepting Your Inner Child: What It Really Means
When you are a child, most decisions are made by your primary caretakers; which determine who you become. Children respond to their primary caretakers by safeguarding their attachments to the caretakers to stay secure. Most children do this by adapting to what is expected, encouraged, or expressed — whether implicitly or overtly. "Accepting our inner child essentially means that we realize that our thinking and patterns of behavior are no longer beneficial, protecting us or delivering the same desirable results as they did back when we were children, and commit towards the effort of reparenting those pieces of ourselves," she continues.
With this realization in mind, accepting your inner child is all about regaining a feeling of emotional safety from mental health symptoms of trauma, depression, and/or anxiety that life throws at you. When you feel safe, truly safe inside your body, this evokes confidence and freedom to experience the entire range of your emotions.