The Death of an Inner Child
A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived in him. ~Pablo Neruda
One night as I sat in my room, I realized that my inner child was not only dying, but I didn’t know how to save her.
What brought this about? It was because I heard my kids playing a game with each other, their imaginations were set on fire to the point that it lit up the room, and the feeling of guilt flooded over me like hot lava.
They both were pretending to be a character and I was amazed at how their “improve comedy” went so smoothly; it just flowed. They weren’t trying, they were simply being!
A few nights before that, my daughter asked me to play with her Barbies with her. I immediately froze up wondering to myself, “How in the hell do you play with Barbies?” In my silence, she took it as a no and with sadness in her voice told me, “never mind, I knew you wouldn’t want to.”
My inner child was dying and I didn’t know how to resuscitate her. I know I’m not the only one suffering from this dis-ease. A dying inner child is equivalent to the poison of discontentment and it spreads through our veins, and we wonder why so many of us are walk around (more like sleepwalking) feeling so disconnected to the world.
What is it that we can do to turn this around? Yes, there is still time!
Think back to when you were a child, what were the things that you loved doing? Some of us would get a brand new coloring book and crayons and colored for hours. Some of us would take a bath and see how long we could hold our breaths under water pretending that we were diving into an ocean.
Most of us got on swings and as we got to a height that we felt comfortable with, would jump off and for a moment, felt as if we could fly!
I know some of you are saying, “Yea, but how will coloring in books or a swing set pay my bills? I’m an adult now and I’ve put away those childish things. It’s time to grow up!”
In turn, here is my answer: True, coloring or swinging on swings or other “childish” acts won’t help you to pay the bills. Those bills are going to have to be paid regardless. BUT…would you rather be a happy, relaxed person or an uptight Scrooge McDuck? Either way, the bills will be there, might as well learn to play while you pay.
I know which one I would rather be. Life is too short for us to just let it go without seeing just how rich it can really be. It’s too short to let it slip by without having those deep belly laughs we used to have and now most of us just screech out a little noise that sounds painful to those who are actually living juicy lives.
So, tell us, what is that thing that you loved to do when you were a kid? Why not do it now? Your inner child needs you to save her/him.
(P.S. I did play with Barbies with my daughter that day. I must admit, I had a fun time dressing them up and taking them to Starbucks!)
Categories: Some Real Talk