I Held My Inner Child Close, and Here’s What I Learned

inner child
Photo by Tatiana Rodriguez

I have a confession to make.

The last few years have left me feeling… prickly, spiky, and a bit numb.

I used to be a warm person. That’s how everyone described me—warm, loving, and a safe place to land.

The problem is, those titles started depleting me from the inside. I started feeling used, manipulated, and soiled.

The conditioning and social programming we receive as women go a little something like this:

Be a good girl and don’t talk back.

Help everyone without the expectation that they will help you in return. Be happy to help, assist, and build others’ dreams while forgetting your own.

Don’t feel any anger or resentment as people continuously drink from your well because that’s not “nice.”

Only nice, obedient girls are worthy.

Give, give, GIVE, and then give some more.

Never complain.

Shut up.

Be a good helper.

Let them take from you because you aren’t important.

Be quiet.

Sit still.

Acquiesce.

Don’t demand anything for yourself, but always meet the demands of others.

And let me tell you, I did all the “right” things.

I was the good girl who didn’t speak up and the good little helper who never asked for anything.

I never complained but kept giving parts of myself until the fire in me was extinguished, exhausted, and empty.

I believed that this was a sustainable way to exist.

Until I realized it wasn’t. And when that happened, my rage had some things to say that I won’t repeat here…

There was a feeling deep in my belly that I was ignoring, and I ignored it because it was terrifying.

The feeling was my own power, beauty, fire, passion, curiosity, and femininity begging to burst forth. It was all the parts of me that had been buried so deep but never stopped screaming for my attention.

Eventually, the screams became so loud I had to stop—and listen. I had to give them a seat at my table, empty of authentic guests. These feelings eventually became my distinguished guests, and I’m glad they showed.

As I opened up to their wisdom, I realized something. The person I was presenting to the world was a lie.

All these years, who I was, was my idea of being a woman. But it wasn’t who I wanted to be as a woman.

Boom.

A lightbulb switched on, shining a light on all the thoughts I was never allowed to say.

So, who was I? What was my role, purpose, and deepest desire?

Until then, it seemed that my role until then was to be what everyone wanted me to be—what they expected me to be. When all this time, I was drowning under the pressure of holding up that identity.

No wonder I woke up to a feeling of numbness, savage wrath, and profound sadness I had never allowed myself to fully experience before.

I had betrayed myself all these years.

Betrayed my own light, wisdom, depth, point of view, opinions, and perspectives. I had silenced my ideas to support someone else’s.

I turned my back on my inner child, begging for me to pick her up and hold her close.

And so, I did.

I picked up my inner child and held her close. I asked her what she wanted and who she was. I made a safe space to hear her and soothe the parts that were hurting.

As I listened, I heard her tell me my truth.

She told me to not be afraid of my power, that it was there to light the way.

I am a thought leader and healer, and my wisdom is my strength.

She told me not to be afraid of my point of view, that it’s there to bring me an extraordinary life.

My passion burns hot and bright, and the world will take notice.

She told me to not forget the love I used to experience and to warm back up for my own sake.

My light will always shine no matter how low, sad, or lonely I feel.

She told me to let go of people who don’t truly ‘see’ me and keep focusing on the people who do.

I am destined to be brave, strong, and loud.

She told me she loves me.

As her words dance around in my consciousness, I feel my heart warm up.

I feel the loss of everything when I played a role for the world’s sake.

I reclaim my mind, body, inner wisdom, intuition, and sacred femininity.

As I reawaken, the world feels different, but I know it isn’t. I’m different.

I’m whole again and aware of all I bring—aware of my value, worth, beauty, and essence.

Once again I am that warm, loving person who is a safe place to land— for myself.

I am my own safe place.

I am my own warmth.

I am my own great love.

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