The fun part about me starting to connect with my inner child is all the memories I haven’t thought of in years are starting to come back to me. It’s interesting to see what I actually remember and feel when that happens.
A hot bath after a 12-hour work shift is the most relaxing thing ever; it’s something I look forward to a lot to decompress and get my mind right. I can submerge my body in hot water, be still, and let my mind wander. When I was younger, I’d take a stack of books in the bathroom with me and read them all while sitting in the tub. I’d be sitting in the tub for a long time reading everything from Berenstein Bears to Dr. Suess. What I’ve been doing lately is still similar only I’m not reading children’s books. I’ll find a magazine or book (currently it’s Elaine Welteroth‘s memoir “More Than Enough” to be exact) and sit. I can easily spend 30 minutes or so in the bath with no care in the world. As soon as I sit in the tub, I zone out and it’s just me.
Not gonna lie, it was awkward the first couple times I talked to my inner child. The more I do it, the less weird it gets. Whenever I do it, I repeat to myself a few reassurances related to conflict and my feelings. The first time I did it, I didn’t realize I spoke to myself for almost 20 minutes. Like anyone else, I already talk to myself about regular things like errands or reminders but talking to my inner child is on a whole different level. Conflict is still an issue at times but I notice when I say internally there’s no issue, I relax. I did another exercise in my Inner Child workbook recently and had to talk to myself in the mirror. I took that opportunity to encourage not only my inner kid but my adult self. We all need to know adulting is going to be okay, right?
Disney+ came at the right time for real. Yes, I do have the VHS and DVD versions of a few 90’s Disney movies but now being able to stream whenever I feel like it is a godsend. Out of anything and everything related to finding my inner child, that’s never left me. I still get joy out of watching Lion King, Aladdin, Pocahontas, etc. A couple sessions ago, I was talking to my therapist about the movie The Fox & the Hound and how my cousins and I named 2 dogs that belonged to my Grandma’s neighbor after the Todd and Copper. I’m not entirely sure the last time I thought about those dogs but thinking about them unlocked so many memories I had of interacting with them. They’d bark at us then race to the fence where we’d play fetch with them. Even watching the movie bought back a feeling I hadn’t experienced in years. There’s a scene where adult Todd and Copper are fighting and Todd bears his fangs. Those fangs scared me as a kid and I felt those same feelings resurface in anticipation for that scene.
Connecting with my inner child is definitely a process I’m learning how to be more understanding with and learn more about myself. Of course, it’s equal parts having fun but also recognizing triggers. The ways I connect with my inner child aren’t hard at all. They’re all something anyone can do and hitting this stride feels like an accomplishment.