“Waaah, I don’t want to!”
“It’s not fair!”
“You can’t make me!”
Three months into this pandemic and some of us are really starting to sound like whiney children.
Truth be told, we’ve ALL felt like whiney children at times. Our world has been turned upside down. There’s so much uncertainty, so much dissension, so much frustration and fear all around. It’s only natural that our inner children would be freaking out.
For me, that’s manifested as elevated anxiety, a desire to be left alone (which would suit quarantine well, except I’M NEVER ALONE), and expectations of my loved ones.
I’ve been feeling irritated by my family. At first, I figured it was because we’ve been cooped up in a house wherein they live like filthy monkeys. Of course that’s part of it, but I also realized that I’ve been triggered left and right. I want to be taken care of. Acts of service is my primary love language. This means that when my family members don’t pick up after themselves and are lounging around like a bunch of slugs, I feel ignored, unseen, and unloved.
These were feelings that pervaded my childhood. Which puts in perspective the tantrum I threw about shredded cheese strewn all over the kitchen counter. My level of frustration isn’t merely about the mess or the person who made it. It’s about feeling ignored, unseen and unloved. Once I realized this, I was able to understand how to help myself feel more calm and grounded.
I need to honor my inner child.
Think about how you’ve been feeling lately. If there’s a degree of helplessness and vulnerability, you may want to honor your inner child too.
Notice when your inner child shows up.
You feel extra sensitive, especially raw and vulnerable. Your reaction doesn’t match the situation (like my shredded cheese incident). Simply notice the awakening and hold space for it.
Speak kindly to your inner child.
You wouldn’t call a kid an idiot for having feelings, so why be that way with yourself? Your inner child needs comfort not derision. Send the inner critic away. Address the inner child with patience and love.
Hug and cuddle.
Physical comfort is so reassuring to a child and often helps a lot more than words. If you don’t have a person to snuggle, turn to a pet, a stuffed animal, a pillow, or yourself. Visualize being held with loving comfort.
Your inner child is activated for a reason. Engage your intuition and ask what she needs. Listen to the message that comes. Validate what you hear.
Attending to your inner child isn’t all sadness and pity. Bust out some toys, go play outside, get to coloring, watch cartoons. Find the spirit of your youth by reconnecting with activities you enjoyed as a kid.
Create sacred space.
Honor who you were, who you’ve always been. Dig out old photos, find some toys or books, gather special trinkets, bring in some magical elements to create an altar or special space in honor of the younger version of you.
As you do this work to honor and heal your own inner child, remember that most of the planet is activated as well. If you pray, say a prayer for all of humanity. Do your best to remove judgment from your perspective. Be patient and kind to others, even when they are not that way with you (especially when they are not that way with you).
With Love & Compassion,
Adina Arden Cooper
I'm a healer, a guide, a supportive companion. A storyteller, an artist, an ally and an advocate. I help individuals thrive and communities come together through counseling, coaching, and community building. I believe that shared humanity is a powerful strength and that our stories connect us in beautiful and sacred ways. As I stumble, skip, or soar my way through this life, I invite you to join me on the journey. Likewise, I'm honored to travel with you. In witnessing one another, we find meaning.