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Who is Your Inner Child?

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Earlier this month, we went to a Holi Festival. I discovered “Holi” is based off of Indian Hindu mythology. During this celebration, one tosses worries to the wind. What better way to free yourself from anxiety than throw some color in the air?

I felt like a playful child. Sometimes it is easier to live in the moment when things get super messy. Well, as long as I do not have to clean up the mess and things are not being destroyed!

Have you ever run in the rain with your kids or participated in an impromptu snowball fight? How do you feel? These carefree moments allow us to meet our children where they are: in the present.

We may not think play is important to grown-ups. This makes sense. As adults, there is so much work to do and little time for fun and games. Harvard Assistant Professor of Psychology, Ron Siegel, states work is practical, task, and future oriented. Play does not have a goal. However, on the contrary, play is very beneficial to our well-being. Studies show it helps with our brain growth also known as neuroplasticity. It also decreases stress levels, increases endorphins, and improves our overall quality of life.

When I allow myself to play, my “inner child” is released. I believe we all have an inner child who lives inside us. What does your little child look like? “Little Valerie” has blonde braids and comes from the late 1980s and early 1990s. She wears slap on bracelets, jelly shoes, and dances to the era’s musical hits.

Our inner child's voice may have been diminished and possibly shamed by others. Or sometimes forced into silence from a pre-thought out life. Inner child can be quieted, but he or she never really leaves.

For many years, I wanted to “find” myself. However, with time, I learned “Little Valerie” was there along. She never actually left. Trust and vulnerability allowed me to gradually set her free.

Perhaps it is time to extend a hand of support to your inner child. Be a loving parent to her or give him a hug. Sometimes meeting your inner child may take professional help, but the journey to self-love is worth it.

Check out my podcast episode next week for more details on the science of play as well practical ideas to have fun with your family!

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