A New Take on the Inner Child

by Fred Leeds

It is my belief that we can form much better friendships by seeing ourselves as interrelated, complete in each other. This requires us to show more vulnerability, an approach thought dangerous in many circles. There is a concept in psychology known as the inner child. The exaggerated wording shows how much difficulty we have in addressing normal vulnerabilities. As living beings, we go on developing throughout our lives, but the public requires us to put on a constant face. The trick is to avoid tripping each other up with our faces, to remain human and connected in our feelings.

As we get older, we learn that our dreams and ideals belong to childhood, and bury them inside.

Happily, the burial does not always succeed. If all goes well, the inner child is always alive within us: a person still under construction, a soul which doesn’t quite leave the building. Something inside us moves from point to point beyond the changes, a special touch called us.

It takes true maturity to show our real faces, disclose our shared humanity, but those who have gone before us can show us the way.

We reach out to others best by simply remaining ourselves. Therein we find another real world, a world within us, a place where we greet each other as we truly are. Here we recognize each other, at last, as equal takes on the whole human. It is not a childish place after all, but a world of new adulthood – mature and responsible as always, but sensitive to a heart of wonder.

 

© Fred Leeds July 30, 2009

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