I am infamous for making pop culture references. For those of you that don’t get the reference, I’ll break it down for you. It comes from a scene in the move I’ll Do Anything (written by James L. Brooks, who does The Simpsons now), where the little girl, Jeannie and her estranged father are on an airplane. Jeannie tells her father that she wants to wear her yellow dress. He attempts to calmly explain to her that it’s in the luggage that’s under the plane. Then, Jeannie starts throwing this epic temper tantrum, screaming and crying repeatedly, “I want my yellow dress!”
Just to cause a bigger scene, Jeannie slaps herself to make it sound like her father did it.
There’s a point, I promise. Today, my horoscope said this:
Here is your Daily Horoscope for Thursday, October 4
Your inner child is dominant today, so make the most of it and have fun! You should be able to get others energized and find new ways to do almost anything. If you’ve actually got kids, so much the better!
My immediate response? What inner child?
I don’t feel childlike, in any respect. I take absolutely no pleasure in children’s games or activities. I often find it difficult to have a conversation with a child. Not to say that I am unable to enjoy their company. I am at a loss for what children like to do.
I have always done pretty adult activities, with the exception of playing with dolls, but even that was pretending to take care of a house, a husband, and a child. I am drawn to solitary activities. I write. I doodle. I read. I craft, and have been called grandma as a result. These have been the constants in my life.
That’s when I realized it. I am childlike in a different way. I throw temper tantrums. I have obsessive wants and abandonment issues. I have a desperate need for approval. I fear authority figures, and I often find that I feel helpless. This is helpless over my own behavior and helpless to fulfill my own wants and needs. I am rebellious and conflicted.
My inner child is not very healthy.
I have had a retrospect of my childhood recently and came to several conclusions.
- I grew up too fast.
It didn’t start out as something I wanted to do. I started out as something I needed to do. As a sibling of autism, you are taught that you have to be adult about a lot of situations. That means, when you have feelings of neglect and resentment, you have to repress them. It’s the adult thing to do.I had a serious misconception. At the time of adolescence, I made the decision to take on the freedom of an adult, since I had carried the burden of responsibility of an adult in childhood. Perhaps it was due to bodily changes, or just coming-of-age. Either way, I made some irresponsible choices to participate in grown-up activities in adult situations way too soon.
- I was an overachiever.
Achievement leaves little room for childlike activities. It requires self-discipline the likes of which no ordinary kid could offer to themselves. I practiced my music alone. I became second chair, next to a girl who had lessons. I became a second part section leader at the age of eleven. I joined library club, just to put books away and spend my free time reading classic literature far above my head.I didn’t play sports. I loathed gym and feared recess. Most of the time, I would sit on the bleachers alone, staring into the vastness of the parking lot. And there wasn’t a soul who was interested in having me join their game.
- I was a sensitive child who needed to grow thicker skin.
My preschool teacher was the first person to bring this to my mother’s attention. What little girl doesn’t cry at the age of four? What parent seems to think that crying is unhealthy? Well, it was the 80’s after all.By the time I was in second grade, I started to develop panic attacks. They landed me in the nurses office frequently, and I was deemed a hypochondriac at that time.
Fourth grade was when I had the toughest teacher of them all. I read her comment on the report card before my mother even had the chance. “Does not take constructive criticism.” After I work my little rear off, she has the gall to say that?! Yes, I was discouraged that I wasn’t perfect at everything. Maybe a little reassurance, you know?
My inner child seems to still be pretty angry about all of this stuff.
I get it, now. I have spent a great deal of time and energy into satisfying the immediate demands of my inner child. Or, on the opposite end, I have been denying my inner child completely. I have really done nothing to nurture and attend to this internal being.
How do I go about doing that?
Astrology suggests looking at my Moon sign to determine the kind of soul food that I need. However, it seems that, while astrology may have a clue as to where my interests lie, psychology appears to have a better grasp on the nature of the inner child.
Livestrong.com has a list of suggestions. Here are the ones I like the best:
What nurturing messages can you give your “inner child”?
You can tell your “inner child” that it is OK to:
* Have the freedom to make choices for itself.
* Be “selfish” and do the things you want to do.
* Take the time to do the things you want to do.
* Associate only with the people you want to associate with.
* Accept some people and to reject others.
* Give and accept love from others.
* Allow someone else to care for you.
* Enjoy the fruits of your labor with no guilt feelings.
* Take time to play and have fun each day.
* Not to be so serious, intense and inflexible about life.
* Set limits on how you are going to relate to others.
* Not always “serve” others.
* Accept others “serving” you.
* Be in charge of your life and not let others dictate to you.
* Be honest with others about your thoughts and feelings.
* Take risks and to suffer the positive or negative consequences of such risks.
* Make mistakes, laugh at them and carry on.
* Let your imagination and creativity be set free and to soar with the eagles.
* Cry, hurt and to be in pain as long as you share your feelings; do not repress or suppress them.
* Be angry, to express your anger and to bring your anger to some resolution.
* Make decisions for yourself.
* Be a problem solver and come up with solutions with which everyone may not agree.
* Feel happiness, joy, excitement, pleasure and excitement about living.
* Feel down, blue, sad, anxious, upset and worried, as long as you share your feelings.
* Love and be loved by someone whom you cherish.
* Be your “inner child” and to let it grow up, accept love, share feelings and enjoy pleasure and play.