Dealing with the inner child

Yesterday I acted irrationally angry toward somebody whom I love very much. We both realized afterward that it was what is colloquially called my “inner child” who was throwing the tantrum.

That realization does not take away from the destructiveness of the moment. We all have a part of ourselves that is small and scared and still dealing with issues from a long-ago time. Yet we are also adults, with a responsibility to be kind to one another.

As we seek to protect our inner child, we need also to engage it, to speak with it honestly about what is causing us stress. If we try to simply protect it from all stress, eventually the child will react unfavorably to being removed from the conversation, and the result will not be pretty.

I am going to seek to do better to figure out how to talk honestly, yet of course gently, with my inner child, about the issues that cause me grief in my adult life. That is, in any case, far better than finding myself watching helplessly as my inner child, feeling unheard, lashes out at somebody else.

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