text and photo © Jonathan Zap
Like a tree that has rings within it that remain from its earlier seasons, the adult psyche seems to be a superimposition of new layers on top of earlier personalities which continue to exist within. The inner child often embodies our emotional self, a self that is less conditioned, closer to our essence, and that is more independent of all the compromises and adaptations we have made to function as adults in the world. While your adult ego may be busy thinking and laboriously trying to navigate through all the practical problems of the adult world, your inner child lives closer to feelings, and is more concerned with love, nurture and imaginative play. It may want to rebel from the stern disciplines, suppression of feeling, and dutiful busyness of many adult lives.
Of course we should not be ruled by our inner child or any other subpersonality, but it is good to remain empathically in touch, especially during difficult times when your inner child is likely to be lonely and unhappy. Sympathetic consolation may do much to gain its cooperation.
Peel back the layers and find out what this core aspect of yourself has to say and how it views your present existence.