Don't Suffocate Your Inner Child, Just Give it More Powers

Scott Leonardi

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The world is full of adults who seemed to have turned their back on the voice within them that echoes through their memories from a past long ignored.

They trade the silly for the serious, real friendship for false idols, random connection for straight-laced commerce, imagination for evidence, and playfulness for the common resolve.

They get so caught up in the perceived direness of their lives that they can’t see how much of what they’ve physically and emotionally accumulated is weighing down and blocking the sight of their innermost selves, the forgotten child inside them that remains innocent and forever open to the vast potential they hold over their reality.

As we get older, our attention starts to get pulled in every other direction but inward. We pull our eyes away from the limitless possibility of brand new perception and, one by one, add layers of colored lens over our once crystal clear vision. For good reason, as there are more important things regarding loved ones and the rest of humanity than fixating on our own unique circumstances, but without a clear understanding of who you really are and what you’re really capable of, you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to fully embody that eternally young spirit within you that represents everything about you that is pure, natural, and utterly unique to the world.

People go about the whole “inner child” thing completely wrong.

It’s hard enough to stop my own resistance to the phrase itself, so how would could I ever manage to tell a veteran cynic that although it sounds like propaganda for finger-painting, it’s still an important framework to use when trying to understand a person’s potential without their eyes rolling out of their head and down the street toward a conversation more suited to their cynicism?

It becomes easy to dismiss ideas of immaturity as emotional regression after a person has been treading water in the deep end of adulthood for a while.

Who has time to splash and play? If I don’t keep these arms and legs wavin’ and kickin’, I’m done for! I’ve got a mortgage or Christ’s sake!

These are the same people who have ignored their naturally playful instincts for so long that they’ve not only convinced themselves that they’ve forgotten what they are, but convinced themselves that it was necessary to do so.

These people seem to have missed the point entirely as to how you’re supposed to treat yourself and the connected child you used to be.

It’s not your duty as a physically maturing human to suffocate the young soul you once were so your spirit can age right alongside your body.

Instead, you’re supposed to gift that inner child with newly developed insight and personal power as you walk the path of life.

Aging and maturity only feels like a curse because as we wear ourselves down with the trials of life, we start to see them more as a weight than as a weapon.

If we could be more aware of the circumstances of aging while we’re young, perhaps we’d be better able to use the experiences and wisdom we gradually gain as tools to create and play with rather than letting them shape and alter the fundamental innocence at our core.

Yes, good experiences are good, bad experiences appear bad, enlightening experiences create a more evolved state of mind and bad ones cause us to question ourselves and the validity of life itself, but all of this should be granted to your inner child as simply more advanced equipment to play with.

‘Child’ doesn’t have to be equated to ‘ignorant.’ ‘Immature’ is not the same as ‘unintelligent.’

Wouldn’t you rather see your life with unique potential and playful optimism and only use the seriousness of adulthood when you choose to rather than only seeing the world through the grim glasses of your average adult’s daily doldrums?

If there’s a voice telling you how to act in spite of what the graveness of the world is telling you, listen to it. Be true to your core self and honest about what you want and who you are.

You might not even want to see the world as a place to “play”. You might hate the phrase “inner child” because it sounds trivial or juvenile to you. Call it what you want, the feeling is still there. And if you’re going to remain adamant about ignoring it, you probably need to listen to it more than most people.

Again, the experiences you have throughout life shouldn’t fundamentally change you unless you are the one deciding to use those experiences to see the world differently.

You should use these experiences to equip the spirit you’ve always had with new power to shape your personal reality, not as an excuse to act as if you’re a serious grownup with serious grownup things to do and therefore cannot be bothered to entertain notions of childish joy and wonder because they have no place in the Land of the Dead. To do this is to damn yourself to counting the wrinkles in your skin as well as your soul.

Evolve your inner child with the power and insight of new experience and different perspectives, don’t suffocate it inside the plastic mask of convention and a society that takes itself too seriously for its own good.

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I write a lot about self-development and personal growth. I want to help people uncover their authentic selves through creative expression and in the process understand their place in the world a little better. I also enjoy writing screenplays, short stories, and poetry. All of which can be found at

Imperial Beach, CA

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