What is the Inner Child, Anyway?


With all this cosmic Cancerian energy that is permeating in the air, a mercury and Chiron retrograde coming up, and a couple of eclipses, our inner children are coming out to play in a big way. 

Carl Jung coined one of the most prominent theories in psychology we use today — the divine child. In reality, the child doesn’t always seem so divine in practice, but they totally are. 

July’s Cancer/Capricorn eclipses with mid—month retrogrades right now are bringing up inner child wounding. Inner children are exactly that — kids. They feel weird! They do weird things! Have you ever seen a little kid do anything? They are like tiny little permanently intoxicated adults, dancing around, throwing a fit, spitting truth with absolutely zero understanding of how it might come off to the other person.

So often, when we act from a place of the child, it surfaces in acting out completely. Like when we fight with our partners and use the words, always or never, that is definitely the child. “You never want to kiss me!” “You always want to hang out with other people!” You get the drill. Or when we’re talking to ourselves, saying what we should do, or that we’re not good enough, or that we suck, or that we’re unworthy, or we’re damaged goods. Does that sound at all familiar? I would say 99% of the time, that is your inner child speaking. 

This kid inside of you needs some TLC. When I want to lash out and freak, it can be so easy to start the spiral of, “Oh I’m not a good person” or, “I thought I was more spiritual and integrated than this!” or, “Grow up, you big baby.” But when I change my perspective and see that this is actually a child, I speak to it like I would an actual kid. 

Just the other day, one of my best friends was telling me that she didn’t feel good enough. She was also feeling a lot of shame for feeling that way. I asked her to maybe see this part of her as her inner child, and it wasn’t until she said, “This part of me is like an annoying little parasite.” We both broke out into laughter and horror thinking about how we talk to our own inner kids, and if we did that to any other kid we’d most likely be arrested. 

So rather than see these parts of yourself, your rage, your shame, your not-good-enough feelings, your fears as things you need to burn and get rid of, I invite you to actually see them for what they are, a little kid who needs tending to, and drop into a place inside yourself that can nurture and take care of these parts. That way they don’t need to be abused, silenced, or shamed ever again. That way they don’t leak onto anyone else. 

That, my love, is true self love.  

This eclipse season, step into true compassion with yourself and your inner kid. Make space for them to speak to you. Ask them what they want and need. Give it to them. For more resources, I recommend checking out the Holistic Psychologist, she has a great inner child meditation! Or in my circles this month, we’re going to be doing a lot of inner child work in our rituals — so stay tuned!