Embracing Your Child Within You

“A grownup is a child with layers on.”

~ Woody Harrelson

What is it about me,

That makes me so mild?

What is it about me,

That has lost that inner child?

This is something for,

Every adult to know,

We cannot lose our inner child,

And ever hope to grow.

Times when I’ve lost connection with my inner child – the boy who grew to be the man I am today – are the times I’ve become mild; out of touch with my heart, my passion, my personhood. We need to be in touch with these if we are to grow. And the way to be in touch with these states of being is through being as intimately connected with our inner child as we can be – reconciled, in fact.

What kind of kid were you?

In other words, what kind of kid are you?

I was always the type of kid who had to work hard to be popular; I would need to be the class clown in school to attract attention. I was never the popular kid without lots of effort or lots of fortune. But popular kids may wonder why they are. Sometimes popular kids are only popular because they are bullies. And sometimes popular kids are just plain nice and because they don’t need others’ approval, they enjoy just being themselves.

We see so many features of schoolyard play in the adult world today. There are the politics, the competing with one another (whether it’s overt or covert), and the gossiping against one another. There is the passive aggressiveness of people pretending to be nice, but who are secretly cavorting with plans to undermine.

In the rough and tumble of the world we need to ensure we nurture a gentleness within; a gentleness that respects the vulnerable child within each of us; it’s a gentleness that allows that child – the child we know best – the space and freedom in a safe world, i.e. within the adult we have become.

It is a great opportunity in the process of healing: to embrace the child within.

As we do this very thing, by coming to an acceptance of our flaws and failures, and reconcile our hurts and hang-ups through the same acceptance, we become more at peace with ourselves and joy may effuse more readily from within us.


It is a great opportunity in the process of healing: to embrace the child within. To make a safe home for the wounded child in us, is both a great responsibility and great privilege. God has empowered us to be gentle with ourselves.

© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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