The Child Within

We all have one. A child within. There was a time you would not be embarrassed to act like one. Now, with age having put some distance between, you need to “act” grown-up lest someone mock you for not behaving your age. The child in you never really goes away though.

When you were indeed a child, hurt, anger, pain, sorrow or even joy was met with a warm embrace from your parents, siblings or loved ones. The all-enveloping hug would soothe everything away and then some. One challenge of growing up is the loss of being vulnerable; the inability to be someone who needs. Adults, therefore, turn to “adult” solutions for sorrow and pain such as alcohol, recreational drugs, binge eating or even medication. We party the night away with people we may not know trying to feel less lonely only to return home feeling even more lonely than before. We drown ourselves in work filling time with activity to escape the inevitable thoughts within if we don’t. All you needed was a hug or a warm embrace.

There is an adult way to heal yourself. It is called mindfulness. Mindfulness starts with accepting the child within. It creates the space to recognize the seeds of anger and sorrow within without being judgemental. After all, no one judges a child crying because she fell off her cycle. The acceptance itself is the warm embrace you were seeking. Soon, this space will allow you to heal yourself. You will figure out where the pain and hurt came from and perhaps let it pass on. Not everything is important enough to hold on to anyways. In a twisted irony, you will be acting child-like again. Have you seen a child laughing twenty seconds after falling and hurting her head and crying inconsolably? Children are like that, they heal quickly and so can you.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.