Have You Checked on Your Inner Child Lately? 

By Tanay Adams

These last two pandemic years have been an intense time in my life where I have experienced death, rebirth, transformation, and healing all in ways I haven’t experienced. I never thought the world; something so ancient and difficult to quickly change, would flip like it did and that it would take us all with it. Although waking up to the world continuously burning and crashing around me took a little to get used to (more than I have already been desensitized to as a Black woman) the chaos around me that I couldn’t control, forced me to deal with the chaos inside of me that I wouldn’t acknowledge before. Due to the abundance of alone time the pandemic gifted me, (fully understanding this is a privilege) I went through a process of really connecting back to myself and figuring out the how’s, when’s, and why’s of the disconnection in the first place. On that journey back to self, a lot of old emotions and new realization’s of trauma came up for me that I could directly trace to something I was struggling with either subconsciously or very consciously in my life at the moment. A lot of unlearning, forgiveness of self, and accountability had to happen, and once I got through all of the mess; what I found at the core of it was me; more specifically little me or my inner child.

I saw small, six-year old Tanay; who loved collecting snails, dancing, reading, eating anything sugar, and especially daydreaming at inappropriate times. I saw what she wanted out of life and what made her happy and sad; but I also saw the things that made her turn into the watered down version of her I was that day. Truthfully, it made me angry because, like a lot of people, I was another person who didn’t take her seriously and told her that her dreams were too unrealistic, when I should’ve been on her team. Everyone always talks about being the person you needed when you were younger to somebody else for community healing, but what about being the person you needed to yourself for personal healing? As a child, my boundaries were constantly ignored, which made me feel unsafe physically and emotionally; this came with me into adulthood and has made me hesitant to enforce them now, and I sometimes struggle with honoring my own boundaries. To hold myself accountable, I remind myself of “little Tanay” and I become the person I need to heal my inner child. She needed someone to respect her boundaries and to be treated with compassion when she made mistakes, so I make sure I do that for myself. She needed to not feel ashamed of her body as well as not hear negative comments about it from the people she loved, so now I am vigilant about monitoring and tracking my negative thoughts I have about my body, and remind myself to not be another bully I have to deal with. 

I think as Black women we naturally put the needs of others before our own, and we take on the trauma of others so often that we cannot differentiate between what is theirs and what is ours. As a reminder of our own healing, I think it is important that we tend to our inner children, as if they were our own children. All of the patience, protection, understanding and love we are so quick to show the children we love, know, and may not know, we are deserving of it at that intensity as well. When was the last time you checked on your inner child? Are you her bully or her friend? Do you take her skills and passions seriously? Are you giving her (yourself) the things you always wanted and needed? Or are you neglecting her like everyone else?

Go see if she’s ok.

Tanay M.A. is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Tanay’s passions lie in holistic education and creative/poetry writing; both are heavily influenced by her love of Black Women, and her love of creation. You can follow her on Instagram @theamazingtanayzing.

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