Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Nurturing My Inner Child

Recently I discovered a You Tube artist who's calming vlogs have inspired and encouraged me, The Cottage Fairy. Produced by a beautiful young woman with an even  lovelier name, Paola. Her vlogs chronicle her  simple, sustainable life in rural Washington State. I follow a number of other You Tube artists who vlog on the subject of slow and simple living, but The Cottage Fairy is definitely my favorite. Paola is wise beyond her years, an "old soul", as my grandmother used to say, and even though I am old enough to be her mother, I've learned so much from her already. I feel the Lord sent her my way at just the right time.

You may recall back in September, I completed an exercise that revealed and categorized my core values. In some ways i was surprised, I suppose, when Childlike Faith was among them, in fact it ranked #2. Though I was aware of some of the qualities in my life that were, I suppose, childlike, I never attributed them to that. Things such as awe, curiosity, delight, inquisitiveness, playfulness, to name a few.

I have known for some time that there existed in me a childlike state, I don't really know how else to describe it. A part of my core self that because of trauma, never matured. It wasn't a problem as far as preventing me from functioning as an adult, but is more like a part of myself that I was never allowed to explore, aspects of my personality that were repressed and not allowed to fully form. In short, I've always been keenly aware of the inner child that existed in me, but until recently it caused me a lot of shame. But even before I found Paolo's video, the Holy Spirit had begun a healing and I was beginning to embrace the part of my soul that never lost touch with the wonder of childhood.

In many ways being a mother has taught me to mother myself, and to give the inner child in me the permission and freedom to simply "be",  in ways that my own childhood did not allow for. I don't want to elaborate on that too much because I loved my mother and I don't want to paint a grim picture. She simply had hurts of her own that naturally affected me. It has been the same for myself and my children. Every parent is, to some extent, a broken parent raising and breaking our own children. 

But it wasn't until recently that rather than mourn for the little girl within, that I began nurturing that part of myself and empowering her. I hope this doesn't sound too schizo, because it certainly isn't a case of a split personality. I am wholly one person, but as with all of us, there are aspects of my personality and being that have grown and developed at different times throughout my life. My inner child was a part of myself that I pushed away for many years because I was an adult and it felt wrong to allow myself to entertain those feelings. But I realize now that in denying this aspect of myself, I have been surpressing vital parts of my overall persona. Embracing my inner child has changed me in ways I never imagined, and made me wholly a better human.

Among other things my inner child has taught me to embrace my slower, more awe-struck, and yes, perhaps easily distracted self. If by taking life at a slower pace I am dazzled by starlight and enchanted by bumble bees, so be it! I would be sad and in every sense of the word, denying my true self if I was or pretended to be anything else. I did that for years. No more.

The child in me still loves 
- Swinging so high my feet almost touch the sky.
- Tales of woodland animals and forest kingdoms.
- Building sand castles.
- Making snow angels.
- Coloring in coloring books.

I'm sure I could name more, but these are just a few that come to mind. 

Do you nourish your inner child? If it's not something you've ever considered, I encourage you to watch the video above (as well all of the rest!), and reconnect with the childlike wonder that lives on in each of us!

Also, Candlemas, one of my favorite days of the year is coming next week! I'll share more in the coming days!

~ Peace.


Katie said...

The idea of my inner child is one I’ve had a hard time connecting with in any consistent way but it seems to keep coming up. Her video was so peaceful and calming and when she talked about reconnecting with the things you loved as a child I realized that’s what I’ve been doing this last year though I never noticed the connection! I’ve been playing with watercolors, enjoying favorite “children’s” books, giving myself time to be immersed in the wonders of nature, and best of all, having trees for friends again! I love that you love tales of woodland animals and forest kingdoms! What are some of your favorites?

Kimberly Lottman said...

I honestly think the Lord sent me these videos! Her voice is so calming and I find her lifestyle so inspiring. This vlog in particular really spoke to me, and I've been encouraged to take up some of my childhood pastimes again. As for books on woodland animals, I ADORE The WInd in the Willos and The Willows in Winter! I think I've ead them a dozen times or more! Brambly Hedge is another favorie, I adore anything about mice! There is a lovely children's book called Tumtum and Nutmeg that my daughter and I read when she was little, very cute. Answering this question is inspriing me to write a post on the subject and link to some of my favorites! What kind of books do you love from your childhood?

Kimberly Lottman said...

Sorry for the spelling errors. I probably shouldn't have tried answering this so late! LOL! I'm to tire to type! :)

Katie said...

Oh I would love to read a post on this subject! I love Wind in the Willows but haven't heard of The Willows in Winter, I'll definitely look into that one :) My kids love the audio version of Tumtum and Nutmeg and frequently listen to it during rest time. Your question prompted an enjoyable ramble through childhood memories...My favorite picture books were Ox Cart Man, The Tailor of Gloucester Emily Mouse Saves the Day (about a mouse family who lives in a teapot!) and Slip the Otter Finds a Home. I loved Alice in Wonderland when I discovered it and of course Wind in the Willows. Two other chapter book favorites were Princess in Calico and Eight Cousins along with anything else by Louisa May Alcott. In thinking about books, I realized that several picture books that I've bought "for my children" in recent years, I think I was actually buying because they spoke to my inner child, a few of these are The Raft, Miss Maple's Seeds, Sophie's Squash, Rhoda's Rocks and Miss Rumphius.

Kimberly Lottman said...

My favorite books from my childhood were Little Women and Eight Cousins. I also loved then and love even more now, The Betsy Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace, as well as the Betsy series by Carolyn Haywood. Others were The Happy Little Family series by Rebecca Caudill, The Melendy Family series by Elizabeth Enright, and The Moffatt's series by Eleanor Estes, as well as Pinky Pye and Ginger Pye. Ahhh, makes me want to read ALL of them all over again! :) I wonder how many would be interested in a book club for adults that featured children's literature? :) Oh, and how could I forget the All of a Kind Family Series by Sydney Taylor, or the In Granma's Attic series by Arleta Richardson? So, so many wonderful books!

Katie said...

That sounds like a wonderful book club!