Do you have a talent or a passion that you wish you could have pursued in some way? Maybe you have a knack for singing Disney songs while in their character voices (I've heard some pretty amazing duets sung by one person before). Or maybe you were really good at writing comedy, always making someone laugh. Maybe something that others just didn't fully understand why you liked it so much. I'm sure you are thinking about that thing now, right?
As a young kid, we are told we can be absolutely anything we want to be! I mean think about it, that's a pretty amazing realization! When you're a child, you have no idea what possibilities are out there so this is where the fun begins! Exploring the world, seeing what you like and don't like as well as what your skills and talents are. Letting your imagination run wild is one of the joys of childhood. For me, my mind changed every few months on what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I love animals so I thought I wanted to be a Vet - until I realized not every appointment with an animal is a good one. Dancing was a big part of my early athletic years so I thought at one point I wanted to be a choreographer. I loved being in front of a crowd so being an actress or tv personality crossed my mind a few times and I even went to school for broadcasting. Of course all of these were phases centered around passions. Ones that peers or maybe even family just didn't understand.
When this happens, when those closest to us make us question something that we are interested in, we begin to question ourselves. Mainstream expectations set in and those passions we used to get so excited about begin to fade away. Sometimes we even become ashamed of these things and no longer keep them a part of our lives. We begin to ignore the inner child within us.
Your inner child is a figurative, metaphorical version of you. It is a psychological part of us that has control over more than we may be aware of. Most mental disorders or destructive behaviors are very much related to this unconscious part of ourselves. The more that we ignore or feel guilty about those passions I talked about before, the more our subconscious almost punishes us for them.
Being told to "grow up" only causes us to deny, neglect, abandon and reject our inner child, therefore rejected the things that make you, you. Society influences or forces us to put aside those child-like behaviors and do what is expected of us as adults. "Grown-ups" are convinced they have to outgrow and leave this child--and its emotional baggage--long behind. But this is far from the truth.
Allowing yourself to still take part in the things that make you happy, even if they aren't the main focal point of your life, can allow your inner child to stay involved. Doing work like building compassion for your inner child or even playing as you did as a kid, will do wonders for your subconscious and behaviors. Learning to accept yourself as the child you were will only help you as the adult that you are or will become.
So let's go back to that thing we were talking about in the beginning. That thing that makes you unique and maybe a little different. Do that thing more often. Let yourself feel that excitement you used to feel as a kid. Embrace, accept, and celebrate that thing. It is truly what makes you, you.
Even if you are unable to make that thing into a career or passion pursuit, you don't have to let it die. Create a safe space that you can truly unwind and be in a place that makes you feel like a kid again. Let the joys of that talent or passion flow through your body and take you back to your youth; that time where you were just beginning to explore the world while learning what made you happy.
So the phrase "you can be anything you want to be" might not feel as powerful right now, but it's still possible. You are only confined by the limits you create for yourself. So go out there and let the world see you shine!! Your inner child deserves that much.