Updated: Nov 15
What is innocence? The supreme depiction of #innocence is most often applied to children. From the #helplessness and full dependence of an infant to the curious #naivete of adolescents, “adults” sanction #mistakes, downplay emotional reactivity, and nurture fantasies to maintain the longevity of perceived innocence. #CaringAdults safeguard children from the suffering found in the world outside the one they seek to contain them in. At every turn, loving parents seek to soften their experience of pain, discomfort, and challenging #lessons believed to be more pertinent at a later stage of #development. The guidance of a loving parent may offer examples of coping mechanisms, soothing affection for support, and seeds of consideration to help #understanding or #appeasement as the child expands their experience of self, others, and their world. As an adult, are we ever truly innocent or do we create the #illusion of innocence because we seek to relieve ourself of #responsibility? When a child becomes what is perceived as an “adult”, they are offered less room for mistakes, emotional outbursts, and getting lost in fantasies. This does not mean the child dissolves and is now only an adult. The child is held more inward, less on the surface, with the adult role in place as the overseer of one’s life. Overtime, one’s playful and curious #InnerChild may be silenced by compensations for challenging life experiences to the point of feeling lost, yet the essence of it is apparent each time one comes up against the question of innocence, the opportunity to linger in fantasy, and the impulse for #denying responsibility.
Re-discovering, #nurturing, and #healing one’s inner child is an essential component of #FeelingWhole, healthy, and enthusiastic to be in the world. #Honoring the child within us opens a path back to #SelfLove, #SelfForgiveness, and #acceptance of what we are learning in the experiences of our lives. It allows the creative mind to be in an open state of discovery and #adaptability for the intrigue of one’s effects on the world where their life stories unfold. These beneficial aspects of a thriving #InnerChild are supported in balanced companionship with an individual’s adult sense of #authority. The #AdultAuthority helps navigate the flow of creativity into strategic outcomes, while maintaining a conscientiousness of self and others in order to achieve the most productive outcomes in relationships and society. Caring for oneself and others is a primary lesson in achieving a healthy sense of leadership and authority, required to make adult decisions that involve more complex #collaboration with others over time. This is evident in teamwork in college, career settings, long term #relationships whether friendship or romantic, and building a family of your own.
Some children have experiences at a young age that push them into roles with more authority for themselves and/or the family. Most often, the imprinted concept of authority in an individual’s #psyche is governed by a parent or adult that was most influential in their childhood. When these factors are holding sway over a #HealthyRelationship with one’s inner child as they grow into their adult authority, attentiveness to healing and re-educating the child self through mindfulness and introspection is a powerful way to refine how an individual expresses their authority with themselves, how they care for others, and how they understand the significance of #innocence and #responsibility. Innocence and responsibility are deeply rooted in the personas of the “Judge” and the “Victim” that present in the way one talks to themselves. This same #judge and #victim that leads within an individual’s perception of self affects the way they evaluate their #experiences with others and may cause further #distortion and illusion that are #detrimental to an individual’s relationship to oneself and others. If an individual lives from the primary state of the judge or the victim mentality, #PowerStruggles and poor resolve will dominate the #stories of their life.
The “Judge” and the “Victim” personas govern the perceptions of #guilt and innocence, of authority and whimsy, and of #power and #powerlessness. These #personas distort the context and factual evidence of experience, as well as negate the conscientiousness of a balanced #accountability with self for the focus of #blame on another or intensely upon themselves. The judge mentality may condemn and conflate #ToxicShame within self that mires a loving orientation to one’s inner child and their opportunity to learn instead of #ShuttingDown through #SelfRejection. Likewise, the #VictimMentality panders to the inner child’s mistaken #choices and naivete, #protecting themselves from achieving a healthy sense of adult authority. #Denial, projection, and lying combine to uphold the veils of illusion that are spun when seeking innocence without honest assessments of an experience. These #tactics of the mind play out from #fear, incited by the judge or victim roles that dominate within an individual’s relationship with their #InnerChild and #AdultAuthority. Sometimes, these tactics were taught to us through #mimicking another. Sometimes, they were learned through trial and error as #CopingMechanisms when life seemed too intense for the #fragility of our childlike essence.
Coping mechanisms are often chosen to achieve a sense of #redemption from the choices one makes, yet our unhealed #wounds are re-experienced again and again when that redemption is falsified. Self-perpetuating chaotic and painful experiences is a pattern of #fixation when an individual is seeking some offering of redemption that can only be truly found in #DeeperUnderstanding of the self and one’s role through the #choices they make within those experiences. No one wants to feel guilty. This is the challenge every individual faces when accepting accountability for their choices, for their #awareness or #ignorance, and for the responsibility that comes with standing in your own power to affect #resolve in an experience. The most common unhealthy ways of dealing with guilt are avoidance and disregard of responsibility to self or the situation and by placing blame on others. Self-righteous attitudes that demand #consequence, without #acknowledging their own involvement in the outcomes of a situation, are based in distortions that reveal long held wounds in the inner child that are #demanding attention. #Righteousness is distinctly different than self-righteousness. This is discerned by the evidence of firm #boundaries that honor the #integrity with self, sustained #compassion for others, and an individual’s capacity to wield their own power to reach healing resolve within themselves.
At a #SoulResonance level, we are all #innocent. We are innocent and not held to any standard and we are free to play, sense, and learn from the essence of our inner child as we navigate what it means to exist, at all. The egoic mind and the imprints of the authorities that came before us are what construct concepts of #RightAndWrong, #standards to be met, and echoes of possibility to be followed. It’s all theory. It’s an abstract collection of knowns and unknowns in volumes of books that share the #LifeStories of others. There is a natural cause and effect and there are #consequences to be learned from our choices, but many of them are #illusions propped up by ourselves or others in the #SearchForMeaning. These beliefs and consequences act as a catalyst for direction in the #LearningProcess that shapes one’s sense of adult authority and the concept of one’s inner child as a perceived or chosen identity. There are systems constructed of meaning and symbolism that we feel called to following, whether we are born into them, find them at some #transformational point in life, or are attached to them because of intense emotional experiences that we are still learning to process. To be human in a #society with others is to agree to the stated or unstated structures of belief, in some loose or stringent way, about what is acceptable or unacceptable in our behaviors. Individual relationships may establish their own #agreements for what is acceptable or unacceptable, according to the roles, needs, wants, historical imprints, and explorations of belief of those involved. Therefore, communication of these #expectations and beliefs is essential to move beyond initial or pervasive #assumptions that may not be met and cause unnecessary #dissonance within self and #conflict with another. The #perceptions of karma and fate all come with consequences perceived as positive or negative. We are the ones who attach meaning and the relevance of consequences to what we have or have not done in the course of our life chapters. We live from those theories because they act as a guide to our soul’s #resonance as it leads with patient #witnessing in the background of the life cycles and patterns one is working to #discover, #heal, #achieve, and #surrender. The soul is the ultimate authority beyond the many divisions of self that can be defined in the psyche. It is where all of them are unified in the simplicity of “I am” and “It is what it is.”
The inner child can be #reactive, petulant, naïve, and demanding. It can be hidden, fearful, #distrusting, and #hypersensitive to others. Yet, it is also #playful, #loving, curious, and #imaginative. It is comedic, enthusiastic, #empathic, and #opportunistic. The adult authority can be #protective, instructive, #logical, and emotionally contained. It can be loving, #supportive, collaborative, and #conscientious. Yet, it can be #controlling, #unforgiving, #neglectful, and stubborn. It can be #silencing, emotionally removed, #enabling, and excessively responsible. Both of these aspects of one’s #psyche must find balance through conversation and the will to heal for the sake of fulfilling #companionship with self, that returns an individual to the power of their own identity with self-love and wisdom through conflicts and hardship. What is your relationship like to yourself? Witnessing the #dialogue within to heal the patterns that lack resolve is the first step to harnessing your power and to affecting perceptions of yourself as well as interactions with others that co-create your life story. Your life story is your #legacy. Let it be one of new discoveries and deep healing in the wounds of the past. Let it be a dance of balanced accomplishments led by your inner child and adult authority. Through intentional living and the will to grow one can embody the potency of their #AuthenticSelf to strengthen endurance in #compassion and #adaptability for the changing landscapes of life.
Establish awareness of your inner dialogue. Embrace your inner child with compassion. Lighten the hand of self-authority with seeds of wisdom and tend the garden together with laughter, dedication, and mutual responsibility. Lay down in the dreams of tomorrow and wake up with many healed yesterdays, to be fully present in the choices you make today.
Excerpts from the Writings of Julie Hightman