“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago”- Friedrich Nietzsche
When infants, toddlers, children in general get tired, they get cranky. Patience, understanding, curiosity, play go out the window. Nothing will suffice but sleep, and even that they often adamantly resist!
Are adults any different?
When we get tired, or are depleted from too much labor, or haven’t nourished our bodies in the ways it needs, we act more like children. Food, sleep, active rest (such as meditation), friendship, physical activity, time in nature….these are ways we nourish our bodies and souls. When these are lacking or are simply unbalanced, our inner child cries out.
The body cries out for the alleviation of the imbalance, and it’s often in a self-centered, ego-centered way. And that’s OK. Recognize it for what it is. Instead of embodying that needy inner child, give it what it needs.
If I pay attention, I notice that when negative thoughts come into my head, I often have been too long without food, or am lacking in self-care. This is when I ask my inner child what it most needs. Why the inner child? Because this is the innocent side of myself that cries out for our most basic needs. When our basic needs are met, we are better equipped for living a healthy, aware existence.
Approaching the inner child with the compassion you would give to a 2-year-old, ask what it needs. Love it and nourish it, and moving forward in life will be easier.