You and Your Younger Self

We all remember childhood. The things we saw that no one else saw. Whether it was imaginary or mystical it was still magickal to us.  Our inner child is part of us that wants to have the whimsical fun we had as a child.  This is the part of us that embraces play, laughter and simple delights. Persephone is one incarnation of this concept.  So is Puck or even Loki.  The inner child is innocent, pure, honest, and just wants to play.

So today I want to talk to you about what Miles Betty calls the three aspects of the younger self: the wisdom of youth, the value of play, and the Haunted child.

Wisdom of Youth

One of the things that amazes me about my daughter is how much she teaches me. I’m serious.  Children often see things that we have blinded ourselves to.  Just a few days ago I found myself amazed at how much wonder she finds in the world and that I take for granted. Then there are those children who can sometimes summarize a situation far more succinctly even if the words are simple.  I’m sure as my daughter grows up she’s going to teach me as much as I teach her.

But that’s not the only wisdom of youth.  Have you ever noticed how children react to things that none of us seem to see? Well most of us at least.  We may call them imaginary friends, but children have a much greater awareness than most of us give them credit for, especially when raised in an open minded household.  They see ghosts, monsters, and fairies. Adults are taught as children that such things cannot exist.  There are witches who regain or grow up with these insights and believe.  They see with their inner eye.

Value of Play

In our modern world adulthood has become synonymous with work, bills and mediocrity. Others say that you have to behave as an adult to raise a child, but I can tell you that isn’t entirely true. I remember my mother getting down on my level (as much as she could) and playing with me as a child would.  Or we would draw together.  She could think like a child, but had the common sense to protect me when needed. Best of all she always did it in such a way that I didn’t even realize she was doing it.

Granted she couldn’t do that all of the time, but looking back, those moments where we were seemingly equal were some of the best moments we ever had together.  You can be responsible and still be able to think as a child.  The two do not have to be entirely separate. It’s just a matter of being open to it. I think this is why some people in alternative lifestyles like the idea of age play (which is generally not sexual in most circles by the way). It gives them a way to let that inner child out. I know a group of “littles” in our community who just get together as adults to color and play with stuffed animals. Many would find this weird, but so long as it doesn’t interfere with their daily life, I say live and let live or not my place to judge.

We recently talked about accepting ourselves and accepting the duality that comes with that.  Accepting your inner child is similar.  There is a time and a place to let out your inner child. Just like anything, it’s all about balance.  The important thing here is to recognize the difference between childlike and childish.  One involves recognizing the magick and wonder in everything, the other involves throwing a tantrum because you didn’t get your way.

So is it childlike or childish to play?

We all play. The only difference between a child’s play and an adult’s play is that most of us feel a need to play to win. Seriously. Think about it. Did you care if you won when you played tag or hide and seek? Winning didn’t really matter as long as you had fun. Now think about now. Do you get frustrated when you don’t win? Or do you plan any games where winning isn’t the objective? For most of us the answer is going to be no.  With children the enjoyment of the act is more than enough. They just have fun playing. As Betty said- who is being more childish? The adult who must win or the child who just wants to play?

  1. The haunted child is a hard lesson. It’s something we carry with us our entire lives. Many of us had a childhood that involved cruelty of other children or maybe even other adults. I know that my own trauma still weighs heavy in my heart some days and, if you’re honest with yourself, there are things from your past that you still haven’t faced. It’s by no means easy. Even I struggle with it, but it makes you wonder how much freer we could feel if we did face them.

Still there is a lesson here. We have to be honest with ourselves to be able to face ourselves, the Gods, and even our own past.  Many of the roadblocks we face in these areas are ones we put there ourselves. We have too much pride to admit when we are wrong or simply don’t want to face those things out of fear.  It’s not a bad thing, but if we want to grow we have to work towards blowing up those road blocks.

The book recommends a self-guided mediation to help with this. The gist is that once you’re in a meditative state you imagine that you walk down the street to your childhood home.  You see yourself as a child there and look into your own eyes. You see the pain there.  You see the tears.  You see the scars and bruises of the past on your own young body.  You pick that child up in your arms. You hold them tight and hug them deeply. You tell them that it’s okay. You tell them that you’re here to take care of them to help heal them.  And that no one will ever hurt them again.

We did it in my class and I have to admit it helped.

So inherent divinity is more than respect for others. It is recognizing the divinity that we have as creations of the divine.  It is about loving ourselves and helping yourself to better yourself through love and healing.  It really is harder to love ourselves and accept who we are. It’s harder to overcome our own obstacles than it is to help someone else. One of the hallmarks of this faith is being able to find yourself and being able to balance yourself so that you can be the best version of you.  And part of that is facing all those demons. Part of it is accepting those dualities within each of us. Part of it is finding a way to love those things you hate about yourself. You can still love you for being you and work on changing. It’s hard, but it’s possible. You’ll fall off the wagon, but it is well worth the bruises.

Blessed Be.

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