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The Radiant, Innocent Inner Child

The morning as I was taking time to sit with my Inner Child (as I do every day), I was feeling inadequate, not loving enough towards the people in my life. Oh no!  I felt, and had a sinking sensation of disconnection and woe. There must be something wrong with me!

But suddenly I realized that the intent to be loving, present, and open was here in my heart. The child within me (and I could see a face, her picture when she was just one year old) was perfectly willing to be open and loving. She yearned to give herself to the world and to love the people around her.

Like everyone, my young self came up against the imperfect world—and in fact she was abused and betrayed by parents who should have protected her, so she lost that innocence abruptly and early. But still, my inner child lives on, not only in the hurt and trauma, but also in that radiant heart and desire to love.

I believe that there is goodness in the innocent core of each human being, even though we often act from fear and selfishness (as my father, my abuser, did). To love others fully, I need to first connect with that Basic Goodness (as the Buddhists call it) and feel its radiant warmth inside me.

Inner Child Just Needs Love

These days I am past the big crises of abuse and healing. Fifteen years of inner work behind me, as I wrote in The River of Forgetting. Old fears still come up—fear of being pushed around, fear of being abandoned, of being crazy and wrong—but sometimes I just cruise along through my days, thankful for what I have.

And on mornings like this, a cold New England rain splattering the windows, my inner child just needs love. Just needs to be held and reassured and loved unconditionally. Yes, you are safe, you are fine just the way you are, you don’t need to prove anything or accomplish anything. Just be here and be loved.

I feel a little embarrassed about it—such a needy child! Should be more grown up. But when I surrender to the tenderness, it can be delicious, nourishing, deep, and quiet. We all need to love and be loved, beginning right here at home in the Self.