Carrying a strong child identity, as an adult, is a major cause of negativity. The child identity is basically the “ego” structure that you had when you were a child. A lot of adults carry this “child ego”, or child identity, in them way into their adult lives because they fail to let go of it as they grow up in the physical sense. The presence of a strong child identity, in an adult, leads to a highly dysfunctional adult experience. The adult life has responsibilities that the child-identity is scared of and hence it stands in resistance to allowing a smooth unfolding of your adult experience. Also, this child-identity disallows the presence of an “adult maturity” that’s required as a pre-requisite for the manifestation of several of your desired realities as an adult.
The hall-mark of the presence of a strong child-identity in you is the presence of “childish” fears in the mind. By “childish” fears, I mean the type of fears which are normal to have in a child but are understandably incongruent to be seen in an adult. Such an adult is also prone to child-like guilt (leading to several hang ups in adult life) and is easily influenced by outside authority. An adult who has a strong child identity is constantly scared of moving in the adult world, with all kinds of day to day fears. It’s also common for such adults to constantly seek approval, and emotional support, from the outside without the maturity to be his/her own person.
What makes the child-identity stay back in an adult?
To be a child is a phase of your human life (I would include teenage years also in the child phase). This phase has its own experiences, enjoyments and challenges. Your physical body keeps growing with age and reaches adulthood, but your being can hold on to the child-ego because of its identification with it. So your ego does not develop into an “adult ego” but stays stuck as a child-ego. To face adult life while holding onto your child-ego is a very scary experience – it’s no different from asking an actual child to take care of adult responsibilities. The child-ego perceives life from its childish perceptions, which were okay when you were a child but are totally dysfunctional when you are an adult. Moreover the child-ego is extremely sensitive because it feels insecure (the way you felt as a child), such a sensitivity becomes a huge source of suffering as an adult where you are exposed to all the nuances of physical life.
Some people just naturally grow out of their child identity as they mix into the adult world. But a majority of us cling on to our child identity (in varying amplitudes) way into our adult lives, either because we never feel the need to let go of it or because we are not able to see the dysfunction of it. There comes a point where carrying a child-identity becomes a huge source of resistance to your life movement as an adult, in which case there is a lot of suffering within. Your life force starts moving towards the manifestation of your desired realities as an adult, but your child-identity stands in resistance to this movement, creating huge inner conflicts and emotional suffering. This is why carrying a child identity makes for a highly negative adult experience.
Following are some common reason why an adult clings, or holds on, to the child-identity
– A strong identification with certain stories created in the mind owing to some negative childhood experiences (since your being holds on to fear-based stories more strongly owing to its sensitive nature)
– A lack of adult role models during the growing years of a child. For example, when both parents have a strong child-identity in them the children don’t have a role model to learn this maturity from.
– Identification with the childhood fears in an unconscious manner
– Having a bad opinion of adulthood due to certain negative behaviors seen as a child. For example, a child who sees his/her father being violent/abusive, develops an anger/fear towards being an adult through associating it with insensitivity.
– Fear of losing their innocence (which they associate with their child-ego)
– Growing up in the company of friends, or siblings, who have a strong child-identity
– Under-development of the brain, due to biological reasons, causing the person to lack reasoning/introspection capacities.
Apart from the last reason, all the other reasons can be rectified to let go of holding on to the child-identity by becoming conscious of its presence in you.
Needless to say the presence of a strong child-identity creates a lot of insecurities, anxieties and irresponsible behaviors in an adult. The adult life requires you to take up certain responsibilities which the child-ego is terrified of, this causes a conflicted adult movement in you.
Consciously allowing the child-identity to dissolve
If there is a presence of a strong child-identity in you as an adult, the resistance that it creates to your life movement manifests as a lot emotional suffering created by fear. This fear/suffering is usually the catalyst, or wake up call, for you to become aware of the dysfunction of holding on to this child-identity. Fear is the fire that burns through the child-identity when allowed in fully. As long as you keep running away from fears, you stay stuck in the child-identity, but the moment you allow the fears in completely it burns through the structure of the child-ego. Remember that a child always pushes away from fear, while an adult has the capacity to develop a maturity/awareness to face the fears in, to not run away from fears. Fear is a huge catalyst for inner transformation if you allow it in fully rather than try to run away from it.
Most people who have strong child-identities in them resort to escapist methods as soon as they are faced with fears that come up during their journey into adulthood – they try to deny/escape the fears (usually by drowning themselves in some distractions like entertainment, drugs, alcohol, spiritual escapism etc, in worst cases some even resort to suicide). The child-ego thrives on escapist methods. This “escape mode” of living causes you to live in fear all the time and this fear causes the attraction of some fear-based realities as an external reflection. When you finally decide to stop escaping fears and allow yourself to bring an open awareness to the fears in your being, letting your being be penetrated by the all the fears that arise, it starts dissolving the child-identity in you and what emerges is the mature you (the adult version of you that was always present below the child-identity).
Spiritual literatures have a name for this movement in your life force, where it brings you in touch with realities that create fear in you so that it can burn off the child-identity you are holding onto – it’s called “fierce grace” of life, where it puts you through some fears for your inner growth (Scientifically, you attract these fear-based realities through the presence of the strong vibration of fear that’s present in the child-ego). You reach a point where you can no longer run away from your fears, and hence you just surrender to them, and in this moment the child-identity is dissolved completely. The dissolution of child-identity allows you to live your adult life in a positive manner, allowing you to take up the responsibilities that are required of you in this realm, this maturity also rids you of inner resistance allowing the manifestation of personal realities that you desire as an adult.