Why do we spend so much time being unloving to the one person that matters the most? YOU.
It’s baffling to think that the ability to love ourselves can be so difficult and that such a simple concept can be so darn complicated. But it is, and for good reason. The inability to love ourselves may have been imprinted onto us as children. Everyone’s early experiences are different; however, it only takes a moment to leave an indelible mark on our self-worth. Most of the negative behavior and judgments that we direct onto ourselves were taught to us as a child. For instance, I was told by a stranger that I looked like a little boy at a young age, so from that point on, my siblings took the opportunity to tease me about it daily. Maybe another person with the same experience would not have been so negatively affected, but each one of us holds pain differently. This is the reason why the concept of “inner child work” is so pertinent to our quality of life.
As a child, we don’t have the tools to heal the wounds caused by other people, so we carry the pain around our whole lives until we learn to acknowledge, accept and eventually move past the hurt.
Reading and listening to people speak about “self-love” are great approaches to learning how to obtain it, however, that is only half of the work. In order to truly possess a deep love for oneself, we need to get to the root of our suffering. Understanding that most of our fears, phobias and insecurities stem from our childhood experiences can start the healing process and then like magic, our negative behaviors begin to change. There are many resources regarding inner child work that you can research, however, I found that by merely changing the way I spoke to myself, from a negative to a positive manner, healed many of my own inner child wounds.
There are days in which I revert to self-judgments and criticisms, however, I quickly remember to speak to my inner child rather than my adult self. A simple but impactful technique that I used to heal my inner childhood wounds is to have a framed picture of me, when I was little, on my nightstand (see IG photo). The picture is a daily reminder to treat myself as I wanted to be treated as a young girl. Gentle and loving words are chosen as if I was speaking to one of my kids. I would never denigrate them about how they looked or behaved. Instead, I would focus on how much LOVE I have for both. Speaking to my “little Jules” in the same way I speak to a loved one, has increased my own self love and decreased my fault-finding eye. Along with a picture, it is very powerful to let your inner child know that you are there for them, that you love them, and that you would never hurt them (speak to yourself). Giving yourself a hug as if you are hugging your inner child is a great way to shower yourself with love.
Here’s the love…
Learning to reconnect to your inner child can be scary, especially when there is pain. However, once recovered, you will have opened yourself up to receiving more joy and love in your life.