The one thing that we could all give ourselves that would radically transform our lives is love. Believe it or not, most people do not love themselves very much, though they may be totally unconscious of the fact. Most are not aware that their inner-child, their ego, feels desperately unsafe and unappreciated. And even if we have people around us who love us very much, it will never feel like quite enough. Only the love that we give ourselves has the power to make us feel whole.
So how do we go about giving love to our inner-child? Answering that question will somewhat depend on your personality. It will also depend on your level of commitment, because, as I will discuss in this article, some gestures of self-love are easy to make, while others require patience and diligence. As you may have guessed, the latter has the greatest pay off. But whether easy or challenging, any attempt at self-love is well worth the effort.
In regards to the easy route, some people like to show their inner-child love with a little TLC, that is to say, pampering. They treat themselves to a day at the spa or chocolate cheese cake whenever they feel their inner-child is in need of a big hug. Not a bad idea really. But pampering only gets you so far. It’s like a band-aid that you place over a gushing wound—it’s not going to stop the bleeding! What the inner child really needs is to be convinced that it is safe, that it is supported, and above all, that it is loved unconditionally.
One way to convey unconditional love to your inner-child is the same way you do to your own children. A lot of parents tell their children at least once a day that they love them, so why not do the same for your inner-child. Start off the day by looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “I love you.” Go ahead and repeat it a time or two just to make sure that the message gets through. Sure, it may feel a little unnatural at first, but over time, that will change, and your inner-child will rejoice in the ritual.
But don’t stop with talking to yourself in the mirror. Speak encouraging words to yourself throughout the day. Self-talk is a wonderful way to give your inner-child the attention and encouragement it craves. Talk to yourself. Joke with yourself even. Your inner-child will love it!
Even if you get very good at expressing love to your inner-child, you won’t convince it fully if you are denying love to others. Consider that, your subconscious, that part of your mind that processes and stores your perceptions, cannot tell the difference between the words you speak to yourself and those that you speak to others. To it, all your thoughts, words, and actions carry the same significance, whether directed inwardly or outwardly. They all contribute to your inner-child’s perception of reality.
Think about that for a minute. Whenever we judge someone, our subconscious passes the weight of our judgement onto our inner-child, which makes it feel afraid. It says to our inner-child that love is a conditional state, and can easily be lost when expectations are not met. The same happens when we neglect the needs of others: our subconscious passes the message of indifference on to our inner-child, which makes it feel vulnerable. Likewise when we gossip or hold a grudge—it increases our inner-child’s sense of insecurity. All this insecurity builds up over time and undermines our relationships, our health, and our belief in ourselves.
But here’s the good news: if our negative behaviors create an insecure inner-child, then our loving behaviors create a confident and happy one. It is an inevitable process thanks to the workings of our subconscious minds. We literally can heal ourselves by the way we treat others. What an incredible process for making our inner-child feel safe and secure!
As you go through your day today, see how many ways you can find to convey love to your inner-child. Don’t be embarrassed to say “I love you” to yourself. Don’t hesitate to give yourself a pep-talk when you are feeling down. And be sure to convince your inner-child that your love is the unconditional kind, which it will know by your acceptance of others. And if from time to time, your inner-child just needs a superficial gesture of self-love to give it a leg up, you can always fall back on chocolate cheese cake. It will have it smiling in no time.