Last week I was making my herbal tea to drink throughout the morning. As I do every day.
But as I poured the boiling water into the jug, the glass exploded and scorching liquid gushed towards me. In panic, I hurdled backwards, stumbling over one of little one’s toys.
And while I thankfully avoided a third degree burn, I tore a muscle in my thigh. Which rendered me immobile for the rest of the day.
So I sat on the sofa. Analysing some cancer outcome data for work, watching daytime TV and twiddling my thumbs.
Looking around, I could see all the chores that were waiting for me. The chaotic piles of toys, dusty floors, mountains of dirty dishes were mocking me from afar.
It upset me that I couldn’t tackle the mess or cook dinner for my family. I felt guilty because my husband had to cater to my needs and take over the child care. And I was disappointed that I would have to suspend my newly-established yoga practice.
As I brooded over all the things I should do, ought to complete or was missing out on, I started to feel angry.
“You stupid, idiot thigh,” I grumbled. “If you weren’t hurt, I wouldn’t be so restricted. I wouldn’t be such a burden to others. I wouldn’t be so useless!”
And the moment I said it, I knew how wrong it was.
I blamed my thigh for my misery. Felt resentful, irritated, annoyed with it. Beat it up for being inadequate. For causing problems and inconvenience.
But as I listened to myself, I realised just how unfair this was.
Because my thigh wasn’t at fault. In fact, it was a victim of an unfortunate accident. Injured, distressed and in pain.
Yet I punched it when it was already down, when it didn’t deserve it at all. When it would have needed my support, love and understanding instead.
But the real tragedy is that we do this all the time!
Something in our life goes wrong and we start punching. We curse our body for letting us down when we suffer from a health condition, disability or injury. We chastise ourselves when our circumstances deteriorate, when we lose out on love, money and happiness.
“You are not good enough. You pathetic loser, you idiot, effing imbecile. Why can’t you get anything right? Why are you so weak and inferior? No wonder your life is a mess. You useless waste of space! What is wrong with you?!”
In our greatest times of need, we wish for nothing more than a hug. Somebody to tell us that we are doing ok. That everything will be alright. All we want in these moments is love, understanding and support.
We ache for comfort, affection and acceptance. Desperately seeking it in others.
And yet, we deny it to ourselves. Instead we beat ourselves up, mercilessly punish ourselves for our misery, pain and suffering. Bully ourselves, hit hard where it hurts most.
We show no patience towards ourselves, no support, warmth or care. Our relationship with ourselves is broken, loveless, dysfunctional.
All because we lost sight of the truth.
Think of the person you love most in your life. Maybe it’s your child, partner, a parent or sibling. Your best friend or a pet.
You are devoted to them. Are there for them when they need you. Take care of them. Especially when they are unwell.
So, what is so different about you that you don’t deserve your support and unconditional love? What is so abhorrently wrong with you that you cannot accept yourself? That you can only ever master negativity towards yourself?
The answer is NOTHING.
You ARE worth as much as anybody else in this world. You deserve love. And that includes your own.
But you are too busy feeling worthless. Beating yourself up for being inferior, weak or damaged, obsessing over your flaws, and shortcomings and ruminating about the reasons for your unhappiness.
And all the while you choke the loving, beautiful, sensitive YOU that craves your affection and comfort.
You shackle that playful, creative and fun-loving slice of your Self that has the astonishing ability to feel pure joy and unlimited gratefulness for the littlest of things.
You suffocate the trusting part that dares to be vulnerable, open and free. Because it believes that the world is a good place and that the Universe has your back.
This vital part is your inner child.
Who is as deserving of your love as any other. Who currently lives in darkness buried deep within you. Forgotten, suffering in silence. Day after day. Resigned to a loveless life of abuse, neglect and oppression.
And only you can stop this misery. You can rekindle a loving relationship with yourself. Simply by reconnecting with your inner child.
Think about it.
The only person you will spend all your life with is YOU. That’s a loooong time to be stuck in an unhappy, abusive relationship!
But it doesn’t have to be this way. And all you need to do is to reconnect with your inner child. So you can rediscover your love, affection and understanding for yourself.
You are responsible for your inner child, for its wellbeing, health and development.
You can nurture it with your love, support and care. You can provide what it needs, do things that will make it happy. Be there for it when it needs you.
Or you can stifle it, keep neglecting and suppressing it while drowning it in negativity, self-condemnation and despair.
It’s your choice.
No, you didn’t choose the hardship, the mental or physical health issues, the suffering. And you may feel you don’t have the power to change your circumstances right now.
But you CAN change the relationship with yourself. You can choose to love yourself, treat yourself with respect, patience and kindness.
And you can start right now.
So, sit or lie down comfortably. Take 3 deep breaths. Focus your attention on your heart.
Feel inside and ask to see your inner child. Be patient.
Your inner child is the most vulnerable part of you. The creative, sensitive bit of your soul that you mistreated for years. And if your inner child is hurt, scared or depressed, it can take a while until it shows itself to you.
Even if you can’t make contact straight away, talk to it like you would talk to an upset or anxious toddler. Treat it as if it was the person you love most in this world.
Ask for forgiveness, tell your inner child that you love it. Make it feel comfortable and cared for. Once it interacts with you (this may take a few sessions depending on the extent of dysfunction in your relationship), listen to its concerns, comfort it and support its ideas.
Try to visit your inner child every day to repair the relationship, develop trust and rekindle your love for it.
And if you need help reconnecting to your inner child you can try my guided meditation specifically designed to mend your relationship with your inner child.
We all seek true love. Crave a special connection with the one wonderful person. And feel depressed if we don’t succeed.
Yet, it is right in front of us. A healthy, loving relationship with yourself, with your inner child and every part of YOU, is all the true love you will ever need.
Everything else is a bonus.
And once your inner child heals, recovers from the wounds of lifelong abuse and neglect it will start to flourish. Once it feels your love and support, the sadness and fear will fade. Making way for creativity and joy once more.
Your inner child needs you. And you need your inner child. You can only thrive together.
Because a loving relationship with yourself is the most important step to a happy life. Even if you can’t change anything else in your life right now, you can change the way you interact with yourself.
You can learn to support, respect and comfort yourself. Because you ARE worth.
And loving yourself will make all the difference.
Download the "Heal your inner child" guided meditation to discover you love, respect and patience for yourself.
Download the guided meditation for only $9 to receive a digital download of the 10-minute meditation designed specifically to heal past wounds. Access the meditation anytime, anywhere without Wifi access or using cellular data.
Dr Berni Sewell, PhD is a health scientist, energy healer and self-worth blogger. She is on a mission to make you feel good about yourself, no matter what. Download her free guide Instant self-worth: an easy 4-step solution to heal your self-worth in under 5 minutes a day” and start to boost your confidence today.