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Nurturing Your Inner Child

Posted Mar 06 2009 12:00am

When we have children, we learn the true meaning of unconditional love. We tell our children, “No matter what you do, we will always love you,” and we mean that heart and soul. Wouldn’t it be nice if we approached our own life with that same loving kindness?  We each have an inner child;  hopefully still happy and carefree, still full of possibility and charm, supported by wisdom and strength gained from rich life experience. If it isn’t, it can be. Old wounds can be healed and poor choices understood. This will give you the space and freedom to live joyfully in the present. Take some time today to connect with your inner child. Like a gentle and loving parent, exercise patience and care as you ask yourself the following questions:

v What are your positive attributes? Write these down and celebrate them! Read this list often, as it illustrates all that is wonderful about you as well as all that is possible for you.

v Which areas in your life require more attention for growth? Write these down, too. Determine how you can go about achieving growth in these areas. Maybe you need more time, more experience, or perhaps help from an outside source.

v What do you still have attachments to? Often these can be big events from your past (recent or long ago) where you felt victimized or powerless. Other times, it can be mistakes you made that you haven’t let go of. Write out these stories. Reviewing them as an adult may help you to understand them better and let them go. Or, you may realize you need help from another source to properly process the situation and put it behind you. If you need help, seek it out as soon as possible. It isn’t healthy to hold on to this kind of pain.

v Who needs forgiveness? There may still be people from your past (again, recent or long ago) whom you need to forgive or you may realize there is an event for which you need to forgive yourself. Forgiveness is often the last step in letting go of deep-seated pain. Keep in mind, forgiveness is a state of mind; it does not mean you condone the behavior.

The health and well-being of your inner child is a great indicator of your overall happiness. Ignoring the pain and suffering harbored by your inner child causes infinitely more suffering in your adult life. You will often work unconsciously to mask the pain in unhealthy ways. Slow down every now and then to check in with your inner child and make the necessary adjustments to get yourself on track. Ultimately, you want to end up at a place where you are at peace with all of your experiences, good and bad. In this way, you cultivate a real love for who you are and then are capable of approaching others in your life with that open, loving-kindness as well.

 

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