Many of us look for love outside of ourselves. We believe, when someone loves us, then we will feel loved and not lonely.
In fact, you ARE love. Love is within you. You were born pure love.
Yet most of us were not taught or role modelled this. Between ages 2-7, many of us were taught to earn our love. Depending on what was reinforced in our family, I have found there are four primary ways we got this need met:
- The Good Girl/Boy – This is the child who was acknowledged, rewarded, loved for getting good grades, keeping a clean room, volunteering for a project, helping with our siblings or around the house, and well, for being good.
- Being Sick or Injured – Many of us got our best attention and love when we became sick or injured. This is when our busy Mother, for example, dropped everything to make us chicken soup, a chocolate milkshake, read us a book, rub our back and took focused attention care on us.
- Disappearing or Becoming Unusually Quiet or Shy – If we were gone long enough, our parents would notice we were missing and come looking for us. If this was you, you might have stayed in your room after being called over and over again for dinner. Or, maybe you hid under the bed so they would come looking for you. I had a client once who remembered hiding in the family car in the garage hoping her parents would come looking for her.
- Throwing a Tantrum or Misbehaving – If none of the above techniques worked, you then just threw yourself on the floor or pinched your sibling because then they would have to stop what they were doing and focus their attention on you. It may not have been positive attention but it was attention nevertheless.
Does anything here sound familiar?
Although you are not physically a child anymore, the essence and energy of the child within you is still very much alive. This is the part of you that gets triggered and searches for love outside of yourself. This is the part of you that believes when someone is “there” for me, then I’ll feel acknowledged, loved and/or complete.
If we have not healed these wounds and habits by learning how to love ourselves, there is a good chance we as adults are subconsciously using these same techniques to get love and attention from others today.
For example, we put the needs of others before our own. We know this isn’t healthy, especially when we have feelings of martyrdom and frustration. So why do we continue to do this? We do this because we believe (subconsciously) if we take care of others, they will then “take care” of us.
Can you see what an unhealthy trap this is? It’s actually a form of manipulation that was reinforced for us as a child. Can you see how it can only lead to disappointment, frustration and pain because no matter how hard we try, we can’t control anyone outside of ourselves? It might work for a while, but it can’t last. And not only that, it’s exhausting!
In fact, the healing power of love offered by other people cannot be fully received if you do not love yourself (your inner child) first.
Here is a powerful way to connect to yourself and love your precious inner child.
- Find a picture of you as a child. Make sure it’s one that touches your heart and evokes some emotion.
- Connect to the beauty of this child. See the innocence, the sweetness, the wonder of who this child is.
- Flow acceptance, gratitude, appreciation and compassion to this child for just being who they are. Feel the love you have for this child fill your heart. Flow this unconditional love to this child who is living within you today.
- You can also flow that love through space and time. Close your eyes and imagine this child sleeping or playing. Send them dreams and thoughts of a bright future…of being loved, accepted and cherished.
When you love yourself, you can give love to others from a healthy place instead of from a needy place.
When you love yourself, almost like magic, the world begins to automatically love you back. The reflection of self love is not only an abundance of love around you, there is also greater joy, deeper connections and more fun!
This is a cornerstone of the work I do with my clients. If you are interested in learning more, you can:
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As always, I welcome your comments and questions below.