In the journey towards self-love, acknowledging and healing the inner child proves transformative, offering a profound impact on personal growth and well-being.

  • Reparenting the Inner Child: Acknowledge past hurts, express emotions, and offer unconditional love to your younger self, forming the cornerstone of the self-love journey.
  • Embracing Every Part of Yourself: To fully love yourself, it's crucial to acknowledge and embrace the experiences of the little child within, regardless of perceived shortcomings or successes.
  • Confronting Lingering Childhood Impacts: Even seemingly wonderful childhoods may leave subconscious imprints, necessitating the exploration of inner child work to address lingering moments of hurt or fear.
  • Practical Steps for Nurturing the Inner Child: Engage in daily inner child meditations, playdates, establish boundaries, and incorporate positive affirmations to foster healing, self-awareness, and self-love.

In the pursuit of self-love, acknowledging and healing the inner child is a transformative step (take a look at the articles ‘What is inner child healing’ & ‘What is Self-Love’ in the toolbox). Childhood experiences, even seemingly inconsequential ones, can leave lasting imprints on your psyche. Through inner child healing, you confront the subconscious influence of past wounds and fears, fostering a deeper understanding of yourself. It's an introspective process that may initially be underestimated, but its impact on self-love is profound.

The inner child represents remnants of childhood feelings—neglect, fear, or any unresolved emotions. By reconnecting with your inner child, you can provide the love, understanding, and protection you needed during your formative years. Essentially, you are reparenting your inner child. This involves acknowledging past hurts, expressing emotions, and offering unconditional love to your younger self. This nurturing connection becomes the cornerstone of the self-love journey.

To embody self-love you must embrace every part of yourself, which is why nurturing your inner child is so paramount. There are things from childhood that we all shy away from, but to fully love yourself you have to acknowledge the little child who did the best they could and were the best they could be in those situations. You have to give space to your younger self and be the person you needed when you were young. 

Even if you think your childhood was wonderful, there are aspects that might still impact you today. Those moments of hurt or fear during childhood may linger subconsciously, influencing your present thoughts and emotions. I implore you to give inner child work a chance. I've had many friends say the same thing to me, but after following my advice and starting this work, I’ve received many calls or texts explaining how much they cried and how much their self-awareness and self-love are growing.

Try this: look at that photo of you as a child and acknowledge that Little You is still here with you now. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and visualize your younger self in front of you. What does that little version of you need? Love? Understanding? A hug? Let your inner child guide you.

Embrace the inner child within. Give them a warm, comforting hug. Assure them that you are here for them, you are listening to them, and you are acknowledging everything they went through. Let them know how brave they are, how strong and beautiful. Let them know that you are here now and they don't have to be afraid any more. You will take care of them; you are here now to protect, to listen, and to love unconditionally. Encourage your inner child to express their needs, to reveal their hurts, allowing every ounce of confusion, pain, heartache, and loneliness to surface. Let yourself feel all the things that you have held onto since you were that little one. As you embrace little you, feel all the love and grace emanating as you give them the space they need to finally speak their truth and feel acknowledged, safe, understood, loved and cared for.

At the end of this moment. Let them know that you are here for them, you will always be here for them, you see them, you understand them, and you are going to be protecting them and prioritizing them from now on. 

This connection with your inner child marks the beginning of your self-love journey. This is such a powerful thing to continuously do because your inner child is a part of you. There are things you deemed embarrassing or bad that you don't want to remember. It could be something like being overweight as a child, and now you try to forget yourself at that time, but ignoring that child version of you is just as bad as the bullies at school or the adults in your life shaming you for your weight. You have in turn shamed your own self by ignoring your inner child or joking about it at your own expense, when it, in fact, hurt, and there was no fault of your own.

It’s time to love all the parts of you that you or society deem good or bad. Dig deep and love each part of you at every stage of your existence. You have made it so far, you need to give yourself credit for being strong, smart, resilient, and beautiful.

Practical steps, such as daily inner child meditations, engaging in play dates, establishing boundaries, and incorporating positive affirmations contribute to nurturing the inner child and further aid in the healing process. Rediscovering the world through a child's lens becomes a powerful tool to prioritizing one's needs, safety, and happiness. This shift in perspective reinforces that self-love is not only essential but a journey intertwined with embracing and healing the inner child.

Here are some practices I engage in to delve deeper into inner child healing and self-love:

  1. Acknowledge Your Inner Child: Recognize your inner child's presence when you're being overly critical or feeling low.
  2. Daily Inner Child Meditation: Invest 5-10 minutes in an inner child meditation daily, or as frequently as you can manage. Various apps like Insight Timer offer helpful guided meditations.
  3. Physical Representation: Hold a pillow, envisioning it as your inner child, and embrace it, fostering that sense of care.
  4. Boundaries and Protection: When someone oversteps your boundaries, visualize that person disrespecting your inner child. Protect yourself by communicating your needs and walking away if necessary.
  5. Playdates: Take your inner child on a playdate. Go do something fun-- just you. No one can come with you. Leave your phone at home or in the car. These activities have to be things that you used to love doing as a kid - this isn't going to the spa, getting your nails done, etc. It's play time, it's 'who cares what the world would think' time! This could be going to do cartwheels and handstands in the park. It could be grabbing painting utensils and finding somewhere outside to just paint. Maybe rollerblading down to the beach or making up a dance to your favourite song in your living room.
  6. Positive Affirmations: On good days and on bad days, say good things about yourself. The small things count- my hair is beautiful, I love how kind I am, etc. You don't need to write these down every morning. Just say them throughout the day so your mind starts to swap from the automatic self-deprecating words to loving words.

Connecting with the inner child marks the inception of the self-love journey, highlighting its profound impact on personal growth and well-being. As individuals embrace their inner child, they set in motion a transformative process that breaks down self-imposed barriers, fostering a deep sense of self-love and acceptance.

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