Loving your Inner Child
When I tell people to start talking in a loving way to themselves, they look at me a with a little confusion. I have often been asked how to do this, as they haven’t done this before. So, what does it look like when you tell your inner child loving things? I came across this short clip from the movie The Help. Just hearing this makes you smile, and you begin to feel a little differently about yourself.
When life begins to beat us up, we turn to negative self-talk and self-judgements. However, we can act in a different way that doesn’t including beating ourselves up and falling deeper in to our own darkness of our mind. We can turn to self-compassion. Kristin Neff talks beautifully on self-compassion. http://www.self-compassion.org/ She talks of …
- Common Humanity
Mindfulness is at the heart of self-compassion and acceptance. Mindfulness is the ability to stop and pay attention to the present. It is allowing ‘nonjudgmental acceptance’. As life happens, we worry about the future, and ruminate about the past, and we lose focus on our body and our present. We get distracted by thoughts, emotions, daydreams, sleepiness, impulses and pains. When we find it difficult to focus, we become very frustrated. When we open up and accept what is going on and make room for it, we stop the struggle with it. Only then, can we focus on the things that matter in our lives. We make room to live a life that fits in with our values. We can start by just resting our mind gently back on the breath or the body. Be in the moment. Have you ever tried washing the dishes mindfully? It is an amazing experience. Give it a try and just notice what happens.
Kindness allows us to act kindly to ourselves! We can talk to ourselves in a way that is kind (see You is Smart, You is Kind, You is Important above). How do you talk to your inner child? Is it the same that you would talk to a small child that is currently in your life? Do you have high levels of forgiveness that you give to others? If so, do you give the same level of forgiveness to yourself? We all make mistakes, and we are all human. However, we can deal with ourselves in a way that can offer life enhancing changes. We can show kindness, self-compassion, and love, to ourselves in many ways. For example, to name a few, we can cook a beautiful meal, read a book, take a bath, rub our necks gently, and cup our heart whilst we mindfully breathe, or hold your pain kindly (R. Harris, 2013, Getting Unstuck in ACT)
Common Humanity is beautifully explained by Russ Harris in his work where he states that we all experience pain and suffering and these are experiences that we share with all human beings. Life leads us on paths that have ups and downs that we all have to experience. Human suffering is a normal part of being human.
If you are interested in reading further about self-compassion please see Kristen Neff’s website. Here are some nice self-compassion exercises. http://www.self-compassion.org/self_compassion_exercise.pdf