Kourtney Kardashian Barker
When you’re cruel to yourself, you’re cruel to her or him—(cue montage of your most adorable childhood photos). Whether you find this internet trend aiming to encourage self-love to be cheesy or a real tear-jerker, there’s truth to it. We are those people in those photos, just with a little more wisdom, experience, and maybe some fine lines. Ease up on the hurtful self talk, you’re just a kid! … in there.
Just what is your inner child? Our inner child is essentially our essence. Our way of being is ingrained in us so young, even though it’s not easy to see it that way. We grow, we have relationships, and people inspire and influence us to like certain things, behave certain ways, and achieve different goals, but our inner child has determined our overall disposition early on, and that’s not exactly something that we outgrow.
We all have an inner child. No matter how mature, how experienced, or how old we feel, we can’t erase our past—it’s a part of us and a vital foundation. It continues to be a part of our subconscious, picking up on social cues and messages from the way we speak to ourselves, the way others speak to us, and the way we speak to each other.
Even before we were aware of doing so, our child self has been storing this information—emotions, memories, belief systems, spiritual experiences, and dreams for the future. When we take the time to think of our inner child and make space for this innocent core in all of us to be considered and loved, we are far less likely to put ourselves down or think of ourselves negatively.
We speak to children in a way that highlights gratitude and positivity. We tell them they are smart, funny, cool, interesting, and beautiful so that they will believe it, gain confidence, and grow into those things. It’s as if we are instilling the work of manifestation within them. That doesn’t leave us as we age, which is why affirmations are so effective. We must still speak to ourselves in the way we wish to cultivate who we are. Growth is a journey, not a hard and fast destination.
Your inner child holds on to the initial things that brought you joy and made you experience love, self-discovery, distress, fear, doubt, confidence, etc … These experiences are so essential to who we are at such a malleable age, but we don’t have to stop being malleable. The things that keep our brains and hearts flexible are love and gratitude. So before you put yourself down next, think of that inner child. The one who came before and the one who is still growing and changing. Think of how you want to be, and guide yourself there with love.
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