I was talking to a friend last week who is struggling with holding down a romantic relationship and placing the blame on herself for ‘not being good enough.’ I coached her a little on starting to think about the relationship she has with herself and shared that this month I have been doing a 33 day inner child meditation. She asked me what this was and I thought it would be a good blog to share instead of writing out a long WhatsApp message.
Developing a kind and compassionate voice within is not as easy as it sounds. Some of us can internally be our own worst enemies and would never dream of talking to anyone the way we talk to ourselves!
Damning phrases like: ‘I am fat,’ ‘I am stupid,’ ‘I am ugly,’ ‘I hate myself,’ ‘I hate my body,’ ‘no one loves me’ share similar and constant underlying themes of: ‘I am unworthy?’ and ‘I am not good enough?’
In an attempt to make ourselves feel better and cancel out these negative internal projections we will Seek things outside of ourselves. These ‘things’ might show up as:
Sex and relationships – we may have sex or date someone just to prove that we are loveable
Bitching – a great way to make ourselves feel ‘better than or superior to x y or z’
Food, smoking, drinking – let’s just numb out the feelings of self-loathing with oral gratification
Over exercising or over working – our ego says, if I have a great body or a great job I will be acceptable, happy, respected and liked
People Pleasing – at least if I am nice, people will like me and that will give me comfort
Look, I’m not saying to refrain from all of these, I am just giving examples in order to bring a deeper observation of certain behaviours and why we act out in certain ways.
Who is the Inner Child?
The inner child is the little you, the young one inside of you. You can choose whichever age you want to connect to. The idea is, you connect with the little innocent person that you are. Wouldn’t you want to shower that little one with love and praise?
When we start connecting to that little one inside, we do not want to flagellate that part of ourselves. We want to be gentle, protective and extremely loving. The point is to develop compassion with ourselves.
I have found during the meditations, that sometimes, I sit and it takes a while to connect to ‘Little Tara,’ but eventually something will come forward. Maybe a memory of when I was younger will emerge, or ‘Little Tara’ will have a message for me. It turns out that my ‘Little Tara’ is quite wise. She told me the other day that she was my biggest Cheerleader! You see, what this meditation generates is a supportive and loving dialogue with myself.
Practically every month since I started Spiritual Psychology, I have set the intention to do this 33day process, but it has taken me a year and a half to finally do it and keep the commitment. If you forget a day, you have to start from day one again. When I started the process last year, I forgot and ‘Little Tara’ got all upset, felt abandoned and didn’t want to talk to me and I gave up!!
Why 33 days?
Research shows that it takes 28-33 days to change a habit.But, with that being said, research shows that it takes 120 days to integrate change in one’s consciousness. So once the habit is shifted it can take 120 days to completely integrate the process.
Personal transformation is no quick fix…
If you feel a long way off from sitting and meditating each day and the inner child feels too foreign and weird, you could try ‘Mirror Work’ which can be a good place to start. Louise Hay designed this technique to increase self-esteem. The idea is to spend time each day in front of the mirror and say, ‘I love you.’ This is an interesting exercise to see where you are at, it might feel silly and uncomfortable, for some people this is almost impossible and excrutiatingly painful.
The often over used cliché, ‘you can’t love someone else until you love yourself first,’ has a lot of truth to it. Often, other people can energetically feel if we are trying to get something from them – like we may be trying to locate our own self worth inside of them. And they can pick up on that imbalance and draw away.
So we have to begin by looking at the relationship we have with ourselves and nurture that first. I have found that developing a relationship with my inner child has helped me make self-honouring choices. Now I have given my little girl a voice, I have a greater degree of control over childish impulses, like ‘I want that and I want it NOW’ – especially when it comes to decisions such as a 3rd Martini, a pack of American Spirits or Ice Cream after dinner!
Whilst I’m personally not feeling the bandwidth for long lasting love right now, as I bask in the healing of self-love, healthy boundaries and not being afraid of asking for what I want, I do know that the next lucky fella I fall in love with will have a different experience than those that have gone before…