My Inner Child Showed Me the Meaning of Self-Love
For many years, I struggled with self-hatred; however, after an intense emotional experience, my inner child showed me the meaning of self-love. From that point onwards, I have had a much healthier relationship with myself.
A Lack of Self-Love from Hating My Inner Child
I have struggled with low self-esteem since I was a child. As a teenager and a pre-teen, my self-hatred usually revolved around my appearance. I could not look at myself in a mirror without feeling that I was ugly. I went through a period where I avoided mirrors completely because the reflection just made me want to burst into tears.
As I got older, I started to experience more symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Along with my desperately low self-esteem, I also struggled with chronic feelings of emptiness, explosive anger, crippling sadness, and a general hollow feeling inside me. These emotions would often change several times a day, leaving me exhausted and straining all of my relationships.
During that time, I struggled with deep self-hatred. I could not separate myself from the emotions that I was feeling. Because I felt so bad, I thought that I must be a bad person. I thought that the difficult emotions were my personality and that I was poisoning everyone around me. I hated the way that I acted and, at times, believed myself to be truly evil.
My relationship with myself improved slightly after years of therapy, but it still wasn’t positive. I would fluctuate between indifference and the familiar feelings of self-hatred. Things were better but still tumultuous.
Meeting My Inner Child
I met my inner child for the first time in Peru. During a period of spiritual growth and therapy, my teacher helped me discover the child who still lives inside me. This kid carries all of the experiences and trauma from my past, but she is still living inside my adult body. She has little control over her emotions and drives my constant yearning for validation and a deep fear of abandonment.
During a profound experience, I was overwhelmed by all of my emotions at once. I felt like I was in a storm with all of the feelings coming up inside me and swirling around me. This state made me experience deep fear, and I could not stop crying. It was at this moment that I gained true awareness of my inner child.
While I was undergoing this terrifying emotional experience, I could feel my inner child crying inside me. I could feel that she desperately needed protection and love. I also realized that she was the source of all of my difficult emotions. Whenever I felt crushing sadness or blinding fury, these emotions came from a deeper and older part.
At that moment, I finally realized that hating myself was never going to solve my problems. I could not hate a child part of myself that had suffered and was scared. She needed care and reassurance, much like a toddler needs holding while she cries. Once I accepted that, I held myself and finally felt that I was caring for myself.
It took this experience to improve my relationship with myself. Now that I am aware that my inner child is driving my chaotic emotions, I no longer blame myself or consider myself evil. I know that the path to self-love is to improve this inner relationship and to treat myself with more kindness.
Have you done any inner child work or discovered alternative methods for working towards self-love? Let me know your story in the comments.