Last Saturday, I spent my birthday in a record-setting blizzard in New York City.
Exactly the same kind of a historic snowstorm I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. One of my favorite mantras is: “Everything is perfect” —so I winked back at God, curled up with some hot tea in my favorite robe, and began to reflect back on my birthday.
I couldn’t help but think of the little girl in the picture above.
I’m very proud of this little girl. She has been through a lot, but she never stops smiling. When I feel the need to be self critical, I think of this little girl, and remember to love and nurture her instead. She deserves the world, and I’m going to give it to her.
My birthday wish is that you can do the same for yourself.
I invite you to take a few minutes to do a simple exercise with me in the name of self-love and your younger self. Find a photo of yourself as a child. If you can’t find one, close your eyes and imagine him or her in your mind.
Your smile, laughter, innocence, joy, curiosity and hope.
That beautiful child still lives within you, and needs your care, kindness, gentleness and unconditional love. He or she needs to feel nurtured and supported. Your younger self needs to be forgiven in a non-judgmental way. This child needs to know everything is going to be ok.
When you feel ready, write this gorgeous soul a nurturing love letter.
Give her/him all your attention. Tell her what you wish she had known back then. Give him the encouragement and guidance you wish someone had given you. Tell her some comforting words to get her through a challenging time.
As an adult, I used to catch myself dishing out some serious negative self talk and criticism (it has become less and less frequent now through consciously choosing to work through it), but if someone said even one hurtful thing to the little girl in the photo above, I would immediately go into protective mama bear mode, and fiercely roar at them.
This love note is just for you and your younger self, so no need to edit, just let your feelings flow. Really connect to this child. I find the exercise to be extremely healing, and it helps me connect back to myself, realizing I am that little girl, and I need to be kind and loving at all times.
This practice is therapeutic because it connects you to your heart—your true self. In the past when I was confronted with a crisis or indecision, I would seek out the advice of others, often times ignoring my own inner wisdom and guidance. My mind and ego were in the way.
Connecting with my inner child and heart space allows me to listen to my own advice, which always points me in the right direction. I make decisions for the highest good for all.
The more you do this exercise and consciously consider the welfare of your younger self, the easier it will be to honor and embrace the person you are right now.
Here’s an example of a love note I wrote to my younger self:
I know you are in a lot of pain, and feel so alone. You don’t know what you’ve done to deserve this broken heart. I’m here to tell you that the pain you are in will become your purpose in life. Your broken heart will help others heal their broken hearts. Hang in there. Be kind to yourself. You are so strong and brave. I am so incredibly proud of you. You never give up. You always manage to land on your feet because of your fierce character, and yes, that broken heart of yours will make you a deeper, richer, wiser, more compassionate woman.
When you get rejected, say “Thank you.” You are being guided to something so much bigger and better and perfect for you. I have your back. You are safe. You will experience so much love and joy if you just quiet your mind and allow it to happen.
You are so incredibly loved and blessed. You are going to live the life of your dreams.
I hope you take some time to honor yourself and your inner child. He or she needs you, and is waiting to connect with you. To heal and grow.
Author: Kate Eckman
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Photo: Author’s Own