I grew up in the 80s. It was a great time.
The last generation to know what life was like before cell phones and the internet permeated every corner of our lives.
We drank water straight from the garden hose in those days. We bought ice cream at Kmart in those days. My twin sister and I even took ourselves to the local pool by ourselves during the sweltering, endless summer days. Those were the good old days.
In the late 70s, my mom was in the midst of raising and supporting my three teenage siblings when she was surprised (okay, shocked) to learn she would be welcoming me and my twin sister to the show.
I mention this so I can explain the story behind this fabulous dress I have on.
When you come from a big family, you can probably understand that resources are spread a bit thin. Since my older siblings were 10 and 13 years older than my sister and I, hand-me-downs were not an option.
Back in those days, my mom had to get creative to provide us with clothes, so we headed to the thrift store, a pastime we still love to this day.
When I was six, I don’t think I had too much interest in what I wore; in fact, I was actually a bit of a tomboy. So my mom picked all my dresses, including the one I have on in this picture.
Today, when I look at my old school pictures, I get a good laugh. I am not so sure about this dress I have on in the picture, but thankfully, my style is more polished these days.
Sure, the emerald green color does match my eyes. But I can’t decide if I look more like a leprechaun or a nun in her habit.
So where am I going with all this?
I want to explain how much this picture has helped me love the little girl inside me, and how it has helped me love my current adult self.
One day, I was sifting through my old pictures when I came across this first grade school picture. On impulse, I decided to take it to my wall, by my desk, where it still sits today.
It’s up there next to the pictures of my own kids and a picture of my grandma sitting with my mom when she was a child. (It’s helpful to remember our parents were also children once, but that’s a topic for another day.)
In hindsight, I think it was my inner knowing, or higher self, who prompted me to put the picture there.
I have read many books, watched a few YouTube videos, and seen many Instagram posts that tell us we need to love ourselves more and that we need to love our inner child. But that is easier said than done.
One day, I was reading a book by one of my favorite light beings, Teal Swan.
The book is called Shadows Before the Dawn (10/10 recommend reading the book, by the way).
Anyways, in her book, Teal speaks about a technique called “Adopting Your Inner Child.” It involves going back in your mind’s eye and loving you as a child. Teal asks us to picture our child self and talk to them, reassure them, tell them we will protect them.
I always found this so hard to do. I am not sure why, but I had a hard time “seeing” myself as a child.
That’s why, later on, when I pinned my childhood picture above my desk, it all clicked.
One day, I looked up at the picture, and I finally saw it. That was me, as a child, with my goofy dress, and my short, difficult-to-style hair. In that moment, I just felt this compassion, this love for myself.
I looked at that sweet, authentic smile and those big, green, sparkling eyes, full of curiosity.
I remembered that I was happy then, innocent, excited about life, worthy of love.
I looked at that picture with the same emotion and heart that I look at the pictures of my own children, with the eyes of a mother, and my heart was filled with love.
If you can “see” your child self through the eyes of a mother (or father or some other person who really loves children), you can see that your child self is worthy of love.
Instinctually, you know all children are worthy of love, worthy of protection, worthy of care. That includes you right now and you as a child.
That’s how I finally “got it”; that’s how I finally was able to feel love for my child self, and by extension, for me as an adult today.
I often talk to the picture in my mind’s eye. I tell that little girl how beautiful and pure she is and how much I love her. And that fills my heart with joy.
I tell her how innocent and deserving she is, and I feel fortified, filled up.
Just like you don’t see the flaws of your own children when you look at their beautiful smiling faces, when you see a picture of you as a child, you will find it hard to criticize.
That’s what we do so often to ourselves as adults, right? We abuse ourselves by self-criticism and fault-finding.
I think this is why this technique has been so effective for me; it’s hard for me to look at the beautiful face of a child and find fault. I only feel love.
Sometimes, when I look at that old picture, I say to myself, “That’s me!” Then I remember that, yes, I love my childhood self, and I love myself today. I am still that same little girl on the inside.
It has been a cathartic, healing practice for me. I totally recommend you try it.
Find a childhood picture of yourself. Choose a picture that evokes a feeling of compassion and care. My higher self picked this picture out for me, so let your inner guidance choose the picture.
Place it somewhere where you can meditate on it daily. Give it a whirl, and let me know how it goes.
Love, light, and the best of everything to you,