Right now, put your shoulders back, look at your hands and arms, marvel at how strong they are and all the things they did with you for all these years, how capable they are, thank them, love them. Say, "arms and hands I love you." Look down at your chest, see your heart. Your heart has been with you all this time, you love your heart. Say, "my beautiful heart, I love you." You just must love these inside and outside parts of you, all of them. Look at all your body parts and tell them you love them. Have a weird thought? Chuckle and love it because it came from the brain you love. You are zany and wonderful! You love you! The world is better because you are here. You are the special ingredient!
The old story did not begin with you, but the new story does. Today when you next look in the mirror you smile at yourself, "You (your name), I love you!" Put your arms around yourself and hug yourself. Sit in that posture for a full minute. Give yourself a squeeze at the end. It is time for you to see you, honor you, feel you, and love you!
Many times when worried or struggling with a problem, decision, complaint, or we are in our head/mind. We are judging, fixing, trying to figure out the right answer. Problems created by the mind (with our thoughts or limiting beliefs) can't be solved by the mind, they must be solved by your heart. Love and compassion will lead the way to the right answers, decisions, and forgiveness for perceived mistakes. Your heart is where your True Self lives. She knows what to do. Next time you are spiraling, worrying, perseverating, drop into your heart and listen to what you really want to do. To get into your heart you just need to get quiet. Breathe. Imagine your energy moving from your head to your heart. See a Blue Rose in your heart. Breath around the rose, appreciate it's beauty. See your heart as a cozy apartment with pillows and lovely comfortable decorations. Your inner child is sitting right there on the comfy couch in your heart. What does she want you to do? She wants you to hug her. She wants you to be kind to yourself. Here are some more heart opening activities.
Unzip your heart activity. When I am upset, starting to loop a negative thought, or start acting like a rescuer, or victim, feeling resentment, grudgy, or get into list mode (listing all the things I need to do, fix, or realize are wrong) - I stop and think about my heart. Not the red anatomically correct one, but the beautiful golden bubble heart in the middle of my chest. There is a zipper on it. I unzip the zipper and gold energy and other beautiful things like stars and sparkles flow out of my heart. My heart is open and I am feeling warm and gold loving energy all around my body and in my body. I fill my heart with love for myself!
I can help others by putting them in my gold heart bubble visualization. I put my cat in my gold love bubble and surround this little kitty in love. My love is filling her with joy. My love is repairing her and she is loving herself. She is sending her adorable love back to me! I can put a small version of me (my inner child!) in my love bubble and my love is surrounding and healing her. Love is a renewable and free resource too! We are all able to give and receive loads of it, all day long! Breathe in this beautiful gift of love - from yourself!! If you feel called, share it with others. Imagine them. Unzip your heart and send a ball of your golden love right to their head.
Open your heart chakra activity. The heart chakra is in the middle of your body and when it is closed or blocked you stop the love from coming in and going out. This stops your ability to feel peace and be happy and RECEIVE (which is essential) in relationships. I think about my heart chakra (or my actual heart) and imagine/visualize it. It looks like a gorgeous pink and green colorful plate in my chest. You can think of your heart center as your favorite color. When you sense it opening, notice the color and just breath in that healing color. Notice yourself surrounded by your healing color! If you have a specific problem, visualize it as a little pea near your body center and just go ahead and flick it out of your beautifully colored aura. An open Heart Chakra is important in loving yourself and others without conditions or judgments. Loving yourself without judgment or conditions is essential for peace.
Sometimes when I am sitting with someone who is upset (or even talking to them by phone), or even holding my vomiting cat with a hair ball. I just take my mind off the situation for a minute and unzip my heart (see my healing color, see gold), and send this love color to the person or animal who needs it. I see them surrounded by my love. I see it repairing and calming them. Sometimes you don't even need words. If I am feeling really great and I open my heart I send out my gold or healing color (how I visualize love from my heart) and I can see the heat transfer. Also, Emotions are contagious! I remember this, and purposely try to spread the good ones. Sometimes when I could be irritated by having too much to do, I purposefully choose to get present in the moment, open my heart, and enter the situation with love. I walk in to the store, meeting (or wherever I have to be) and smile at the people. I see my heart filled with joy spilling on to everyone. I know in my heart, I was supposed to be there today to unzip my heart and send the love out.
If you are not receiving love letters from admirers that is okay - you can write them to yourself! They are better when they are from you anyway! You can write big or little notes to yourself at the end of a day celebrating your accomplishments and wins. You can record these words on your calendar, notepad, letter, or in your journal! You can write a love letter to yourself in the morning to have a nice day! You can write a more formal page-long letter, weekly, monthly, or even when something big goes right or wrong. You sharing your love, acceptance, acknowledgement, and appreciation with the one person who actually sees all you do and knows your deep and important thoughts (YOU) will provide much joy, help develop your conscious self-love, and will make your previous unsuccessful bids for attention from others who don't get it - a thing of the past.
Once you start feeling good about you, that vibration will impact how others see you and relate to you. These people will see you like you see you. That is the magic. Feel good about yourself, love yourself, then others who you know, or meet, will feel that same way about you!
As a fan of lists I encourage you to make all of these lists. Clarifying your likes and dis-likes and oh hell no’s from time to time is good for you! These things can change over time and it is good to check in to know where you stand. Sometimes we like things because another liked them and we adopted that feeling about the thing. It is okay to change your mind, and it is essential that the things that are on your lists are in their spots because YOU feel this way about them.
The lists have great applications. If you are frequently bombarded with choices/demands from others you can refer to your lists and then respond accordingly (accordingly means what doing you want to do!). Such listing activities are also helpful if you have a hard time with decisions, or immediately regret them. Check in with yourself more regularly - especially after you are not happy with a choice. You can return to your list for verification, oh hey yea, that was a good choice, I don't like scary movies! Well Done!
Start With NO. If you have a hard time saying no and are feeling a lot of resentment for people and irritation about all the things you are doing for others - try this activity. If someone asks you to do something and you right away know you don't want to and are thinking well, I will say yes now and just try to get out of it (or you are thinking of a lie or excuse to tell), just go ahead and say "no thank you." Can you even imagine this! When given a choice about something you really don't want to do (maybe it will make your life a little harder, or maybe you just don't want to do it!!!) and you would normally agree to it and then complain for days, instead, just start with "no." Sure you could say yes and then try to wiggle out, but you will be stressed and thinking about this for days. Sure you could ask for more time to think about the request, but in your heart you already know you don't want to do it. There is really only one right answer in this situation. Start with No.
If you end up deciding you want to do it, you can change that decision and the inviter will likely be even happier than if you said yes in the first place! If you decide you don't want to do it, good, you already said no. If you start with no, you don't have to lie, you just say, "Oh I am so sorry I can't." That's it!
What if they respond with "Why not? what else is happening? etc…) You respond.. “I just can't.” You can keep saying that until they stop asking you. If they keep badgering you (they might if you were a big yes-person before, or they are a narcissist) give yourself permission to smile and walk away. If you are really in the habit of pleasing others and getting mad at them or yourself for YOU saying yes, then put post-its around your house with the words, "NO," "Me First," "It is okay to do what I want," "It is okay to attend to my needs first," "People can ask for whatever they want, but I only have to honor my wants!" "No thank you." Soon, you will get into the habit of only doing what you want. Without resentment and pressure to always say yes you will find joy in daily living. You will feel less overwhelm. You will have more time to attend to your needs. Ironically, you might end up wanting to help others more, but it will be an authentic help. The best part is you will be able to tell the difference and you will be taking care of your needs first (which is really the only way!).
What if we are not feeling grateful? How do we shift out of lack feelings, or feelings of annoyance and get grateful? I like to practice my magic Scale of Gratitude. I see myself starting to get annoyed with someone/something, or I am irritated, I am feeling like I am about to complain about something; about to break my peace, grace, humility plan. I close my eyes and make a scale situation with my hands (like the old-fashioned weight balance scale). I put the thought taking me to negative town on my left scale hand and I put something I am grateful for on my right scale hand. I look at the thing I am grateful for. I really look at it. I feel it. I smile at it. I feel the weights move and I see the gratitude side moving down because it is heavy/beautiful/and peaceful. I watch the other thing on the left (I forgot what it was now) floating up and away because my heart and I chose to be grateful in the present moment.
When an irritation or annoyance pops in, immediately think - what is something, anything, I can think of to be grateful for. Seeing gifts in the crappy places are the key to turning things around! In this moment of gratitude there is peace, grace, love, and happiness. I move on with that image of being grateful and present in my mind. I can also use this magic scale when I have a choice between two good things. I close my eyes put each thing on one hand sit for a moment and let my body decide. When I open my eyes one hand is always lower!
Gratitude List Activity. Want to feel less resentment, irritation, and complaints? Implement gratitude lists. You can have a long list, short list. You can start/end your day naming three things you are grateful for. You can have a long list to keep near your work computer, short list in your kitchen, on your phone. Have the list in places where you are likely to get stressed or irritated.
Gratitude Triggers. You can have good triggers too! Maybe you have a photo that causes joy whenever you look at it- it triggers a good memory. Take this gratitude trigger and make copies to place around you, carry in your purse, focus on before you go to bed, or upon waking up. Find more pictures like this and place them around your main spots. Smile when you see them, feel joy in your heart. Relive the experience or moment. Feel the love. Unzip your heart and feel the gratitude and love flow out from your heart to your head. See it surrounding you and then floating you up to the sky in a gratitude ball of sparkling gold love liquid. You rise up in the sky in this gratitude love bubble! Can you feel it!
I do "picture work" (similar to Louise Hay's Mirror Work) when I am irritated with a person. I get my favorite picture of them and stare into their eyes for a good 5 minutes while breathing in a calm and relaxed way. I am smiling when I am doing this and remembering something really good or funny about this person. I am grateful for this person and our relationship in this moment of peace with their picture. When the time is up I thank them for being my loved one. I pray that we forgive each other and our relationship is in full repair.
This activity helps me see compassion for them, and also for me! I realize it is okay to be angry (or irritated, or another emotion) for whatever reason that emotion was evoked in me. Self-compassion is essential in self-love. The balance of self-compassion and other-compassion is essential for happy and healthy relationships! We can both win. I can have my emotion, express it to myself (maybe to them if choose), and also forgive them (or myself) in my head and on my terms, so I will feel better. What I choose to share with the real person is my decision. What stays between me and this picture is all I really need to regain my self-love and composure.
If you are mad at yourself (which I don't recommend! you are always just doing your best and there is no need to be angry at you!) and you feel weird about looking in the mirror and saying I love you - then go ahead and find your favorite picture of you and look into your eyes and feel compassion. You can also add in the Ho'Oponopono....... "Jill (me), I am Sorry, Please forgive Me, Thank you, I love You." These four short sentences can be used at any time for any situation to free your mind of troubling resentment and anger.
Create a self-forgiveness list in your journal for yourself. Let's say your inner critic is out of control. You become aware you are berating yourself with your thoughts. Run over to your self-forgiveness journal and tell on yourself! I am mad at myself for not saying NO to my boss today! Vent it all out. That jerk asked me for this and made it seem like I didn't even have a choice. Do I really even have a choice? OH, I am so mad I am still even at that job! Then forgive yourself. Oh, me, you are so kind hearted. I forgive you for saying yes. I forgive you for not putting your needs first in this situation. You are doing the best you can. I love you.
You can keep an other's-forgiveness list too! You will write other people's names and the things you are forgiving them for. Who do you need to forgive, what did they do, and how it will help YOU by forgiving them, you could have all of those columns. Richard, you are a complete jerk and I hate working for you!!!! I am quitting just as soon as I possibly can!! Now forgive him. I forgive you for asking another "favor" from me. I realize you are doing your job and what is likely your best in this situation. I forgive you and I wish you well. Now I am sending out my resumes to other, more ethical companies. I forgive myself for not doing this sooner. I forgive myself for not speaking up when you are rude to me. I am doing the best that I can with this situation, I see it is time to change the situation!
It is okay to sometimes not want to forgive another. If you can't muster that, but are still upset in your heart, then have compassion for you and the person (measured compassion), and full well choose to just forgive yourself right now in the context of not forgiving this other person. That is okay. In this case, in your journal jot down what they did that you are not ready to forgive. Get it all out. Then in a column next to it, write two more things you can forgive yourself for, related to that situation. Then end with some compassion for yourself. That should do it!
Your forgiveness lists can be from today, last month, last year, when you were 10 years old. You can have a whole 250 page notebook filled. You can go back and insert forgiveness to any event or situation - towards yourself or another. Often the things we need to forgive are not even the main problem; mostly it is our thoughts about the situation/event that exacerbates suffering. Often times we are keeping stories alive when they can and should be let go. Interestingly and notably, you cannot go back to change an event, BUT you are completely responsible for your thoughts/feelings/emotions about it and you can forgive these things in the actual moment, or go back and forgive your thoughts/feelings/emotions from the past! Forgiveness is a gift for the person doing the forgiving. The forgivee doesn't even have to know they've been forgiven. You forgive another or yourself to obtain your peace! Forgiveness is for you.
What if you feel super ashamed of something? Well, you can (and should!) ask for forgiveness for yourself for that too. If you wanted to - you could go to a church and talk to a priest, talk to a friend, therapist, but the truth is - you don't have to leave your house, or tell another soul about your issues - to request forgiveness for yourself! Nothing is off limits when it comes to DOing forgiveness for yourself. Go ahead and ask for it. Holding yourself in high regard and forgiving yourself for things you did do, didn't do, people told you you did, or any combination here is the key to self-love. The problem is we often feel we don't deserve forgiveness. There is no discussion about this point. You do! Write it out, get it out of your head, let it go! IT is time now!! Once you are feeling better about yourself you will bring even more good stuff and understanding to yourself and others. But you must get there first. The first and most important step could be this self-forgiveness! It is not a one-time deal either. Because you love yourself now, you will see things you don't like, and you will continually (daily, maybe hourly) choose again and again to forgive yourself! There are no mistakes anyway. If you learned something from these things - then they were gifts not mistakes to be forgiven!
Believing things will go your way is hopeful and good, but expecting them and having a tantrum when they don't adds suffering. It is wise to step back from controlling situations, others, and expecting things to always go your way. Sometimes you will feel safe if things go a certain way and you try to control a situation. Instead of controlling the situation (through lies, or demands), try to express your wants and desires and then to let the situation unfold. It is more fun and interesting that way. You manage your behaviors and the others will manage theirs. Thinking about what you want to happen and trying to make sure it happens all the time is a lot of work and really impossible. If something involves at least one other person-we have a crap shoot on our hands. Practice using your I messages and expressing your needs in a healthy way..... I think ______, This makes me feel ___________, I would like ______. All day, every day!
Practiced the I thinks, I feels, and I wants will get you a lot of good stuff. The most important thing will be your communication skills will improve and you will experience more harmonious relationships! You will also notice a shift in the way you relate to yourself - where you actually consider your wants and desires, and then you get the feeling you deserve stuff and you are worthy of being heard! You will internalize the I think, I feel, and I wants and can hold these discussions with yourself. You may choose to announce them sometimes, other times you might just go about providing for your own needs. This is the shift! You are practicing conscious self-love!
When you feel more at ease expressing your thoughts and feelings and ACCEPTING them and practicing conscious self-love you will become even more relaxed and had even more belief/faith/hope in good outcomes. Instead of the need to control situations and outcomes, you can listen to others needs calmly, be present, practice compassion for others AND yourself in a balanced way. This resulted in more harmonious communications and relationships!
You can come to know/believe that whatever happens (no matter the situation outcome), you will love yourself anyway. This should help alleviate fears that lead to controlling behaviors. What also helps is deciding some things didn't need to be controlled! You might not like surprises, but seeing how things unfold can be interesting and even more fun than watching them go (or not go) as planned and being grumpy about it. You can't embrace what really happens (even if it is great!) if you expected something different. Why go in having any expectation other than knowing it will be perfect? The best strategy is to watch most things unfold and be in curious appreciation and gratitude. Sure you can prepare for things you must, but know that when you love yourself and take care of you, you are participating in situations that will most likely end with a win-win!
This activity can be used for absolutely everything. For this moment right now let's think about what you want your romantic relationship to look like. Let's believe/know you deserve great love (no matter the conditional love from your parents, or their weird relationship, or them being so mean!). Close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Think of your cat, dog, a bunny. Smile. Hug yourself. See yourself in your romantic relationship - happy, fulfilled, and joyful in your relationship (whether you have one or not - this is a visualization :). Feel that feeling. How are you receiving love? What are you receiving? How are you giving love? What are you giving? See the possibility. Write down some notes about this really good and healthy relationship. Think about the things you wrote to manifest it into reality!
Realize how much easier this will be if you are practicing conscious self-love and know you deserve to be happy and have your OWN relationships regardless of anything in your past. If you can visualize it, it can happen! Turn your mind to your relationship with you now! How do you want to treat yourself! What would it take to be kind to you? To allow yourself to receive gifts and love? To not interfere with other's giving and you just receiving gracefully (with thanks and gratitude). Can you treat yourself like your best friend treats you. Maybe you need to go back to a time when you were younger and be the one who is nice to that little you. What does that look like. Make a commitment to be nice to you, to love you, to know you deserve to give and also receive love!
Love is who you are. Love is what you give. Love is what you receive. How does that look? Spend time seeing what you want in love of yourself (how you treat you), and how you treat others, and how you are treated by others.
When you are done, breath and be content. It is not a matter of going out and finding the perfect partner. It is a matter of you connecting to and practicing your conscious self-love. When you feel love for yourself, treat yourself kindly, and you can't help to relate to others this way. Then if they are healthy they respond in kind. The best way to get what you want is to start giving it. Even when it is hard! First give it to yourself! Then try this in a few of your other relationships starting today! Your most important relationship is with YOU! xo
Being your true self. Being true to yourself is exquisite. It requires no advanced preparation! You don't even have to remember anything (facts or details so you don't get caught in a lie). You just go in being you! PERFECT You! Happy You! Loving You! You are a Role Model of Peace! You inspire others by demonstrating your self-love, self-acceptance, self-kindness, and self-compassion! Your True Self is one with the Divine and you are protected, but also free to be you! You are surrounded by your love inside and out and that is truly all you need!
If we woke up committed to feeling good and taking care of our bodies, using healing words, took action on our responsibilities, let others take care of theirs-how would the world look? Do you do this now? Can you do this now? Yes! You can change your focus of attention at any time. You can regroup and go for what you like and find pleasurable. Figure it out and share it. When you lead from conscious self-love it is far easier to have measured compassion for yourself and others and take balanced actions that are consistent with your true and authentic self.
Self-Awareness Activity. What if you don't know who you are anymore!? You have been playing out your role dictated by your parents, partner, friends, boss, children. You don't even know how to describe or define yourself. Step #1 in this common scenario is... Start becoming self-aware of the influence of your past on your present. You were most likely not taught how to relate to yourself in a healthy way. You might not have been taught how to relate to others in a healthy way either, but let's put a pin in that for right now.
Right now the one most important discovery is how you are relating to yourself? This can be both an exciting and uncomfortable realization. Uncomfortable, realizing you have not been relating great to yourself, but exciting to realize it is all YOU now. There is really no need to even consider how much time it wasn't you (I figured you went there). It took this amount of time to get here today, so this is the perfect timing.
Now You say: I am now willing to develop a conscious and loving relationship with myself. Take yourself out for coffee. When a negative situation pops up, you say, "hm, how would a person high in conscious self-love react to this. Let's pretend I have high conscious self-love right now, what should I do?" You can also give yourself the same kindness and understanding you would give a friend. You and your friend only show the light to each other, but for you, you know your dark as well as light (and maybe that is why you are mean to yourself, and practice the conditional love). This may even be why you don't think you deserve love. It is not true. We all have both dark and light inside our heads. Just because you know yours and not the other person's doesn't mean they don't have any. You can make a conscious choice today, right now, no matter what, to surrender this darkness in you (these negative thoughts about others, your expectations, your disappointments in others and yourself, all the “shoulds” for yourself and your loved ones) for you own conscious self-acceptance.
Why the heck not? All that stuff is here to teach you about yourself and others and relationships anyway. It is okay. Treat yourself as if you were talking to your friend, without judgment, with kindness, compassion, understanding, support, acceptance, and love. You are a master at helping others to see they are wonderful and deserve forgiveness for each and every foible. It is your turn now. Say this out loud or write it down....I see my problem, but I treat myself to my very own kindness, compassion, understanding, support, acceptance, and LOVE without judgment. Just a little more every day, more love, more kindness, more patience for you and your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, all of it, all of you.
You are that little person who longed for the unconditional love and acceptance of your loved ones. Well, here it is, just for you. You are the adult to you (yin-yang!). She (your inner critic) focuses on her flaws BUT you remind her no one is perfect. She berates herself for a bad choice, BUT you remind her you would've done the same thing, and point out what a great learning experience it was. She says she doesn't like herself, BUT you tell her there is nothing she could do to make you love her any less. She is at full love capacity with you! You are at full love capacity with your external/internal/entire self. Reach for your love. Allow your inner child, your insides to feel and receive this love. Love yourself. Honor yourself. Forgive yourself. This is what you are here to learn. This is your soul's and the Divine's wish for you. This is your purpose. I am sure of it!
Are you a worry wart? Worry is no good! Worry makes it seem like we are doing something productive to solve a problem, but when you are stuck in your head worrying you won't be able to solve anything. If you are starting to notice this... GREAT! If you are noticing and just can't stop, try the rubber band on your wrist trick. When you worry, just snap it. OW. I know! This is a lesson in punishment that should help you curtail the behavior. What if it is a repeat worry. It just keeps showing up! I have two strategies to turn your frown upside down!
Turn Worry into Positive Intention. Your worry (although you mean well) is likely drawing negative things to you by keeping your vibration low (worry/fear is a very low vibration on the Hawkins scale). Also, the more you are focusing on this thing you don't want to happen..... the more likely you are to bring that right to you! Also, when you have that worry on your mind constantly, you are likely only paying attention to things that match it! We create our own reality and see what we see throughout a day based on our lens. Best to have a happy, joyful, peaceful, compassionate, optimistic, loving lens and see that stuff! I think we are done with seeing the worry stuff!
Get paper. Write the thing you are worried about. "I don't have enough money." Cross that out! Cancel it! Rip it up. Write instead, "I have overflowing financial abundance!" Put that on more post-its! Write it on your calendar! When that thought pops in about money, remember your abundance. Feel it! Experience it! Know why you want it! I am not saying don't be in reality and start spending money all over town if you don't have it. I am saying you can just as easily say a positive intention thought in your head as you can a worry. Only with this positive intention/frame you, are likely to seek out and draw in good things - as opposed to the exact opposite with the worry.
What about "I can't stop smoking." Instead of saying that to yourself all day, change it to - "I am joyfully and happily smoke free and feeling great!" We have the power to create our reality - with our thoughts!! Why the heck aren't we making good use of this principle! Use your language, thoughts, mind pictures/images to create what it is you want as opposed to what you don't want. It took me too long to figure that out! Duh.
Turn Worry into a Prayer and then Let it Go. Another strategy (and maybe this is good strategy for big things to you) is to ask for help from your Creator. I say God, you can say who you pray to. I write the worry on my post-it, followed by please help me, and maybe what I want instead. Then I have faith and hope and good thoughts about the outcome. If you start saving these pieces of paper you will see you have a brilliant and beautiful collection of answered prayers/miracles (and worries that never came to fruition). The only harm in this strategy is... none. Again, you worrying and being upset was not helping anything and was most likely interfering with any possible problem solving (which would now be available to you if you let it go for a second). Also, your worry is interfering with you seeing some possible good part to this issue. Maybe the thing you are coveting or worrying about is not in your best interest, but you can't tell because you are too wrapped up. A little space and your openness to receive good things (and help) because you deserve them is in order. Let me know how it works out!
Self-love is so important! We want to love our children (and others!) unconditionally, without judgment, with acceptance, and to promote healthy self-love in them! I have not yet met a parent who does not want this. The best and easiest way to make this happen is to cultivate your very own self-love! If you are deficient in self love (there is a new term self-love deficit disorder!), you will likely not be able to provide the unconditional love and acceptance you are striving for. We can't give out what we don't have. It is just how it is.
Being conscious of your self-love status (deficient or abundant) is extremely important because you can make daily modifications to change from self-love deficit to self-love abundant! When I found out I was self-love deficient, I freaked out about all my parenting mistakes (more self-love problems for me by beating myself up!). There is no need for that. If you are planning your pregnancy now, or if you have three fifty year old children, right now is a good time to realize your self-love!
In conscious parenting, the parent is conscious and parenting from a place of purpose for the child, not for the parent. We don't have a child to get their love coins, to show the world we are great at parenting, to have our child be our friend, or follow in our footsteps, feed our ego, be a cure for our loneliness or sad relationships to others, to show them off as a reflection of us, to make up for some other deficiency, or any other misunderstanding about why we had a child. You just love the child for who THEY are. These are the children who learn to love themselves. It is a rare bird indeed!
Most children's growth, and most activities and experiences have at least something to do with a parent's want for their child (or himself). It is okay and good to want your child to be happy and full of joy - yes! It is okay and good to want them to be safe and healthy - yes! We want our children to be "successful" (in quotes because it is not our definition of success that is important here!). It is when we interfere with these things based on our definitions of these things, or our versions of what they mean, that we interfere with growth and raise anxious children, depressed children, people pleasers, attention seekers, and other versions of children who grew up with conditional love. It is best to allow our children to be themselves, figure out their wants and goals, and then accept and support and encourage them unconditionally along the way!
How do we do that!! It is a daily exercise! Practicing conscious self-love yourself is the first step. People who love themselves see this more easily. People with self-love deficit disorder are constantly seeking, fixing, interfering, worried about something, and interested in getting their love and attention from external sources as opposed to internals. It is how we grew up! See the circle.
We also spend so much time worrying about our kids, their issues, and make their problems much bigger then they need to be. By focusing on the worry and problems we create more for us and them, AND we are creating anxiety in our children. Our children can feel our stress, especially when they think they are involved. For you to relate to the family in a calm and loving way is key!
If you are starting to notice these instances of fixing and judging and conditional parenting then kudos! If you notice when you do these things AND make a change - you are BRILLIANT! As you relate to your children with more compassion and acceptance and support and encouragement, you will also help YOU redo and understand things about your childhood differently! It is never too late to greet your inner child with the unconditional love and acceptance you always craved and are so graciously trying to give out!
Try these affirmations to snap you out of unconscious and conditional parenting. Write your own!
Put them on post-its. Really make an effort!
I have a normal, happy family!
My children are happy and healthy!
I believe in my children's ability to be well, healthy, and happy through their own accord!
I have a healthy and normal parenting relationship with my children!
I know when and how to give advice to my children! Most of the time I am just providing encouragement and positive feedback about their experiences and effort!
I help my children when needed. I trust I know when to intervene.
I know when and how to intervene in an emergency with my children.
I help at appropriate times when needed, and called upon.
I convey the belief my child can some her problem without my help.
I demonstrate my trust in my child!
I demonstrate my faith in my child! I demonstrate faith in my child's decision making ability!
I demonstrate my belief in my child's ability to succeed on her terms!
I support my child and am here for assistance if requested.
I recognize when I overstep and retreat (and point it out/apologize if needed).
I don't interfere, judge, or fix, or rescue.
I let my children do their work and provide positive feedback and encouragement about their effort and outcome.
I practice conscious parenting with only unconditional love for the kids and myself!
I focus on fun, kindness, and LOVE in my momming!
I parent from a healthy place!
I practice sensitive, normal, happy parenting.
It is okay for my child to express emotions - even negative ones.
I show my child it is okay/good to love myself
I show my child it is good to receive gifts and love from others!
I show my child I can ask for help, assistance, support.
I show my child I accept compliments and even praise.
I try not to have negatively phrased affirmations - but if these resonate with you - then say them, and follow up with the opposite for you.
I don't pick on my children. I accept them for who they are!
I cause NO HARM to my children! I am here to be an instrument of enhancement in their life!
My past, my troubles, nothing about ME is reflected in my parenting. I am grateful to help this little human who is not me - on their terms.
***My favorite part of this affirmation exercise to help your child is we get to see what we (our inner child) needs right now! What affirmations did you pick for your loved ones? Did you select I demonstrate my trust in my child? If that was important to you it is likely you want to hear just that. You can tell yourself and the small version of you (your inner child) I TRUST you. Or say the affirmation as is above, but add you! "I demonstrate my trust in my child AND MYSELF! " Or, "I don't pick on my children OR MYSELF! I accept my children and MYSELF for who we are!" This is your self-love growth in action, you moving toward your True Self - the place of all love, acceptance, oneness! Well Done!
What if your parents were mean to you!? There are things you can do to undue the trauma and pain caused by their lack of love, or outright abuse or neglect. Even parents who meant well could have hurt us. See the book, Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents (Gibson) for great info! While you are waiting for that book, please write a letter to your inner child! What are your hopes and dreams for her? Do you have anything to discuss about the past. Tell her. Shower the letter with love and understanding. The truth is, when we were young we didn't have the tools to rebuff the challenges happening all around us. We are holding on to that story where it is still able to hurt us. We have the tools now! We are no longer reliant on anyone for our joy, attention, happiness, kindness. Each emotional hurt was taken in by the inner child. If you visualize your inner child, ask her (or see) what age she is. What is happening to her. That is a clue about the emotional hurt. Shower you, her, the whole situation with forgiveness. How would you help her if you (as you are now) were there with her at that moment. Know you are safe, know you are loved, and know you can release the hard parts with compassion for yourself first and then others when you are ready. You can do it.