A meditation of loving affirmations for your inner child
I was reading the book “The Five Love Languages of Children” by Chapman and Campbell over the weekend, and was reminded of a really valuable way to building positive inner and outer relationships.
The book is about 5 different and meaningful ways to help your children (or anyone for that matter) feel loved and develop high self esteem. The way that really stood out for me was “Words of affirmation” which was about finding ways to give encouragement and love through words. This might mean a simple “I love you” or finding positive things to point out about their achievements, behaviour or something else.
The reason this stood out to me was because it was something I really lacked when growing up. I know that my parents were proud of me, because I found out through 3rd parties that they used to talk positively about me to other people. But they never expressed their approval directly to me. When it came to communicating with me their words were always about well meaning improvements – which really came across as criticism. Over many many years, these words penetrated my self esteem and it takes a lot of personal work to recover my self esteem and self worth.
Perhaps you can relate to this?
This prompted me to review and alter the way I speak to my son, not that I’m critical but I don’t always make an effort to be positive, as this doesn’t really come naturally. It also reminded me of why I find affirmations such an effective tool in meditation.
What I discovered in my reading, was that words of affirmation are one of my primary love languages. So I now understand why I use them so much in meditation. We can’t wait for the rest of the world (or our dear partner or friends) to give us all the good things we needed to hear…that’s impossible and unfair. We have to find ways to meet these needs ourselves.
Your meditation time is an ideal space in which to meet this need for words of love and to build your own sense of self esteem and self worth. Here is a meditation to help you do that:
1. Begin by writing in your journal about what it was like for you growing up. What were the things you needed to hear but didn’t?
2. Of the things you have identified choose one to work with today. (You can work with the others on subsequent days). Make sure it is framed in a positive way, in the present tense, and is about you and no-one else. For example: I love you, you are capable, you are doing a great job, you are lovable, you are strong, you are a great parent (husband, wife, mother etc), you deserve happiness, you are worthy.
3. Then close your eyes and go into meditation. Keep repeating the affirmation in your mind, or out loud if you prefer, and let it wash over you. Sometimes this may make you feel emotional, and this is just the grief of the past releasing, so let it happen, and keep allowing the positive affirmation to cover and comfort you for a time. You might like to breathe the affirmation into the parts of your body, or you can just let it wash over the whole of you.
4. After a time, stop the words and allow yourself to bathe in the energy of support and love that you have created for yourself. Be aware of soaking it up, and receiving.
5. Then sit in meditation for as long as you like.
If this was a profound experience for you, then you might like to continue with the same affirmation for a few more days, if it felt easy, then you can move onto the next one tomorrow.
Know that as you give yourself loving words of affirmation you are meeting an important self esteem need that couldn’t be met in the past, you are re-empowering and re-parenting your valuable and wonderful inner child.
Director- Australian Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness