Chilling at the bridge of love in Tbilisi, Georgia (my motherland) in 2018
"I believe that this neglected, wounded, inner child of the past is the major source of human misery."
~ John Bradshaw
We all have an inner child inside of us and depending on our past and upbringing, this inner child may be wounded. This wounding influences everything else about us, especially how we hold space for ourselves, love ourselves and then love others.
Sometimes this inner child is so wounded that she or he doesn't recognise itself anymore. Sometimes this inner child's needs to come out of his or her darkness and play. To do this, we must give heaps of love and attention to the inner child inside each of us.
It's been a long while since my last blog post. I have been lost in a rabbit hole of self-development and spirituality, putting light and awareness on so many patterns from my past that I was really tired of repeating. Those patterns of self-doubt, anger, not observing my boundaries, were causing me much frustration.
So I decided to start saying "no" to everything that wasn't serving me and "yes" to all that is. You see, I grew up in a traumatic family environment where my needs as a child were not always met. For me, love was modelled as something transactional, not something deserving regardless of grades or behaviour. So in my adulthood, looking for approval and love translated into becoming a people pleaser, into disrespecting my needs and desires at the expense of so called "love", "attention" and "affection", all of which lead to repeated burn out and a whole lot more heart-break.
So when I moved to Melbourne earlier this year, being in a new environment and completely stripped bare of my comfort zone, many deep emotions came to light. As usual, the way I addressed the discomfort and pain was through writing and journalling.
Below I share something absolutely private and intimate. It was one of my diary entries I wrote to my inner child: little Anna, also know as - Annushka (that's a more endearing way to say "Anna" and in Armenian it means "sweet"). I am sharing this in hope to empower and inspire you to write a love letter to yourself.
- Writing a love letter to yourself will not feel comfortable.
- There is a high likelihood you will cry.
- Yet if you do this, you will also recognise your deepest need that you have been attempting to meet through all that you do in your life.
And once you recognise this need, you will be able to heal it in a much healthier way!
How can I be so certain?
Because that is what this exercise allowed me to do.
So here it is...
A love letter to my inner child.
(I've left it intentionally un-edited. It is as I wrote it in my diary in May 2018).
Dear little Anna,
Annushka, beautiful girl, you never asked for much. Simply love.
That’s all you ever wanted.
You are so wanting of love from everything and everyone because you are so giving of love and so when that love is not reciprocated you shut down into survival mode: into mechanism and into self preservation.
Because when you were younger you had to protect yourself. Because those who were meant to be your protectors, did not protect you. They did not create a safe environment for you and so you did this for yourself. And you continue to do this. But guess what? You no longer need this my beautiful baby girl.
You are loved. So many people love you. People you don’t even know admire you.
You hated love because it was taught to you are something shameful, secret, argumentative. It was modelled to you as ignoring your needs above someone else’s. You grew up with love that look like suffering and not understanding and nurture and acceptance.
You were modelled love as bowing down to someone. That’s how it was presented to you.
You saw love as weak.
And all you ever wanted, was acceptance.
Little Anna, you are so accepted. You’re so safe!
You’re so powerful in your love.
Little baby girl, I love you and it doesn’t matter if no one else does because I do. And your angels do and God and Jesus does and your cats do.
Baby girl, that love you so crave, that’s YOU: it’s made of you and it is inside you.
You are love. You are so much love. You don’t need to earn it. You don’t need to buy it. You simply are it.
So love yourself my little girl. THAT is your stability.
So that when people leave, you are still around. Baby girl, just because you didn’t grow up loved in your language, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. How you were loved doesn’t correct it and you certainly don’t need to go back to it but it doesn’t mean you can't change it. Because you can.
You’re holding on to so much, little Anna. It’s okay to say goodbye. It’s okay to shed the skin. It’s okay to let go and grow into a new version of yourself.
All you want is love.
All you want is acceptance.
You desire to be seen, heard and acknowledged.
That’s why you miss him. That’s why you feel a void. He heard you. He saw you. He acknowledged you.
To you this is love. And this is the love you so desperately want and crave and you miss him because he gave it to you. Whether or not he is aware, he did.
And you miss it.
And you know what? He respects you even more now. And that is why you love him and miss him. You keep asking “why him?” This is why. He sees through you and sees into you where he sees all of you. That is what you want. He calls you out on your bullshit. That is what you need. And Anna, you can give this to yourself in spadefuls. This love that you seek outside of yourself, is actually within yourself. And you are full of it!
Your self is a love self.
“Let her go” is playing.
And this love self, she deserves to thrive, cry, love and be her most authentic self. That’s right, baby girl, sigh…let it go. Let it all go.
All that trauma.
All that stress.
Let it go.
Little one, you are loved.
And you are worthy of receiving love.
You are safe. You are so safe! Little girl, all you need to do is heal, for everything you seek is within your knowledge base.
You are simply choosing to re-member it again. Because you had forgotten. But now that you remember, you begin to heal. And as you heal, you feel at peace, you feel whole and you feel stable. And as you find your stability, you are able to easily let go and go through the constant changes around you.
And that, dear little one, that is your magic. That is your key. That is your gift of love to this world.
I love you.
Even with your cuts and bruises. Even if you’re spiritual. I love you, because you are the reason I am. And I write this letter of healing because now I see and since I see, I want you to be seen.
I see you as a little girl who wants to be heard. As a little girl who aches for love. A little girl who just wants simple things: a touch, kiss or word of acknowledgement or praise. See, that’s why you work so hard.
You are love though. And contrary to what you’ve been taught, love is not a commodity that can be bought or a salary that can be earned.
Love is a giving of one’s all to see and accept another for all they are.
And I love you, little Anna.
I love you now.
I always have, and I always will.