Guide to Self-Love : Acknowledging and Honoring Your Inner Child

Stephanie Stanley
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You are born with an innate wisdom: that you are loved, that you are loving, that you are enough. As you grow, some of that wisdom you remember and keep, and some of it gets swept up in the dust of cynicism and fear.
 
You forget who you were before all that experience shaped you, before you were taught how to see the world. But your inner child remembers, and is still there, waiting for you to listen again. As a society, and as humans, we naturally gravitate toward children. We have a natural instinct to protect them from harm. We have hopes for them, dreams for them.
 
Even people who walk the streets with averted eyes will stop to smile at the children of complete strangers. Why? Because children are the reflection of our souls. They are tangible proof that at our core we are all made of the same goodness, we are all good. Children are naturally fearless. They cast no judgments. They are simply curious. They see beauty. They freely love. They self love.

“We love children because they help us remember who we are. They remind us of what was possible before we learned to live within limits.”

Yes, we love children because they’re cute and they’re funny, they’re randomly brilliant and make us want to be better people. But mostly we love children because they help us remember who we are. They remind us of what was possible before we learned to live within limits.
 

 
They remind us of who we were before we started believing that not all dreams come true and before we built walls around our hearts for fear of pain and sadness. Children speak their truth and help us remember a time before we were taught to silence our inner voice.

“Children believe wholeheartedly that they can go after and achieve any dream, whether they want to be an astronaut or a teacher, an artist or president”

Children believe wholeheartedly that they can go after and achieve any dream, whether they want to be an astronaut or a teacher, an artist or president. They don’t see themselves as limited; they just honor what sparks their soul. They believe that whatever it is they want in this life they can have because they are enough. That is self-love.

We encourage this in children, yet with the same breath we use to build them up, we tear ourselves down. We forget that the child we were hasn’t gone anywhere, she or he is merely hidden under a veil of fear and limitations that would have us believe we are no longer enough.
 
The great myth of adulthood says we can no longer live like little children. That is to say, we are taught we have to follow rules that tell us fear and limitations are very real, that we should be stingy with our trust and our love. We take ourselves too seriously and our lives too personally. We spend too much time judging ourselves and others, and analyzing all of our shortcomings.

“Our inner child knows self-love isn’t something to strive for or figure out or analyze; it’s simply something to remember.”

Our inner child knows self-love isn’t something to strive for or figure out or analyze; it’s simply something to remember. There are many lessons we can learn—and remember—from allowing our inner child to surface. Slow down. Play. Imagine. Dream. Love fiercely. Expect joy. Notice beauty. Laugh and smile…a lot! But more importantly, it’s not the lessons we learn as a child but what we learn in being a child that melts the hardness of adulthood.
 
Your inner child knows you are a limitless, fearless, beautiful expression of love. You are loved. You are enough. You always have been, you are, and you always will be. When you can truly understand this, self-love is inevitable and this return to self-love is necessary because love is living. Love alone is what life is all about.
 
Embrace your inner child and love yourself! You are worth it.

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Stephanie Stanley

Stephanie Stanley lives in Chandler, AZ and is a mom of 2. She teaches Buti yoga and is the creator of GiveBirth, a new approach to childbirth education. Beyond credentials and labels she is a connoisseur of life, always curious, always willing to try something new. Her husband is her best friend and when they’re not enjoying a cup of coffee together they like to hike, travel, read and cook delicious, healthy gourmet food.

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