We all have small children living inside of us and it is a fact that I believe the majority of the population fails to notice. We neglect to recognize how prominent these little spirits are in the behaviors and the emotions we experience in our daily lives. Abuses and traumas that we have endured as young human beings travel with us throughout our entire lives. Things that made us deliriously happy when we were six years old often continue to provide us the same joy at the age of forty. If we consider the people that we know who love to play and have fun, who are curious and delighted by new discoveries in a childlike manner; we will almost always find that they had particularly happy childhoods.
So here is a question: Do you treat yourself the same way that you would treat little you? Or if you have children, do you treat yourself the same way that you treat your kids? Do you make sure that you get three square meals a day? Do you reward yourself for your successes? Do you attempt to encourage yourself when you fail? Do you do things for fun, and do you play with your toys?
I think that most of us would have to say that we answer no to the majority of these questions. We can be awfully hard on our adult selves and often completely neglectful of the little us that is constantly present in our lives. We push ourselves hard, and talk down to ourselves. We deny ourselves countless pleasures and often even nourishment, because we are adults and we can handle it. What if we are far more fragile than we think that we are? I know for certain that I carry the childlike me inside, because sometimes, when I am feeling particularly vulnerable, that unhappy overweight little girl is who I see peering back at me when I look into the mirror. Would I be as hard on that little girl as I often am on myself? I certainly cannot imagine putting her through some of the things that I have put myself through as an adult. Can you imagine little you suffering along through the toughest moments of your life?
I think that we need to offer ourselves a little more care. I think that we need to remember that the little selves of our past are still hanging around, and we need to remember to nurture them. I disdained being a child, and following rules and being told what to do. I took great insult when adults disregarded what I had to say, and lied to me to keep me happy. I couldn’t wait to grow up, because I longed for respect and freedom, but that doesn’t mean that I left little me behind, and it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t still need me. Remember your little self. He or she is still inside of you, and if you work to nurture the you of the past, you may begin to discover that you are becoming a more complete you in the present. Those little ones never leave us, and if we aren’t treating them well, then we are neglecting ourselves. Remember that. If you wouldn’t abuse a child that way, then why do you do it to yourself?