9 year old self

Love as Water

Love like water flows from the high mountains

Love runs deep in the Earth

Miraculously love comes to us

as it flows from us

and sustains all life.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Nancy Sowell said in this week’s podcast about the impact of disruptions to relationships when we’re children. Those disruptions to our connections with significant people end up following us into our adult relationships.

That’s a hard fact to swallow. It feels like there’s nothing we can do about it since we can’t rewrite our past.

Actually there is something we can do about it. We can become more comfortable within our present relationships. We can help them blossom with connection and love.

You can find the answer by going in back in time. For me, I found the answer from my 9-year-old Self. Your lesson may come from an even younger Self.

Be better in the present moment when you heal your past

Let’s look at some of the experiences feeding those strong beliefs we hold, and how they affect our adult relationships.

When you look inside, do you see any of these beliefs about your partner?

  • They don’t love me
  • They don’t have my back
  • They don’t care and nurture me

Notice what these beliefs tell you: you believe the world and/or the people in it will not be there for you.

Now follow yourself back in time to the experiences which led you to these conclusions that you still hold today.

There are times when you didn’t feel so important.

That may seem silly at first, but the core of story is a time when you were not seen, heard, or treated in a special way. You didn’t feel loved.

Back then you may not have had a person who would let you just “cry” it out. Nobody to listen to your story empathetically.

Think of it like flipping backward through a photo album

So who was this 9-year-old Self who had something to share with me?

I had moved to a new school in the middle of the year so everything was new unfamiliar and I felt unstable in myself. During one art project, I had something of a breakdown because my new art teacher would not let me start over and I felt like a complete failure and so very alone. I had a very extreme emotional reaction that scared me too.

My 4th grade teacher saw my distress and seeing my distress took me outside when no one else was permitted out. She listened to my 9 year old fears and negative emotions. Her listening helped me unblend from my strong emotions.

I remember this time so positively because she was there and cared to see me and hear me when I was hijacked by my overwhelming emotions.  That  made the emotional rain clouds pass by and so quickly forgotten.

For me it was a 4th grade teacher. Who was it for you? At some point, there was some person who took the time to hear you and care for you, teaching you about compassion towards your self.

This is what you can do for yourself. It’s time to cry it out now. Being that loving empathetic listener for your Self.

If it is too hard then write it down. Write down the stories that feed this negative belief.

You need to be there for yourself so that these feelings can be seen and those experiences validated.

  • They happened
  • They were real
  • It makes sense you would feel the way you do and hold such beliefs in the present

It is time. Time to let go of those beliefs and hold new ones that reflect some of the positive times in your life too. Before that is possible you have to listen and remember the experiences that feed this belief.

The positive effects of caring for your Self take time

As you extend caring compassion to your Self, the negative beliefs don’t let go immediately and slide away forever. It happens gradually.

And those old feelings can still be triggered. You can be experiencing connection and love – but then your partner does something that triggers the memory of disruption. Like forgetting your birthday or not listening to you tell a story about your day.

When that happens you can meet your Self with open arms and listen – just like my 4th grade teacher did for me so the experience can let go and move on.

You can take time to remember the times you felt warm and connected when it worked and you felt comforted and held emotionally. Maybe right now in some other relationship in your life. You can stand in that time and know:

  • You are seen
  • You are worthy of love
  • You are capable of loving and being loved

Happiness over our lifetime depends on love! Both giving it and letting it in. While we live our lives it is a daily practice.

  • Have we given the love we wish for ourselves, to others?
  • Have we let their love in, for us?

We need to see those ways we limit love in our life and open up the connection to let it flow.

Learn more about connecting on the inside

If you haven’t already, check out my book Inner Harmony: Putting Your Self Back in Charge. It will guide you through the full process of connecting with your Self on the inside so you can shed depression and anxiety, and restore balance to your life.


Image credit

IMG_0726” by Flickr user Jason Lander is licensed under CC BY 2.0.