Loving Your Inner Child Is Hard – But This Can Help

I recently uncovered an old photograph of my dad and me taken just days after I was born. We are still in the hospital, and he sits solemnly in a straight-backed chair, his child (me) swaddled like a puffy burrito in his arms.

What do you think my dad wanted for me, as he held me in this picture? Starvation, sickness, misery, tears? Obsession, compulsion, a life dictated by rules and rigidity?

No. He knew that that little girl there, soft and innocent, deserved happiness.

When I hold a baby today, soft-skinned and smelling sweetly of milk, I can’t help but close my eyes and pray for the child: for happiness, for confidence, for a life full of kindness and goodness and love.

Never have I prayed that a child be skinny or look a certain way. No one has. And the baby, who cries for love and food and sleep, doesn’t hope for it either.

We have some lessons to learn from those babies, don’t we?

Striving to look a certain way is unnatural. It’s society-driven. We are born to love, to eat – to love to eat! We are born to live.

Looking at a baby picture of yourself, what do you find yourself wanting for that infant? What do you wish for that beautiful, lovely, untouched version of yourself?

Love that baby. Love her as she grows into a child, a teen, an adult.

And love who she is – who you are today.

Image: @helenaperezgarcia