Self-Love For Everyone Who Never Feels Quite Good Enough

May 5, 2016 | Creativity

self love

When I was fresh to Los Angeles, I found myself in a stunning acting class filled with luminary talents. I didn’t want to act- I wanted to learn to live- but because my boyfriend was in the film industry it felt like I needed to have a career so I decided being an actor would both help me to fit in socially and also explore this whole idea of living with more emotional richness that I craved. What I saw in a few weeks of observing was a string of people who, in their critiques, pointed toward their mother and father or other parent-figures as the reasons why they were in turmoil as young adults. This whole line of “parent blame” stuff got old. It also made me feel uneasy.

If my own wellbeing depended on how much my mother and father who I love very much but both who weren’t necessarily present as the most conscious parents (and I say this with love and respect) I would have never accomplished anything in my whole life.

I quit that class.

But this concept of how our parenting affects us deeply still followed me everywhere I turned, and I couldn’t escape it.

In The Artist Way book, a book that truly opened the doors to my creative life, Julia Cameron says that as you freewrite in a journal every day you can ask the child inside of you, (Little Dana in this case), what she or he needs and as you write you can find what that child is lacking come through your pen and onto your morning pages.

I sorta skipped over it… over and over again.

Every kind of holistic therapy I found somehow tapped into this “Inner Child” that was either frozen in trauma and upsets at a young age or ignored or not heard or not loved quite enough…

It was frustrating, and I kept rejecting this idea… until I started to see that no matter how much I ignored the idea, it found me. Clearly, my own Inner Child was going to find a way to get the time and care she needed, no matter how much I fought against it.

In about twenty ways I got this message that I wasn’t quite full and healed inside over the course of about five years of searching… and in nineteen ways I rejected it… until it was impossible to ignore.

These crazy cycles kept repeating themselves: No one could ever love me enough… no amount of success ever felt fulfilling… nothing was “perfect” enough… nothing was satisfying… And clearly, that couldn’t be everyone elses fault. Something was missing in me, and it seemed that the only person who could make things whole and right was me.

Have you been there? Are you always sort of idling with patterns that repeat themselves that sort of make no rational sense but don’t ever seem to go away?

With all the movement into Mindfulness, Self-Care and Self-Love in society at large that’s so exciting to see, there’s this huge opportunity to give yourself all the things that other people- for whatever reason- might have failed to give you. Whether you lacked as a kid a great example or role model, enough unconditional love, a sense of peace and grounding, positive beliefs, emotional stability, acceptance for who you are… or anything else… you can actually make it all right in yourself, starting right now.

It was a really cool revelation that opened the door to all these ideas to start with a very simple truth: we’re not broken and can’t be broken. It can feel like you’re broken when you’re in turmoil, grief or anxiety, but you aren’t broken at all.

In the Eastern philosophies of all Traditional Chinese Medicine and healing modalities and even in the Western quantum physics and cellular biology… everything is energy. Energy isn’t “broken.” Energy can be blocked, suppressed, thrown into patterns of chaos… but it’s not broken.

The beautiful part of feng shui that caught my eye immediately when I picked up my first library book over a decade ago was the notion that we can shape life so that blocked, suppressed or chaotic energy can flow in straight, smooth, abundant ways again. Whenever you choose to implement a “feng shui cure” what you’re doing is putting your own intention into your environment in a way that helps flood whatever part of your home or your life you want to “cure” with positive energy and focus. The more positive focus, the more that change will happen.

Simply put: The more love you put into your space, the more it will love you back with a flood of positive energy.

I realized that this “Wounded Inner Child” nebulous concept was actually-  very tangibly- a whole part of my life story that needed attention, positivity and focus in order to bring in the fresh, abundant, fulfilling energy I lacked.  It was just like how a perfect piece of art or a hunk of crystal floods your entranceway with majesty when it once seemed so empty. When I stopped seeing this “Inner Child” as mental exercise (that felt like such a waste of time, to be perfectly frank) and more of a chance to fill up the landscape of my life with the stuff that always felt lacking… something switched, big time.

I knew suddenly how to take an abstract concept (healing your Inner Child, something that still is so abstract just to say it) and make it a doable thing in real actions.

This video was a super-help to see the Inner Child idea as it was affecting my own life, and maybe it’s helpful for you, too.

Now, while I’m not a therapist, I’m a pretty studied “mover of energy” and I found so many fresh ways to move energy toward “filling up” the part of my own life that was always left feeling empty. No matter how glamorous or blessed or filled with love my life could be, even in its most extremely blessed chapters, it was never enough… and I was determined to not just “know” that I was “enough” but… I wanted to feel that feeling of being ok, being safe and being loved all the time and completely, no matter what was happening.

Some therapists call it “Re-Parenting The Inner Child” or other such phrases, and by all means, work one-on-one with someone to get to the core of what you need if that appeals to you and feels right.

The Artists Way book is just awesome for tapping into this story line of what you may lack from childhood that you might not see on the surface of your life. Or, just free-writing, to start, in a journal, without too much “thought” and more with “feeling.”

Once you see whatever it is that you’ve been lacking, fill your home with it!  If it’s nurturing, can you fill your home with more great food? If it’s creative acceptance, can you create your own art studio? Can you make more of a spa out of your bathroom? (here are great ideas to get started on that!)

Take lots of meditative breaks through the day, especially if you’re in stress.  In you’re freaking out, can you stop and breathe and maybe go for a walk so that your whole brain can get in alignment… and then move forward? If you can’t take a walk, breathe for a few minutes and see what it is that you’re reacting to so profoundly. Don’t talk or think, just breathe or walk and just be.

Give yourself your own time to do nothing.  Selfishly be about yourself and you’ll be able to be so much stronger and more vibrant.  Time to “do nothing” is just as important as time spent working like crazy.

Every way you can accept you, love you, make yourself extremely important, and do for you in actions is every way you’ll find yourself feeling fuller, calmer and more OK, no matter what’s happening.  At least that’s what I’ve found in dramatic ways to be true.

It’s never meant to be perfect.  Those parent figures of yours weren’t meant to be perfect either.  But… as adults… we have this wildly spectacular opportunity to make things the way we always wanted them to be.  Why not embrace it?   Call it your Inner Child or call it whatever you want… but filling that space where things were missing in the past up to the top every day with lots of attention, care and acceptance is a shockingly radical way to make right what’s felt wrong for a long time (or maybe even forever) and keep growing.  No blame, no anger, no regrets… all love.  And more love.

xoxo Dana

P.S.: The Love Camp is coming (!!!) to transform life with so much more love! It’s the ultimate in Feng Shui to multiply your manifesting magic.

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This hour of Feng Shui videos for love starts soon…so if you’re ready for a lighter, brighter, more love-filled life, you won’t want to miss it! xoxo!!!

1 Comment

  1. Valerie

    A most helpful, insightful, and interesting post – thank you, Dana.


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