There’s really only one story in your life that explains everything, and that story goes like this: “I had needs, they weren’t met, and as a result, I suffered. That’s the only story there is. My needs weren’t met, I developed coping mechanisms to deal with my needs not being met, and those coping mechanisms have created more suffering for me. That’s the only story there is, whether you’ve got cancer, multiple sclerosis, ADD, addiction, depression, anxiety, a personality disorder, or whatever you’ve got or are struggling with; these are all just coping mechanisms in the end for what you didn’t get as a child.” That was a direct quote from Dr. Gabor Mate, a renowned expert in addiction and childhood trauma.
These words resonate with many of us, pinpointing a universal truth about human suffering. Whether we realize it or not, our past shapes our present in profound ways. The unmet needs of our childhood create patterns and behaviors that continue to impact our adult lives.
The Beautiful Opportunity for Healing
The beautiful thing is that as an adult, you can give that hurt child inside you what you didn’t get as a child. When you do, the veil of pain can be lifted, and you can find inner peace, freedom, and happiness. No one can love you like you can.
So how do we begin this journey of self-love and healing?
Self-Compassion and Understanding
Start by recognizing that the negative emotions you feel are connected to the hurt child within you. Console yourself, give yourself the compassion and love you deserve. Treat yourself with kindness, as you would treat a wounded child.
If you want to know if you love yourself, take a short 12-question quiz at bradchandler.com/quiz. This quiz can serve as a starting point, helping you understand where you are in your journey towards self-love and healing.
Therapy and Support
Seeking professional help from a therapist skilled in childhood trauma and self-love practices can be incredibly beneficial. They can guide you through the process of understanding and healing your inner child.
The journey towards healing the inner child is not easy, but it is one of the most rewarding paths you can take. By acknowledging and addressing the unmet needs of your past, you pave the way for a more fulfilled, content, and loving life.
As Dr. Mate reminds us, our suffering is rooted in our past, but our healing lies in our own hands. By embracing self-love and compassion, we can transcend our pain and embrace a life of joy and peace.
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