As I prepare to move to Australia, I am sorting through many boxes, closets, and drawers. There is much to toss out, pack, sell, and give away, and there is also so much to acknowledge and keep with me forever.
Last weekend, my mom was going through old pictures, and she began to share with me, all sorts of pictures of me as a baby and young child. I looked at pictures of me as an infant, and all through the years until about 4 years old or so. This process has been very healing for me.
I encourage you to get your hands on some baby and young child photos of yourself. I believe this is very powerful, to take another look at ourselves from a different perspective.
It has been used by counselors, therapists, life coaches, etc, this idea of speaking to our inner child, and healing our inner child. I must agree that this IS very helpful, or at least it has been for me.
However, what I am also finding is my inner smile.
As I looked back at myself, so young, so innocent, so trusting, curious, and absolutely open to love and the Universe, it reminded me of who and what I really am. Before we get let down or disappointed for the first time, or before we learn fear and scarcity and form limiting beliefs, and before we begin to judge ourselves and hate on ourselves, there is something so beautiful about our existence. I was absolutely adorable, beautiful, glowing, and such a little scrumptious munchkin (sorry to brag:)
Seriously, I think I fell in love with myself, and not in an ego way, but in a real healing to the core kind of way. When I look in the mirror now I see that little girl. I see her big smile from ear to ear, her little freckles, the way she looks at her parents in awe, the way she is amused by a water hose, the way she finds pleasure in playing with a plant, or the way she sits in her little chair with a book almost bigger than her, to read before she knows how.
That is what I see now when I look in the mirror. I can feel her inside of me, and all she wants from me is to be acknowledged. She wants to play, and she wants to know that she is safe. She is my inner smile.
I think so many of us begin to abandon ourselves not long after the age of 5 years old. The world has its way with us, and we become conditioned to believe we are being punished because there is something wrong with us. We get judged, compared to others, and then we begin to take on these qualities and become our own worst critique. We walk around wishing others could see us, longing for them to love us and appreciate us, and dying inside from loneliness, feeling separate, different, and less than.
What I have become aware of, is that it is not other people who can make us feel better. No. When we feel less than, or afraid, or jealous, or frustrated because we don’t think we are good enough, this is actually the little child, asking us to come inside and play. What is happening, is our inner smile wants to be found, so our inner child wants to be seen by us. It is not others who need to “see” us, but rather we need to see ourselves for who and what we really are, not what we have been conditioned to believe about ourselves.
I recognize that all I have to do, is to promise that cute little 2-year-old girl, that I will never abandon her again. For her sake, I take responsibility for the way I feel and instead of judging myself harshly or comparing myself to others, which is a form of self abandonment, I go to my little girl instead and together we find my inner smile.
I ask her what she wants, what she needs, and I assure her that she is safe, loved, and enough. When I do this, I begin to feel her settle down, and all those feelings I was having seem to wash away.
Just like the boxes, drawers, and closets I am sorting through. I sort through my beliefs, memories, and the stories I have been telling myself my entire life. In an effort to move to my inner smile, I toss out and give away what is holding me where I currently am, and I pack and keep with me, that which is worth taking with me on my journey.
I am tossing out shame, guilt, comparing, and self-loathing. I am selling self-will and limited thinking to anyone who thinks its worth anything, and I am keeping self-love, trust, and acknowledgment of who and what I really am.
As for my inner smile…now that I’ve found mine, I am now able to show up and be of service to others. When we heal and find the grace within, then we are finally ready to give from a place of overflow. There is always more than enough inner smile to go around for everyone!
Smiling from within…