Love Me for Me

This week, I shared with my therapist that I’m doing inner child work and how it’s helping me get things off my to-do list… and I mean things that have been on that list for weeks, months, and even years! 

Image of a curly haired woman smiling at her self in the mirror. Text states: Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist
We take a major step toward self-acceptance when we choose to end self-criticism. Share.

Honestly, I was a little nervous sharing that with her. I know some people in the field find inner child work and metaphysical and spiritual practices as unfounded and even as signs of mental illness. I was nervous that she might think that I’ve lost my marbles if I told her that there’s a little child within me who I talk to and she gives me guidance. 😂 

I personally have not always believed in inner child work. I thought it was a bunch of nonsense along with a lot of other things that are called “woo woo.” Being raised in church, I was taught that most of the spiritual practices that weren’t a part of my religion were essentially “evil.” I have come to experience for myself, however, that so many of these practices are based in love and science and are simply other tools for navigating the human experience. I choose to recognize that fear of differences is typically a sign of ignorance. And I’m committed to learning so when I find fear is driving me away from something, I investigate and learn more about that topic. This is what I did with inner child work, and I’m so grateful….. 

It’s been so helpful for me that I wanted to share it with my therapist. In order for us to have a productive relationship, it’s important for me to feel free to talk about the various modalities I use toward my inner healing. So although I was nervous, I decided to just go ahead and have that conversation with my therapist. I figured, “Worst case scenario, she thinks I’m nuts and that’s the end of our time together.” However, to my relief, she embraces her client’s spiritual and metaphysical preferences, and finds ways to incorporate them into the therapy experience. 

I’m so grateful that I didn’t let fear keep me from having that conversation with her. She has been so supportive and was so impressed by my progress on my goals (as a result of my inner child work) that she encouraged me to incorporate these inner child conversations into my daily routine! That’s a brilliant idea!

And that’s what I want to share with you, today. 

I sat down with my journal and new gel pens a few days ago to begin a new conversation with my inner child. She wanted to write a haiku. 

Side note: I may have shared this before, but I use the syllabic breakdown of haiku poetry to help get thoughts out of my head. When I’m having trouble expressing myself, or figuring out why I’m feeling “off,” I’ll journal in haiku. By simplifying what’s going on in my mind into a three line poem–with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line and five syllables in the last–I’m able to trick my brain into getting the most important information out. 

This is one of my main #ADHDhacks because often when I attempt to access one thought, a million others come rushing through. (Picture Walmart’s doors opening on Black Friday. 🤣) By narrowing the “doorway” with this rigid structure, only the main thoughts get to squeeze their way through and tumble out. It’s very effective for me. I use my haiku journaling technique often, so I was not surprised my inner child wanted to express herself through haiku.

She began,

 “I want to be loved.” 

“Not for who you think I am.” 

(These words sounded oddly familiar. 🤔)

 “or want me to be.” 

(That’s when I was like, “Wait a minute these are song lyrics!”) 🤣

I was so convinced that I just wasn’t centered enough, or that I was somehow interfering with her message that I nearly gave up on the process, but her next line helped me understand.…

“Please love me for me.” 🥺

As I read those words, I realized that she had chosen this song as her message. The lyrics are so fitting. (If you’re not familiar with the song, don’t worry. I will leave a link and lyrics below). It’s a beautiful reggae song about desiring an enduring love that is based on true acceptance. And it’s a perfect representation of what’s missing in my relationship with my inner child.

If the concept of the inner child is too “out there” for you to grasp, maybe look at it like this. Our inner child represents the parts of us that life experiences have taught us to suppress. Some refer to the inner child as our “discarded self.” Maybe you used to freely express yourself but were taught “boys don’t cry.” Maybe you used to love to draw but you had a mean teacher or classmate criticize your work and you never loved it the same. Maybe you lost a loved one and your passion and joy left with them. Or maybe you used to trust your intelligence or gut instincts but someone older told you that you were wrong in such a convincing way that you stopped trusting yourself….

The inner child is our vulnerable, sensitive, intuitive, uninhibited self. That part of us that we thought died still exists but lays dormant within…. In my opinion, embracing our inner child is one of the most important steps on our healing journey, because I believe our inner child is our most authentic self. It’s who we were before the world taught us we aren’t enough….

So many of us are on a self-love journey but we don’t realize that part of that is embracing the parts of us that we’ve discarded. When my inner child expressed that I don’t love me for me, I realized that is unfortunately true. As I compare myself to other adults my age, and younger, who have accomplished things that I thought I would have by this age, I definitely have not been my biggest cheerleader. In this area of my life, I have been extremely self-critical. I’m so grateful for this inner child conversation because now I recognize my journey to self-acceptance has to include ending self-criticism. 

Critique and criticism are not the same. We can notice what we’re doing right, and lovingly acknowledge where we still need some work. We don’t have to bully ourselves. We can love and celebrate ourselves towards success. We get to stop comparing ourselves to others, recognizing that “life is not a race, it’s a journey, and we’re all heading to different destinations.” We can take that pressure off of ourselves. We can stop  hating ourselves for who we are not, and begin to love ourselves for who we are.

Epiphanies like this are the blessings that come from inner child work. I felt that in order to coach people on any child work that it’s important for me to do more of it for myself. I’m grateful that I embraced my therapist’s suggestion to have these inner child conversations daily. Look at the great epiphany I received, and now get to share with you.

Through inner child work I am learning how to embrace the parts of me that I discarded. I am beginning to see there is so much more to me. I get to go within and receive clarity and guidance from the part of me I thought I didn’t need. 

I’m going to be more gentle with myself and practice releasing self-criticism, and I hope you will, too. 

 I get to love me for me. And so do you. 🥰

Check out the song. It’s one iof my favorites.


Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Oh… and here’s the song….

Check out Buju Banton’s “Wanna Be Loved.”  

I just realized how much the video can be representative of the inner child’s journey toward acceptance. So cool! 

If my work has been a blessing to you, please be a blessing to me. 🤗

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Published by Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Marlene Dillon is the CEO of MDillon Designs & Publishing. I teach girls to believe in themselves and choose relationships that support their goals. I teach children that their dreams are possible and that they are lovable. I teach parents to communicate with their children in healthy ways. In short, I.U.S.E. people. Inspire. Uplift. Support. Empower.

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