“To love your child is to bring to life a part of you that is sacred.” ~ Luminita D. Saviuc
How to Love Your Child
How can you love your child when you can’t even love yourself? Is that even possible?
“I don’t think I know how to love my child.” A friend of mine said this to me while we were exchanging messages.
“In fact, I don’t think I am worthy of him. I am afraid that I will spoil him. That I will damage him because I myself have been damaged by others…“
And I thought to myself: How much pain there must be in a parent’s heart, who wants to love their child but thinks they can’t.
So I decided to write this post in the hope that it will bring some peace, love, and comfort to all those parents who are struggling with loving their children and themselves.
How to Love Your Child When You Can’t Even Love Yourself
Part 1: Awareness
1. Know that You are Worthy
In the center of your being, beneath all your wounds, doubts, fears, pains and insecurities, there is a place that hasn’t been corrupted by the errors of the world. A place where love is always present and fear has never seen the light of day.
It is in this beautiful and sacred space where the Truth of you lives, moves, and has its being.
If you can silence your mind and bow your head to the wisdom of your heart, you will soon discover that who you truly are is a being of love – made of love and made to love – worthy, capable, and deserving, not only of your child presence, love, and affection, but of your own Self as well. And that,
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi
2. Love can never be broken
“I said: What about my heart? He said: Tell me what you hold inside it? I said: Pain and sorrow. He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi
If you only knew how much love is being directed at you in each moment, you would fall to the ground weeping.
I know you often feel scared, lost, confused, unworthy, and all alone. You look at what other parents are doing and think you are the only one who hasn’t figured out how to love your child.
But that is only because you are thinking thoughts that aren’t true.
Just because others did not love you, it does not mean you do not know how to love. And just because you have been wounded it does not mean you have been broken. For the truth of you can never be broken, nor can true love be altered in any way.
You are love in action.
And nothing others have said or done to you; nothing you have been through, and nothing you can ever think, say, or do can change that. So just relax and love your child with that great love that you already are.
3. Relax, you are only a vessel
Listen: there is a Loving Intelligence present within you and all around you. A Great Power that gives life to all life; holding space and allowing all things and all beings to exist; a Loving Intelligence who loves us all and judges none of us.
It is through this Great Power that everything is being done – including the loving and raising of your child.
Parents often think they are the ones who bring life into this world, but that isn’t true. Life is brought into this world through them, but not by them. For as it is so beautifully written in the great holy books,
“The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all.” ~ John 6:63
“All things are born of being. Being is born of non-being.” ~ Lao Tzu (500BC)
4. Step back and make way for the Great Love to lead the way
Contrary to what you were led to believe, you do not have to learn how to raise and love your child. You just have to learn to step back, make way and let the Great Love lead the way by surrendering your will to a greater will and by allowing this Great Source to love your child through you so that your child can continue to be who they have always been.
“Years ago, an incredible study was made at Harvard University, called Project Zero, in which Howard Gardner, together with his colleagues, found that every child is born a genius, across multiple intelligences, But that by the age of twenty, the percentage of geniuses within a population has been whittled down to 10 percent . . . and over the age of twenty, only 2 percent retain their genius ability. What this study did was prove that intelligence is not an inherited trait, nor is it something that only special people possess, but rather there is genius in each and every one of us. ” ~ From the book, 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy: An Inspiring Guide to Discovering Effortless Joy
Part 2: Love your child with Loving Kindness
5. Hold them
Hold them when they are happy and hold them when they are sad. Hold them when they feel afraid and hold them when they feel safe. Hold them when they are at peace and hold them when they are in distress. Hold them when they can answer your questions, but also when they can’t. Hold them when they are a joy to be around, but also when they are not.
Hold them close to you. And through your warm embrace and loving presence, they will know that they are safe, loved, protected and cared for.
6. Tell them you love them
And tell them often. Tell them when they are awake and tell them when they are asleep. Tell them when they are right next to you, and tell them when they are not. Tell them that they matter and give them all the love you’ve got.
7. Forget about what love is
And just be. Be present with your child. Smile at them often. Hold space for them. Look them in the eyes. Listen to them. Hold their beautiful hands. Tell them that they are worthy. And show them that they matter.
8. Tell yourself you love yourself
Because you also matter, and you matter a great deal.
9. Focus on this moment
And do not overwhelm yourself by attempting to plan their whole life ahead. Just focus on this moment, because this moment is all you’ve got…
10. Aspire to love your child the way your child loves you
Do not try to make your child be like you, but rather strive to be more like your child. For children are closer to Truth than most of us are. And through close observation of their innocence, genius, love, purity, and magnificence, you can learn how to look deep within your own Self and remember how to love and how to live the way you have always longed to live, to love and to be loved. Through their love you can remember how to love again…
And this is how you love your child when you can’t even love yourself. May these words help you and may they help you realize that you are worthy and deserving, not only to love your child, but also to be loved by your child.
**What about you? What is one thing you can do today to love your child in a more meaningful and soulful way?