This image shows a woman holding a teddy bear in an article on healing deeper wounds of love, approval and appreciation by Haripriya Suraj, Reiki Master
inner child, self love

When Love, Approval & Appreciation Don’t Come Your Way

“It’s eating me up from the inside,” she screeched, with tears streaming down her face.

She was breathing rapidly, her face looked pale and she seemed like a helpless child encountering powerful emotions that she didn’t know how to deal with.

“I can’t tolerate this anymore,” she went on, wiping her tears, “I’m done.”

Riya (name changed), a 40 year old woman I have been working with for a while came to see me for a matter that was troubling her greatly.

As a child, this woman and her sister saw her parents grappling with multiple interpersonal issues. There was persistent unrest in the household. As a result, there wasn’t much time or opportunity for her parents to show their love or appreciation to their children. She and her sister spent most of their childhood craving attention from their parents.

As a teenager and young adult, this woman developed an independent personality and chose a unique life path, much against the wishes of her parents. As a consequence, all possibility of appreciation or approval coming from the most important authority figures in her life was eliminated.

This woman is a successful entrepreneur today. She is blessed with a wonderful husband and two sons, who see her as their world. However, the void from childhood continues to bother her. It shows up as a silent monster time and again, and begins to chew away at her self-esteem.

As a consequence, this woman finds that she unconsciously seeks appreciation and approval from people old enough to be her parents, more so, if they are in positions of power and authority.

For several months now, she had been subconsciously seeking love, approval and appreciation from a senior couple (in positions of power) that she knows and looks up to.

She wasn’t sure if they withheld their appreciation intentionally or if they were just too busy to say a kind word to her.

Either way, it began to bother her tremendously. And that’s when she showed up for a healing session and burst out, “It’s eating me up from the inside.”

Considering she was feeling like a wreck, I helped her calm down first.

I personally find the energy healing tool Emotional Freedom Technique(EFT) is a great way to defuse strong emotions while accepting our emotions and self completely. We did a few rounds of EFT. The intensity of her emotions dropped significantly.  She felt a peaceful acceptance of herself despite all that was going on.

Acknowledging our emotions is half the work done. Once we come into acceptance of self, we automatically gain clarity on how we could support ourselves further.

She sipped some water and told me, “I can’t possibly rewrite my childhood or replace my parents. This void is something I will have to live with all my life. Isn’t it so Haripriya?”

I said, “ Riya, it is true some things cannot be changed. And we ALL have stuff like that to deal with. However, what can be changed is how you respond to this void and also what you choose to fill it with now.”

She was ready to help herself overcome this challenge. So, we went on to do a combination of healing processes to explore how the void could be filled and transformed into a source of power and strength.

  1. We began by doing some inner child work with a teddy bear that was symbolic of Riya’s inner child. The adult Riya hugged her inner child and told her– “ I see you. I cherish you. I love you. I am proud of you.” She did this exercise until her inner child felt truly seen by the adult and she was satisfied. I recommended she do this exercise for a fortnight and also have the teddy beside her while she slept. This is to aid deeper integration of self love into her being.
  2. We then spent some time meditating in the sun. I guided her to pull some of the sunshine up through her entire body and specifically into her power centre – the Solar Plexus. After feeling like she was being eaten up from the inside, the warmth of the sun felt nurturing to her body and soul. Don’t we all deserve some warmth and love for no reason except for the fact that are who we are? Being out in nature, amidst the trees, flowers, earth and sun can feel deeply healing.
  3. We concluded with a discussion on self-love. Seeing and loving ourselves with all our strengths, drawbacks, wounds and voids is empowering. And if we can love ourselves successfully, we don’t really need anyone to love or appreciate us. Ironically, that’s when the right people also begin to see and love us for who we are! And what about those who don’t? Well, it doesn’t bother us anymore!  And it certainly doesn’t ‘eat away’ at us.

Riya went home feeling lighter and happier. This doesn’t mean she was completely healed and this issue will never bother her again. We are all human and have highs and lows. Deep-rooted issues can come up time and again. But when we are aware and well equipped to handle our ‘stuff,’ there is nothing to be afraid of, for we know we can sail through any challenge that presents itself.

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