I recently listened to a guided meditation. There was one meditative point I have not been able to get out of my head. “Whatever you feel, if it brings you to a place – 5-years-old, 20-years-old, wherever you go, tell yourself, “This, too. This, too, needs a voice. This, too, needs love.”

My mother loss occurred around the age of 5. She was emotionally absent, withheld love and attention as a form of punishment and at times was verbally and mentally abusive. I hold a lot of resentment toward her and have struggled with depression and anxiety since childhood. I have always found the notion of love to be foreign. What does it mean to truly love and to be truly loved in return?

During the meditation, I kept going back to the 5-year-old little girl I hold inside. Giving her a voice also includes holding those who made me voiceless in a field of love. My mother – her voice was the voice of all voices. The mean mother. The fractured woman. The girl who also didn’t have a voice. If I can’t forgive my mother as I remember her, I can at least forgive her 5-year-old self who experienced trauma and abuse at the hands of her grandmother. The 5-year-old girl who was given away by her own mother at birth to be raised by a tyrant, a tyrant who also was 5 years old once. And who knows what tyrants go through as children. I made a decision following the meditation. When I find it hard to forgive an adult, I will picture their younger self, the self who may not have had a voice, the self who was supposed to be held in unconditional love by the most important people in his or her life.

When I view a human from that perspective, I realize I can’t help but feel love for them. Forgiveness becomes almost easy. And when I forgive and love others without ration, I am able to forgive and love myself, and I do so without borders, reaching into my most undesirable parts, the parts of myself that need the most love and the most forgiveness.

Forgive the inner child within those you walk among and love is certain to follow.

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