When was the last time you looked at your younger self?

Perhaps you should start looking daily.

Mini Asha

Up until about a week ago, I only looked at my childhood photos to reminisce, or when I was feeling nostalgic. When I would take the time to do so, my assessments were always superficial. I would poke fun and laugh at myself, all while masking my true feelings. I often felt embarrassed by my awkward poses, or critical of the way I smiled.

Interestingly enough, I’m finding that I tend to reflect on my life experiences in a similar way. I dissect and analyze every moment, looking for the flaw. There’s no one who has ever been harder on me than I’ve been on myself.

For the past month, I have been working through Dr. Shirzad Chamine’s positive intelligence training, a system to handle the challenges of life with a positive attitude.

One of the tools I learned was to start looking at my childhood photo, on a daily basis. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how impactful this has been.

When I look at myself, I see a bright spirit, flawed and all, fully deserving of unconditional love. I see my joy, my fun loving nature, and my desire to spread love.

This is my true self, long before anyone told me how to behave, or before life’s challenges changed my worldview. As I look at my picture, I can’t help but love that being. Even if “mini” Asha made a mistake, I can’t imagine doing anything but comforting and loving her.

As I’ve started looking at her on a daily basis, I’ve noticed how much more love and empathy I extend to myself throughout the day. Even when I catch myself being critical, I can just see my younger self and the love she needs from me.

There’s been another interesting side effect to this as well. Ever since I started this practice, I’ve been able to visualize the younger “true” selves of those around me. I can see their joy, their loving nature, and who they were before life changed them. This has been especially helpful for those whose interactions prove to be more challenging.

See also  Introducing Myself

The big lesson here? By extending more love and empathy to myself, I extend more love and empathy to others, by default.

If you haven’t taken a look at your childhood photos in a while, I challenge you to do so. Let me know how it goes 💛

Asha

Resources: https://www.positiveintelligence.com/

YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/iLkhJdHfmhs