Why I kept this mini version of me framed by my bedside for years, and why it may be beneficial for you to do so, too!
My very first attempt to overcome my eating disorder was when I resided at the Renfrew Center in Philadelphia, PA. I did a lot of research and it seemed to be the best possible place to go. Although I still struggled for years after my stay there, I was taught so many things about how to take care of my body and mind, many of which I still practice today. One of the most influential recommendations I received from Renfrew was to keep a framed picture of me as a very young child by my bedside. And I’ll do my best to describe the purpose of that tip now.
For me, it was mostly a reminder to stop starving myself. The idea was to remember that I still was that little girl in the picture… and would I ever, ever allow a 3-year-old to starve? Speaking as the mother of a precious 3-year-old daughter now, I can assure you that the answer is a definite “NO!”
Of course, we can sub in many things besides starvation and the formula still applies.
If a child came to you and expressed feelings of inadequacy, unimportance, or even spoke detrimentally about the way they looked, I’m sure you’d do your best to replace their negative thoughts with positive ones. Imagining a CHILD in any way being hateful towards themselves is so sad. I encourage you to treat yourself with as much gentleness and kindness as you would with the littlest version of you. Regardless of your age, I promise that you are just as precious now as you were way back then.
So to anyone struggling with being kind to themselves, may I recommend you try this experiment at home. It’s amazing the difference a little kindness can make.