Self-Esteem, Art, and Our Inner Child
From an Early Childhood Teacher
Here is what the world is like now and how we can take care of ourselves.
Release any perceptions you carry before reading this. Let yourself be free and surrender in a safe space. This is about expression from suppression.
When I am at the grocery store at 4 pm to pick up butter, I see a man so scared. He is not in his 20s. He looks lost and struggling. I and the girl next to me think he will attack us but he will not. He is scared of the current reality and he seems to have less faith in himself than we do.
When I go on my favorite social app, I see posts asking for help. Help in the form of questions. Asking strangers if they are the weird ones for having a different opinion. Asking strangers if they should go to therapy. Asking strangers how to make friends. And most often, how to battle low self-esteem. Beautiful souls in their 20s always think they are the problem.
The root that echoes the loudest is the inner child´s silence. That’s not where the pain is stored. But, it’s where we learned how to deal with pain and self-view.
The Inner Child
Well, it’s the younger you. It is everything innocent you carry and learned as a child. From a very, very young age, what you experience stays with you. The inner child is the sponge, the first stage of the soul that is so playfully curious. Also, the most important shapable stage. What happens in childhood, shapes us as adults.
That’s when we see how will the world treat us when we are most vulnerable. Are we safe? Were you? Deep mechanisms and opinions of the world are what guide us to choose the future path that makes more sense to us. Trouble begins when the inner child stops being allowed to be a child. Specifically when emotions are being forced to be gulped down. Emotions such as hiding joy or beliefs that we are not good enough. That can crumble any child´s developing self-esteem.
Self-Doubt or Self-Esteem?
When was the last time you truly felt confident? Probably when you saw satisfying results from something you created. Maybe you babysat a child and they left your care alive, unlike your silly fear.
I am an early years childhood teacher. Something I do not advertise because it is sacred to me. But, here I mention it in a clear light.
Confidence is the ability to feel good about yourself during the day. If I say I am confident it means I have good faith in my abilities as Chrysanthe. I am a confident writer. That means I can say I write well and support it. I believe in my skills. You could be a confident painter. A confident cook. A confident human being in your kindness to others. Self-doubt is in very healthy low measures when you are confident. You do not cower away from new opportunities and you don’t believe you screw everything up. To put it simply.
Self-esteem goes deeper than confidence. It is the crucial gate to your identity and emotional state. Think about how you truly see yourself, and how you value yourself. You may have confidence in your accomplishments. But, you can still have low self-esteem. An example of that in young creatives is the impostor syndrome.
Feeling confident does not simply come with a beauty routine alone and a loving husband. I learned from my journey and my children, that it is we that must do the bravest thing of all. Approach the inner child.
People with high self-esteem, the future us that is, give themselves the validation that they are good, great, smart, talented, worthy human beings. How can we start expressing that to feel better, to lead better lives?
Art for Our Inner Child
Margaret Naumburg, known as the mother of art therapy, was the first person to show the world how valuable art can be. For adults and children. She established the Walden School in her home city of New York in 1915.
The reason art can be so therapeutic is that it opposes hiding. Depression and other painful stages want to hide and change our identity. But art forces us to express ourselves. To open the cage. We are self-expressing creatures and too multi-dimensional to suffer silently. The body gets sick otherwise, and so does the mind. A revealing drawing can make us see our own sentiments. An artistic expression of a poem can give us the same relief as tears, even deeper. It is more than cleansing. It is a self-mirror. And we trust others to see us while being safe because they can not judge us through our painting.
It is widely known that sketching and painting are used in child therapy to help children express themselves. Even when words fail, art prevails.
I think we get scared sometimes. To look at the beast in the eyes is terrifying. Yet, the inner child, our loving heart is asking for us.
The first time I trusted myself to paint while hurting, I lasted five minutes of resistance before surrendering to the truth. Yeah, I was hurting.
Draw your worries to let your very soul catch a breath. When you create something with your hands, the soul breathes and heals itself. Because in such a fast, fast world, it is allowed to take one healthy, slow breath at a time. Art demands time. So that puts you in the mindset of stopping without realizing it. Art plays with us and fools us for our own good. Art makes us brave.