The Unloved Child |

The Unloved Child

The hardest thing for adults to recover from

is being unloved as a child.”

– D.B.


Unloved child. (Source:

Being loved is as vital as breathing and eating. In order to grow up into a contributing, functional human being, we need to feel loved and nurtured. If we don’t receive it, we seek it in other forms.

As young children in school, we seek to please the teacher by volunteering to clean the boards or by achieving high marks. We create a make-believe world for ourselves where we are adored by our teachers. Our behaviour is reinforced by being praised as model students.

I am not good enough.

When we mature and start experimenting with love with a partner,we may choose someone who is already in a committed relationship; or is unavailable to us emotionally; or we simply set the bar low about how we should be treated. We may repeat this cycle over and over again building little walls after each rejection in the illusion that we are making ourselves stronger. Learning our lessons.

And if you are lucky enough to find someone who truly loves you, the tendency will be to sabotage this relationship because deep down inside, you don’t believe that you deserve it.

I am not good enough to deserve your love.

In our jobs, our bosses replace the teachers we tried to please when we were younger. Working harder, faster – always seeking to please and frustrated when we don’t receive the recognition we crave.

I am not good enough!

Along your journey, you might meet someone who sees through your facade and calls you on your behaviour; your attack will be swift and fierce. No one can gain access to the fortress you have created to protect the unloved child less they discover that the walls are made of nothing stronger than a house of cards. And through all this searching for love, we bumble along and perhaps produce a child or two. We never received love, so we don’t know how to give it and our own children are sucked into this spiralling vortex in search of their own love.

So, how can we stop the craziness? There is one thing that is within our control and that is ourselves. Instead of looking outwards for love, we can look within. We can love ourselves. So where to begin?

  1. A yoga instructor I know used to start every class by telling us, “Give yourself a hug”. The whole class stood swaying with arms wrapped in embrace.
  2. Love your body by feeding it wholesome, nourishing food.
  3. Love your mind by letting it rest from working so hard. Meditate.
  4. Love your spirit by feeding it whatever activity makes it sing.
  5. Love all aspects of yourself and rest 8 hours a day. It takes energy to heal.
  6. Say out loud to yourself in the mirror, “I love you. I am lovable. I am good enough.”

Love is vital. Just like the oxygen mask on the airplane – give it to yourself first, before you help the person beside you. And once you have perfected loving yourself, per chance you can give consideration for your parents and the unloved child that waits within them.


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