‘You can search the entire universe and not find a single being more worthy of love than you”. – Unknown
So many adoptees are just a train wreck waiting to happen when it comes to love. Whilst there is very little scientific study on the adoptees ability to love themselves or others, there are unending personal accounts from adult adoptees that find it difficult to process and feel love.
Love is a fundamental human need and without love adoptees are less likely to reach their full potential.
Love helps adoptees feel connected and safe. Without the feelings of love adoptees can feel isolated, alone and question where they belong. The feelings of rejection and abandonment will surface and become the driver in many relationships.
Adoptive parents may pour oodles of love in to their child and it must be soul destroying if that love is not reciprocated. But many adoptees just don’t feel it.
It is suggested that the very removal from birth parents, particularly at as an infant, leaves behind a gaping wound that is hard to heal. Everything a child has known is gone. Their biological primary care giver is no longer there to protect and save them. The child feels abandoned and worried that they did something so dreadful that their mother left them. It’s not a conscious discussion it’s innate, a primal response in the very core of the infant.
Even though an infant or small child may be placed with people who lavish love and attention on them, the damage is already done for many adoptees. These adoptees believe they are unlovable, tainted and unworthy not matter what. They sometimes act out their beliefs and the consequences validate how they feel. This can lead to underachieving at school, attachment disorders, depression and even suicidal thoughts. It’s a case of the bad baby syndrome which then becomes the adult that continues to believe they are broken, unlovable and unworthy.
The amazing thing is though, that we each have the capacity for love. It is there, we were born with it yet for many adoptees it’s been hidden for so damn long they forgot it was even there.
One of the very best ways I found to reawaken the love part of my brain was to write a letter to myself. A love letter in fact. Thing is that when you start to love yourself, it makes it much easier to love others.
Do you recognise any of these in yourself?
- Feelings of overwhelm
- Self doubt
- Negative self talk
- Not feeling good enough
- Sensitive to criticism
- Not taking care of yourself.
Love is healing, love is cathartic and powerful and when you start to let love in, the world around you changes for the better.
So write a love letter to yourself. It will remind you that you matter, that you are worthy of love and any other fundamental need that you deny yourself. It will help you realise that you are worthy just as you are.
Below is my love letter to myself. Read through it and write your own and let me know how you get on in the comments section.
Wow It’s been so long since I really spoke to you and told you exactly how I feel and that I love you. You see I was so wrapped up in negativity that I totally forgot about you. I left you to drown in a sea of emotions and never once threw you a lifeline. I was so self absorbed that I created an image of myself that became removed from you. I didn’t take the time to think about how my thoughts and behaviours affected you or how you might feel as a result. I should have been with you through your toughest moments, the times you cried alone, the time your heart felt like it might break. Instead I ignored you and allowed your suffering.
I really need to apologise and tell you right now that I love you deeply and sincerely. I love you with my whole being without any conditions attached. You are so worthy of love. You are amazing. I love you for the way in which you see the good in everyone, for the way in which you adore animals and nature. I love how you have mothered your children and been a great friend to so many people.
I totally love seeing the journey of self discovery that you’ve been on and that you are finding the best version of you possible. It is a joy to behold. You are totally amazing you really are.
Let me tell you that you do not need anyone else to validate you. You don’t need to seek approval all the time either. You and I are in this life together and I will be by your side as we go forward from now on. The past is in the past and together we can create something new and exciting.
I value you, I hear you, I see you and I realise that the love I have for you now can never ever be taken from you.
I love you for exactly who you are right now and always.
I love you so much.