Many years ago when I was going through a dark season of depression and self-loathing, I taped a sweet photograph of myself at the tender age of 2 on my bathroom mirror. Looking at that photo every day reminded me that I once was this blameless little person, deserving of all tenderness—and that part of me would always be this blameless little person deserving of all tenderness. Meditating upon a smaller and more innocent version of my face helped me learn to be more compassionate to myself. I was finally able to recognize that any harm I inflicted on me, I was also inflicting on her. And that little kid clearly didn’t deserve to be harmed.
These days, however, I find I’m not so interested in my inner child. Instead, I have become absolutely fixated upon channeling my “inner crone”—the badass old lady who already dwells somewhere deep within me and whom I hope to fully become someday.
Some might consider the word crone derogatory. I don’t. The crone is an ancient and formidable character in myth and folklore. She’s the bearer of great wisdom. Even when blind, she manages to possess supernatural vision. She is often a guardian of the underworld because she has no fear of death—which means, of course, she has no fear of anything. – Elizabeth Gilbert