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All of us need positive affirmation throughout our lives. As children, these powerful messages helped us to know that we were worthwhile, that it was all right to want food and to be touched, and that our very existence was a precious gift. The messages that we received from our parents helped us to form decisions that determined the course of our lives.

If we were raised with consistent, nurturing parents, we conclude that life is meaningful and that people are to be trusted. If we were raised with parents who were addictively or compulsively ill, we determine that life is threatening and chaotic--that we are not deserving of joy. These are the crucial decisions that impact our lives long after we have forgotten them.

Unfortunately, childhood judgments don't disappear. They remain as dynamic forces that contaminate our adulthood. When childhood needs are not taken care of because of abuse or abandonment, we spend our lives viewing the world through the distorted perception of a needy infant or an angry adolescent. The more we push these child parts away, the more control they have over us.

This collection of daily meditations is dedicated to those adults who are ready to heal their childhood wounds. It is through this courageous effort that we will move from a life of pain into recovery.

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