Andrew is my two year old grandson. His reality is fueled by exuberance in discovering himself through the world that surrounds him. He is oblivious to the multidimensional reality that allows him all the freedom and expansion required for a Child of the Universe to thrive and blossom into his full potentiality, while all of thethis’s and that’s of the grownup world is out of his realm of consciousness.
In the age of innocence, Andrew doesn’t think about or worry about things that scare him. If something bad happens, he looks to his mom and dad for comfort and support. He isn’t cognizant that he even needs to trust or have faith, so as not to worry because, in his reality he doesn’t need to trust or have faith. He knows that all is right in the world. These are concepts he will grasp once he forgets that he knows.
Andrew’s mom and dad are the kind of parents that delight in his innocence. They do what they do in order for Andrew to experience a safe and stable environment within which to play, with abandon. They know that this is how he will cultivate awareness of who he is while learning new skills, developing language, and strengthening muscles that allow him to run his fastest and jump his highest. Never are they not conscious of their role as guardians. Never is Andrew alone or abandoned. Even in their slumber, his parents have one ear always attuned to the little sounds of Andrew.
In many ways, all of us grownups are little Andrews. In our innocence, we are oblivious to the multidimensional reality that has our world be the way it is. We don’t see that the playground we consider to be our reality is safe to explore, so that, just like Andrew, we can continue to discover who we are while growing and expanding ourselves.
We play grownups so we can learn how to be in relationship with ourselves and the world around us. When we make believe that there are bad, scary things happening, its so we can learn to find the courage and muster the skills to bring life to order. Because of the learning opportunities that are constant throughout one’s lifetime, we learn to "make sense of it" based on the ability to make believe “ choosing and deciding what’s so, based on the naive perspective of young child’s perception. No matter our age, we forget, deny or become amnesiac to the reality that this is play time, and that there are guides and guardians unseen to us who support us and keep us safe, always.
Bad things happen in the sandbox, the playground and in our home, school or work environment. Its part of the grand design in play; to learn how to be with what is and with those who share your reality in this moment.
It’s a game of Hide and Go Seek
Its as if the Powers-That-Be play hide and go seek with our innocence. Usually, for most of us, at around the age of six, we have an experience that appears to shatter our innocence. In that moment, as a six year old child, we come face to face with a world that "looks as if" something is WRONG and Scary! It feels uncomfortable and doesn’t making sense or compute within our beings. In this moment, we are faced with the opportunity to utilize the capacity to make sense of what is “ or what appears to be so, to a six year old child. It comes down to one of three possibilities: there’s something wrong with me, with it or with them. And, I am powerless and helpless to do anything about it!
In a child’s mind, because parents are essentially Gods, rarely are they given the blame for the current circumstance. Generally “ and I’ve found this true with 100% of my clients, it is the child who takes the rap for the way it is. Loss of innocence is actually a rites of passage into the realm of thinking and strategizing,in relation to what doesn’t make sense. And, more often than not is experienced as powerlessness, helplessness and hopelessness. This is the moment that we being to live with a secret about ourselves. The secret? In one way or another, I’m not enough, and that makes me unworthy, unlovable and dispensable.
A client, the other day shared that what he decided was true, given the circumstance of his life, when he was six, was "I am nothing." Another client shared that she was "nothing more than a dirty, bad, disgusting, tiny piece of poo." Me? I decided that it was dangerous to be me and I better be like someone else if I were to be valued enough to be kept around.
Much like my clients, by deciding that it was dangerous to be me, I began to seek out strategies that would hopefully save me from abandonment and death. Hiding my innocent self “ which most of us do consciously, is a choice we make to save ourselves. We become the hero to the victim in distress.
My client, Bruce, remembers the moment when he had to leave his innocent self behind. He made a promise to return and bring his innocent self out of hiding, once it was safe to do so. It took him about 35 years to reach the level of wisdom to do so. The reunion, he shared, was exquisite!
It may take decades to realize that we are only playing a game in order to discover who we really are. Inevitably, we get it. When my 80 year old mother was dying of cancer, my sister, Annie, asked her: "Mom, what’s the best way to be in my life?" My mom, who had been emotionally constrained, and who withheld much her vitality throughout her life, responded "Laugh your head off!" My mom got it before she died. I’m glad for her.
In the moment that we hid our innocence and took on our secret, we began the hero’s journey. We began creating survival strategies in order to look after ourselves; we came to believe that because of the secret, we couldn’t trust that anyone would find us worthy. Who would want to love and care of me as a tiny piece of poo? Andrew isn’t here yet but most adults I know, once they’ve decided that they are unworthy and unloveable, they rarely turn back.
When life gets tough and we get scared, we often decide “ I know I do “ to return to the foundation of my made up truth: that I must be wrong, or, I must have done something wrong for life to be the way it is. Its only when I seek guidance from wisdom beyond my deciding to make believe that the world becomes right again.
Through this process, I believe, we cultivate the ability to bring our innocence back into the forefront. By doing so, each of us realizes that being ME is foundational to the fullest expression of who I’ve come here to be and what I’ve come here to do! And, in remembering ME, I can, if I want, stop pretending that I’m scared and remember I am safe and secure within in my own little sandbox. I can remember I’m making it all up myself, while my higher wisdom “ Mom and Dad, if you will, eternally keep me safe. I can return to innocence.