Take a moment to think of the most carefree, courageous and present individual you know.
Often the person who comes to mind is a child. Someone brand new to life here on earth. Someone who is just beginning to tap into the discovery of the realms of the world—and someone who has yet to be bombarded with the perceptions, judgments and opinionated philosophies of which so many of us hear daily. Their essence radiates pure innocence and their decisions are based solely off of their intuitional guide.
We all begin our lives with this exact essence. We are lighthearted and imaginative, with a lack of any concern other than what we are doing in each existing moment.
We eventually hit a certain point and something happens to us. There is an abrupt shift. Our insecurities arise. We feel fear, and for the first time, we become concerned about moments that have yet to arrive. We become apprehensive about the opinions of others. Our boundless imaginations begin to dissipate, and we are suddenly more self-conscious. The voices of doubt start to plant seeds in our minds.
Why does this happen? Unfortunately, I do not have an explanation. It is a phenomenon I have always questioned. But it is a shift that happens to us all. So instead of contemplating reasons as to “why,” we must learn to distinguish the child-like qualities we have veered from and learn how to revert back to the core of our true nature.
For myself, this shift began to happen before I even hit my teenage years. There was a boy I liked in school—I remember wondering what he thought of me. Thoughts of self-doubt were creeping into my head for the first time.
Although I realized they were irrational, they did not seem to go away. These uncertainties only increased over time—and in fact, they are still with me today.
I kept wondering—how could I learn to release these insecurities once and for all? Instead of flooding my mind with fear-based thoughts, was there a way I could just revert back to listening to my intuition and my intuition only?
When I recently began to regularly watch children as part-time job, I had yet to realize I was about to unexpectedly discover some astounding revelations. I began the job because I adored children, but I viewed it as nothing but that—a job. However, I soon realized that these children I was watching were serving a much greater purpose to my life.
They acted as both a reminder and a guide. They reminded me of the worry-free spirit I initially entered this world with—and they graciously guided me down a new passageway, to regress back to the untouched perspectives I once held.
Each day I vowed to absorb one lesson these children were so courteously handing me.
The most vital lessons included were these:
Stay curious. It seemed as if everything I said, these children would respond with one question: “Why?” Just because we are told something does not mean we must always accept it. Question everything—and stay curious as to why things are the way they are.
Always speak your truth. Not once did these children alter their words for the sake of another person. They asked for what they wanted and even cried when they felt they were in need of something. Similarly, we can choose to end our apprehension of the opinion of others and stand up for our own personal truth (preferably without the crying).
Be present in each moment. I watched as each child was genuinely taken by the simplicity in each and every moment—delighted by a rock on the sidewalk or smiling from the sound of a toy. We, too, can pause to welcome the beauty in every second of our day.
Lose the labels and judgments. Never did I hear one of these children make a critical comment. They lacked a natural tendency to judge others and create societal labels. This is a learned habit, and it is something we can stop in our own adult lives.
Follow your intuition. Children are notorious for following their inner guides to make decisions. It is time that we start to allow more trust in ourselves as well. Our intuition is almost always right.
Adopting these lessons will allow us to re-embrace the nature of who we truly are. In a society constantly focused on progression, it is not often that we willingly choose to revert backward in our lives—but these lessons are exceptions.
Implementing these lessons will minimize the unreasonable thoughts, doubts and reservations we have all struggled with at some point or another. We have to remember that these fears are not essentially who we are at our core. The beautifully untouched qualities of a child have not left us—it is just matter of recognizing the ways in which we have shifted from them and choosing to re-adopt them back into our lives.
“Childhood is the world of miracle or of magic: it is as if creation rose luminously out of the night, all new and fresh and astonishing. Childhood is over the moment things are no longer astonishing. When the world gives you a feeling of ‘déjà vu,’ when you are used to existence, you become an adult.” ~ Eugene Ionesco
Author: Natalie Lucci
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Flickr/Noval Goya