Kids can tell how authentic you are. By that look in your eye, or just by the vibe you give off. The instant you stop responding to their endless questions, raise your voice, or try to hide from them they’re all over you, make you realize that anger, reacting or avoidance is extremely ineffective. Fortunately I had a pretty joyous childhood. I often got to explore my feelings, and spent a lot of time outdoors. I still remember not understanding why I needed to follow rules, come inside when it got dark, or why my parents always seemed so busy, but didn’t have as much time to play with me.
Enter Levi, a 5 year old boy, obsessed with Pokemon and bikes. Having him around the house was like having a sugar-powered little brother, who never ran out of energy.
Enter Levi, and every waking second around him made me aware of how serious I’d become. Not that I consider myself a stick in the mud, but to kids, play is all that matters. If we forget how to play, or act like our life is more important, they’ll challenge you.
Even when I was cooking, Levi wanted to participate. I always let him, not to be useful, or get the job done faster, but because he made it FUN. To him the world is an endless cycle of fun, food, sleep. If at any stage, you rationally try to explain you need to be somewhere, doing something else, he’ll question you.
In fact Levi is a prime inquisitor. He never stops asking questions, and the more I try to answer them, the more I laugh at how simple the truth often is. I realize I’d been making things far more complicated than they need be, (i.e. would I rather enjoy myself now with a four-year-old helping me in the kitchen, or upstairs taking care of paperwork?)
It can be a fine line between responsibility and recess, often we are faced with doing the right thing in the form of taking care of business. But as adults we need free time to wonder, joyfully explore, and especially goof off.
The more we engage with our peers in a playful way, the more we can address our issues around being overworked, or forgetting how we need social activities to thrive. If we are afraid of our own innocence, then we might need a guide, or healing practice to show us the deeper nature of this problem. What we believe our limit are could be limiting us, because our beliefs attract to us what we hold to be true.
As an introvert, I placed myself in uncomfortable social situations just to vanquish my shyness. I was deeply afraid of my own innocence, sensitivity, and empathic nature. This led me to being quite confused for a number of years, and even believing I was flawed.
Even in rambunctious rapture, when I was playing with my friends, I would often imagine myself somewhere else. I placed myself in a category of a victim, that nobody could understand how different I was. I isolated, became passive aggressive, and resorted to video games and escapism for solace. I needed help, but the spirituality that was presented to me as the primary guide for resolving my issues still felt in
To reveal my deeper issue at large. I knew I’d be able to move through my limiting beliefs if the reward was as great as feeling free, and curious as a child.
And now this four-year-old child is here to remind me to enjoy the present moment.
The truth is we are capable of far more than we might believe. We can change our current selves, to become more awake, more present and certainly more innocent.