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Meditation on Childhood Innocence

By Paul C Pritchard on Tuesday July 28th, 2020

Image: Bess Hamiti

Reconnecting with Our Innocence-Essence

We find ourselves all grown up. Moving around in adult bodies with adult perceptions and problems – some are real and some are born from obsessive thinking. Our heads rattle with comparison, self-judgement, wavering self-worth, desires, ideas of success and failure – there’s the endless to-do list and the endless to-not-do list.

Take a breath. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Like a child, exhale and move your jaw, make funny faces, stretch your facial muscles. Be in your face … feel it. Imagine yourself as a four-year-old. Pull your tongue right out. Make some gibberish noises. Notice how this is for you. You can’t get this wrong. Simply witness your level of comfortability. Then do it again.

Do you have a favourite picture of you as a child? One in which there is an undeniable exuberance and joy beaming out of you. One where the light seems to be coming from within for no apparent reason. One in which you could say that you were in a state of ‘no-mind’. A state of flow and grace and aliveness and beingness and you couldn’t even spell these words nevermind have any idea what they meant. 

That’s you in there … that’s the real you. The beingness of you. The spark of the one true light flickering in your skin. That’s you, all biology and chemistry and sound and light vibration. That’s you broadcasting out into the universe with your irreplaceable song. 

Alt text hereYou were, and still are, a spark of radiating light, love and joy. Image: Frank McKenna

Here are some things that you might have said when asked; What does love mean?

Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired. — Terri, age 4.

When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hand’s got arthritis too. That’s love. — Rebecca, age 8.

Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other. — Karl, age 5.

Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is Okay. — Danny, age 8.

Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and just listen. — Bobby, age 7.

If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate. — Nikka, age 6.

Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well. — Tommy, age 6.

During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore. — Cindy, age 8.

My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night. — Clare, age 6.

Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford. — Chris, age 7.

Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day. — Mary Ann, age 4.

Alt text hereLove is everywhere in the eyes of a child. Image: Matheus Bertelli

I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones. — Lauren, age 4.

When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you. — Karen, age 7.

You really shouldn’t say I love you unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget. — Jessica, age 8.

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth. — Billy, age 4.

Perhaps you were like this little boy, who when he saw his elderly next-door neighbour crying because he had recently lost his wife, he went over to him and sat in his lap. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, ‘Nothing, I just helped him cry.’

~

Beloved UPLIFT Family,

We really hope you take the time to dig out that photo of you in your innocence-essence and put it somewhere that you can see it every day.

We’d love to know if you have any classic anecdotes that came straight from the mouths of babes. Perhaps something you yourself said as a child. Perhaps something your children or grandchildren once said.  We love the ‘naughty-innocent’ things they say too.

Here’s one from my very own archives … True Story!

On my first day of school, which was a half-day, my mother picked me up and asked me how I liked my day. I, very innocently, said, 

It was good. But two boys had a fight in the playground and one boy said to the other boy, “If you don’t shut up I’ll kick you up the fu*king bum!” And it’s naughty to say bum, isn’t it Mum?”

To which my mother replied while stifling a laugh, “Yes it is!”

 

*We were unsuccessful in finding the source of the children’s quotes in this article. If any of our dear readers know it, please get in touch so we can credit accordingly.

 

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13 Responses to Meditation on Childhood Innocence

  1. We’d had a stressful morning. I was dropping my first grade daughter off in front of the school. As I leaned over to give her a kiss, she reached out and wrapped her arms around my neck real tight. Then she said, “a kiss wipes away but a hug lasts all day”.
    After that it was a kiss AND a hug every time.

  2. Years ago, I was raising my two children on my own and on assistance. Times were lean. My 6 year old son had received some money for his birthday. I asked if I could borrow it to put gas in the car. He said he didn’t have it anymore. He had put it in the Lenten box for the poor. He said: “ I think the poor needed it more than I do.”

    • They do indeed … so much more than we want to admit to our adult selves. We should watch them and learn from them more. Much love Paul and Team UPLIFT

  3. When I read the last caption about the little boy sitting on his neighbor’s lap..I started to cry,really cry …I have a memory from Feb 2018 when I was vacationing in Mexico with my girlfriend. We were out for dinner and I got a call from my nephew saying that my Dad had just died,he was gone. It was a shock but not a complete surprise. He had been ill and very unhappy at a retirement home without my mom over the last year. But I had no sooner got off the phone ,unconsolable by my girlfriend ,when a 7 or 8 year old mexican boy with his mother selling wares came over and immediately sat on my lap and said” It’s okay, I have this dragon and he can fly”(showing me his for -sell items) . He proceeded to tell me a long story about how this dragon learned to fly. It completely distracted me from my grief and I so clearly felt the presence of my Dad in this little boy- telling me everything will be okay. The unconditional and amazingly open and comforting love from this young boy I will never forget. It transcended anything that came after that in coping with the passing of my amazing Dad.

    I have three grown children and i never forget to tell them the very unique and spontaneous view of their world they spoke about when they were young. I also retell these innocent and inspiring captions, most were very humorous, for my friends and family. There is true magic about this.

    • Thank you, Deborah … I love that you shared this with more people and I hope lots of people all over the world get to read about your dad and dragons. Big heartfelt love to you, Paul and Team UPLIFT

    • Deborah. This is so incredibly touching… thank you so much for sharing this gorgeous story. I can relate to experiencing random and precious little moments that are so simple, and yet, leave such a lasting imprint on our hearts. I love that you recognised that magic and your father’s presence in that sweet interaction with the boy and that even now, you continue to tap into that magic with your own children. I truly believe life is all the richer for these moments and that magic.

      My deepest condolences to you for the loss of your father. Please keep sharing your love and light 💗
      Much love,
      Team UPLIFT

    • OMG. I was crying when reading the first story, and now I’m bawling. That’s so incredibly beautiful and fills you with hope for the world.

  4. Even if we try very hard to sustain the relationship with consistent and constant efforts to keep the people happy and healthy, there would be no reciprocation whatsoever. Eventually, these efforts weaken with time since it is one way. How to manage such situations notwithstanding our sincerity devoid of selfishness? Thus, we get to a feeling, books, plants and animals are the best friends to sustain relationships. Human relations are fading away drastically even among the brothers and sisters.

    • Perhaps there is some truth in the fading or the transforming nature of how we relate. I keep my heart open to new ways of being with old loves … Much love Paul and Team UPLIFT

    • Thank you for your comment Professor Srinivasa. I have to admit I personally disagree as I frequently see evidence of reciprocated kindness and care amongst humans. I’m sorry to hear this is not your experience and I hope that changes for you.

      Much love to you brother 🙂
      Team UPLIFT

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