“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children….” -Jesus
I believe that human maturation is the extension of childhood into adult affairs, NOT the renunciation of childhood FOR adult affairs.
As much as I must become an adult, I similarly must never cease to be a child.
Some qualities I had as a child that I am attempting to obtain/maintain:
- Flexibility (yes physical too)
As we grow up, we exchange experience of things for knowledge about things. Haughtily we assume that because we know something of the workings of a phenomena, we no longer have to revere it. If I can define it, describe it, discuss it, I have no more use for it. We trade the thing for knowledge about the thing.
- When I was a child I had no concern with where my food, clothing, or shelter would come from. Yet it came. In large part because I had no qualifications for what form that food, clothing, or shelter had to take, in large part because I was less aware of “me” and my desires and my reputation. The importance of that would be forced upon me later as I “grew up.”
- I knew no “sin.” There was no real good and evil until it was impressed upon me. There were actions and consequences, and of those actions and consequences, there were preferable and non-preferable outcomes. I did not take care of my toy because I was righteous, but because if I broke it, I could no longer play with it.
- There was no separation. There were no cliques in the playpen. All feelings of disdain or attraction were immediate and short-lived based on the present moment. If you did something I did not like, followed by something I did like, my opinion of you changed respectively.
- Having no control of my situation, I knew not how to do anything but accept and adapt. Wherever I was, whatever I was doing, I found out how to be okay as there were really no options.
- I could put my feet behind my head, touch my toes, squat, and so on.
- Everything was magical. I knew little of cause and effect. As I began to learn cause and effect, I was still OK with not knowing ALL causes and effects, and maintained the belief that not all causes could be known. And I was OK with not knowing. Or imagined my own.
The similarity in all of these things was that I lost them all as I grew up. Those teen years were so difficult because I was becoming aware of two things:
As a child, I embraced uncertainty. As an adult I am taught to avoid it at all costs. So my life becomes a vain attempt to create the illusion of certainty. And my actions became futile attempts to perpetuate that illusion.
This is not to say that I was always peaceful as a child, there were fits and starts, there were disagreements, but they were all momentary and summarily forgotten. The resting state, however, was void of anxiety. The anxiety that adulthood is riddled with.
There are many ways we attempt to vanquish this anxiety. Here are some I tried:
- Remedies (pharmaceutical)
– What I believe to be my reality is essentially the sum of my feelings and reactions to my experiences. Manipulating my feelings and reactions manipulates my experience and creates my new reality.
Result: Mental hospitals, pain, insanity, uncertainty
– Ask a “God” to manipulate my reality for me. Through enough prayer and penitence pleading, I will convince the Powers that be to orchestrate my existence toward certainty.
Result: More uncertainty, now not only about life, but about God’s awfulness, and a profound disgust for man in general
– Understand EVERYTHING. Abolish uncertainty with education. If I know why and how everything works, I’ll never be surprised and always be certain
Result: See Below
- Remedies (again)
– See Number 1
Result: See Number 1
-Back to childhood. Faith, Innocence, Forgiveness, Acceptance, Flexibility, Wonder. NOT a new strategy for the management of uncertainty, a new strategy to live IN SPITE OF uncertainty. To live as I once lived. To awaken from the illusion.
I cannot control loss, but I can renounce possession.
I cannot control disease, but I can refuse to support its proliferation in me.
I cannot control pain, but I can choose to learn from it.
I cannot control my environment, but I can be physically prepared for it.
I cannot control “out-comes,” but I can control “in-goes.”
I cannot control others, but I can control myself.
We are all anxious.
We don’t have to be.
Remember when you weren’t.
Return to that mindset.
Nothing external needs to change, but it will once you do.