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Childlike Innocence and Ability to Celebrate Life

Shivo Shivo | Wisdom Tree |

We all must have observed that children are immensely creative. They can always figure out the ways to enjoy and create fun games. Their imagination is also vivid with an innate ability to question everything. They celebrate life as it unfolds and to them it appears like a continuously unfolding magical tale. But as we grow up, how do we begin to look at life?

It becomes a boring stale routine. There appears to be no possibility of joy and one has to live just to survive. Isn’t it? Is it possible to be creative in such a state? Obviously NO.

We may all wonder if it is possible to go back to the childlike state and be innocent again. Many of us feel that if one becomes innocent, the maturity will be lost. However, let me give you a good news.

Becoming innocent is not similar as being immature, as we normally think. We don’t want to sacrifice one for other, as both are essential qualities to live a beautiful life. With a deeper understanding, both of these qualities can co-exist.

The trouble is that we have defined immaturity and innocent as the synonym in our minds. However, we should know that they are two different qualities. You can find four kinds of people- innocent and immature, mature and not innocent, not innocent and not mature, innocent and mature.

If you have decide that you want to be in the category of people “innocent and mature”, then read on.

Maturity is about knowing – how things work. Innocence is about trusting life. However, we somehow stop to trust life, as we start to know more and more about how things work. Isn’t it? Now let us explore this mechanism deeper.

The whole secret is hidden in just one understanding and that is “Who is responsible for what is happening in my life? Is it me or is it the circumstances?” One, who holds himself responsible for what is happening, will gain innocence with every passing experience. On the other hand the one who thinks circumstances are responsible for what is happening to him, he will lose innocence with every passing experience.

Let me open a page from my own life to make this point clear. This major life shattering incident happened almost 10 years back. I was running an Internet company and my partner cheated on me big time, causing a series of severe incidents. I was utterly shocked.

Now, we can derive two interpretations from every incident that happens to us.

First, someone is responsible for my misery, which is a normal interpretation. Second, I am responsible, for more awakened ones like you (I can say that you are one of the more awakened ones, because you have read till here and it shows your interest for self introspection). Now, let us delve deeper, how these two different interpretations create two different worlds.

Suppose, I believed that my partner is responsible for what happened with me, what would it do to me? I would say to myself, this world is full of cheaters, and hence not trustworthy. So stop trusting people. And what would be my reaction to everyone who comes in front of me? I would presume that they could be cheaters and that would keep me closed towards them. In short, I will begin to say NO to life. And then, what would be running through my mind all the time? Obviously, I will keep delving into the strategies to save myself from all kind of dangers, which will lead me to frustration and agony. Is it possible to be creative in such a state? Obviously – NO.

Now, let us look at the other possibility. I actually believed that I am responsible for what happened with me. Although, my partner had a bad reputation and the whole world told me that he is such a cunning guy and he had trapped me, but in the inner heart I knew, there is something missing in me, and that black spot has caused this mishap. I continuously inquired within myself and one day EUREKA happened. And then something about myself got revealed to me. I realized my own ego.

It was truly strange to discover my own false belief system which caused this havoc.

I believed that since I have gone very high in meditation, even if a culprit comes and works with me, he will get transformed into a good guy. So, even though I knew his bad reputation, I said to myself “So what if he is bad, if he is working with me, he will turn into a good guy”. And obviously, it was a foolish assumption emanating out of my own spiritual arrogance.

So isn’t it true that I was responsible for this mishap? Now, what did it do to me? I became free from my own false belief and it gave me immense freedom. I could begin to look at the world through fresh childlike eyes, and not through my own belief earlier. Every time, you become free from a conditioning, you become innocent, as you have thrown away some false self knowledge.

But at the same time, I also gained in maturity, as I realized that there are people in the world who can cause harm. Now, I trust people immensely, though I don’t close my eyes from what the reality is. And, I have learnt to say YES to life, as more and more such learning experiences have happened. In fact, I am also very thankful to life for that incident, as it made me mature. Did not that incident happen for my own good? Obviously, I could trust life more, when I could interpret it as “I am responsible”.

This gives me another point to share. If you are full of gratitude, you will grow in innocence and if you have complaint for anything, you would lose innocence.

You may ask me a question, out of the two interpretations I have mentioned above, which one is true. I would say, “Both interpretations are correct”. But, I would also say, that this is a wrong question to ask.

The right question to ask is “which interpretation is more empowering?”. Obviously, it is the second interpretation, which gives you the power to change something, because it is about you.

If you believe that someone else is responsible, there is nothing you can do about it, as it is not possible to change anyone in this world (though we keep trying to change others, let us be honest, how many people we have been able to change? The answer is NONE)

So if you understand that “I am responsible” is the more empowering way of living, then what should be the next step. Well, I would suggest, sit down with pen and paper and ask yourself- “What are the complaints I have with life (including people)?” Then write down, whom / what you have been holding responsible for that complaint. And then go into deep self introspection and figure out, “what was missing in me, for that unfortunate incident to manifest?”

And you would realize, as you go deeper in this process, the conditioning will begin to melt, and every time you will feel a surge of freedom and you would begin to grow in childlike innocence.

A new you would emerge, who would look at the world with fresh eyes and begin to celebrate each and every moment.

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