This is me aged about 5 years old, with my elder sister…
She sent me this long-forgotten picture on my 40th birthday, which was on 22nd of November. I was looking at it, and seeing such an innocent, sweet and good hearted child and it made me realise that each one of us was that same child. And then we “grew up”.
I know that many people, with great sadness and regret, ask themselves “Where did my joy go? Where did my gentleness and innocence go? Where did my wonder, enthusiasm and playfulness go?”
It is a tragedy that a joyful and innocent human being should become a jaded, bitter, and troubled human being. A great tragedy, because that human being has lost the most valuable parts of themselves, and traded them in for consumerism, intellectual grandeur, mental understanding and an empty sense of power and control over the world around them. The innocent child we were had no interest in these things. They simply wanted happiness, laughter, friendship, play, affection and love.
Are we a different creature now? No, because our heart still needs all these things, and we suffer without them. Yet we often brush thoughts of them aside, focusing on our mental understandings about the world and ourself. We satisfy ourself with our comforts, with material pleasures, distraction, entertainment, food and drink. We reflect upon our own ego, a product of our thinking mind, and swim in the realm of thought; thinking, thinking, thinking nearly all of the time.
As a result of perpetual thinking, we become more and more distant from the simple, joyful and innocent nature of our heart, and we live through our conceptual understanding of the world; the mental map which we think gives us the security of knowledge. But this heady and intellectual way of relating to the world is a very poor substitute for what our heart brings into our life, yet most of us accept it as the way of living as an adult in this world.
But our heart has not changed. It has only become relegated, buried and forgotten to one degree or another. We think we can get on fine without it, as long as we can have everything else we want in life: a relationship, a decent bank balance, all our favourite foods, tv programs and other entertainment. In short, while we can continue to consume and distract ourselves, we can stay relatively content.
But every now and then, we remember the child we were. We remember the joy and wonder, the innocence and enthusiasm, the energy, happiness and fun-loving nature we had. We may feel a sense of loss and sadness at becoming old, cynical, overly cerebral and joyless. We realise that we have become estranged from the depth of our own heart, the very core of who we are.
But there is no need to feel sad and regretful. There is no need to mourn those precious aspects of your own heart which you think you have lost forever, because they are only dormant. The ‘you’ of your childhood has not been eradicated, it just gave up expressing itself when the adult world told it that it was time to grow up and face the reality of life. Your inner-child has not died I can assure you, and in fact desperately awaits resuscitation.
Are you willing to do this? Do you want to remember the joyfulness of being alive, the pleasure of a happy heart, the wonder of an innocent mind which does not think it knows ‘how things are’?
I can assure you it is not difficult. You just need to become aware of all the messages you have been listening to in your own mind for decades. The messages which tell you “Life is a struggle”, “You cannot be free”, “You cannot follow your heart”, “You cannot express yourself”, “You will be judged”, “You have to fit in to the system and do what is conventional”, “You have to prioritise the pursuit of money”, “You must make sacrifices and compromises in life”.
We listen to these collective belief systems repeating themselves over and over in our mind and we slowly, slowly align ourselves with them. We limit our expression, we do what is conventionally acceptable, we pursue what society tells us is worth pursuing and we become a consumer. But the more we consume, the more we suffocate our creativity and self-expression. We lose sight of the innate joy of our heart. We get used the idea that happiness and fulfilment come from achievement, accumulation and success. But they do not. They come from a heart which gets attention, which expresses itself and which gets nourished. It’s as simple as that.
A young child will be joyful simply in the knowledge that it is loved by its parents. That is enough. Take that love away and replace it with criticism, harshness and punishment, and the child will quickly lose its joy. We are the same. Love brings us joy. Think about a time when you fell in love. Remember the joy, the innocence, the happiness that you were filled with. You were like a child, smitten and secure in the realm of love. This is where true joy must spring from: knowing that we are not judged, not awaiting punishment, not under critical scrutiny, but we are being beheld through loving eyes.
Spiritually speaking, there is indeed a consciousness which beholds us with loving awareness. It loves and cares for us deeply, and just wants us to feel this love. I can assure you that your whole life is divinely orchestrated so that you will come to a point where you surrender any stubbornness, any hostility, any resistance and arrogance, and finally open your heart to the world and to the deeply intelligent consciousness that flows through it, which many call God.
As we start doing this, we become more and more like an innocent child once more, realising that we are deeply loved by something greater than us. This is very humbling, and realising it fills us with a sense of deep security, gratitude, positivity, enthusiasm and joy.
We are not undergoing judgement and awaiting punishment. We are simply in the midst of a deep misunderstanding about the nature of reality, which is almost like a bad dream, where the sword continually dangles above us from a great height.
But the opposite is true. Love surrounds us, and is constantly nudging us to become softer in our heart; less cynical, harsh and judgemental. As our heart softens, love can penetrate it. The intelligent light of divine awareness flows into our heart, and we become aware of a beautiful realm which was previously unseen by our tired and blinkered eyes. We perceive the spiritual realm of the divine, which had eluded our intellectual thinking mind for so very long. Finally allowing Love in is what opens the door, and we realise what is actually real in this life.
It is Love. This world is just a dream my friends. It is Love that is real, and it is Love that will lead us away from the darkness created by our fearful mind. Fear is what polluted the innocent mind of the child whom you once were, and as you learn how to let go of its poison in your heart, you become free. You see through the eyes of innocence, of gratitude, of divine security.
It is time to let go of that tendency to fear, because as the human drama intensifies, if we continue to let it rule us, we will find ourselves experiencing our own personal version of hell. This is the ultimate destination of fear, when it is left unchecked in the human heart. We must ensure that this is not happening within us. We must notice the fearful thinking mind in operation, and when we see it filling our heart with anxiety, we must relax, release the tension which it creates in our body, and remember the safety and peace of a relaxed and open heart, emboldened and strengthened by divine Love.
I will end by sharing with you what I have found to be the most essential and powerful way to remove the deepest fears from our heart, and to experience true divine security. Christ.
After 22 years of meditation, of journeying deep within my consciousness, studying with many spiritual teachers, detoxing, fasting, healing, and many other liberating and purifying processes, I can say with full authority that the deepest darkness and the most deeply hidden fear will finally be vanquished from the human soul when we allow Christ to dwell in our heart. What have you got to lose by asking for Christ assistance? Absolutely nothing. What is there to gain? Absolutely everything.
I wish you peace, safety and joy.
God bless, Alex
“Develop the Strength of your heart”
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“We are all children, longing to find our way back to
the world of innocence, joy and freedom we once knew”
Love this post. I’ve been feeling something quite similar lately. And my 40th was on 26th Nov!
Love the conclusion. Let’ s all let
Christ into our hearts!