We all love babies and little children. They are a reminder of all that is pure and innocent and loving – untainted by the social programming and fear to which we as adults have been subject. We, too, were once those innocent, unconditionally loving bundles of love and light. Truth is,we still are.
Before we learned that we were anything but love, we knew we were connected to everything. We were in awe of life, of nature, of every bug, animal, and living creature, as well as rocks, shells, and blades of grass. Everything was a curiosity, and we wanted to explore and experience all of it. And just like our parents, and their parents before them, we lost something that was beautiful and rich and true. We lost our natural innocence.
It’s not difficult to imagine why. From our earliest memory we hear the words, watch the role models and participate in the rituals that have brainwashed us into believing we are inherently evil, born in sin, filled with guilt and shame, and must now spend the rest of our lives trying to make ourselves pure enough, and good enough, to be worthy of forgiveness and acceptance.
My cousin’s 6-year-old son recently asked, “Mom, how come I feel guilty all the time?” At a loss for words she asked, “Well…did you something wrong…maybe something you forgot about?” Shaking his head, he insisted, “No, I thought about and I can’t think of anything…so how come I feel guilty?”
She didn’t have an answer for him, for how do you explain to a 6-year-old something that we as adults are still trying to understand? I remember feeling the way Joey described as a child, and looking back now I can’t help but wonder at what age I bought into the guilt and shame.
We have inherited a world of guilt and fear. We are educated about it, programmed to identify with it, and taught to look for it. A perceptual lens has been handed to us, and because our head creates our world, we are now filtering everything through that lens of fear.
The way back to the pure innocence and joy and peace that we experienced as children is to free ourselves from perhaps the greatest lie ever told – that there is something intrinsically wrong with us.
*This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, due out later this year.