On the hectic streets of NYC, crowds of people swirl and swarm in a smog ridden whirlwind, driven only by money and stress, and stress about money. Nobody there ever wants to go to Time’s Square for the lights.
In white suburbia, the mother in a nuclear family is pressing a cup of coffee to her lips, not even tasting or paying any mind to it. She’s busy thinking about how miserable she is, and yearning for her younger years, when there was always a bigger pair of arms she could run into.
In New England, some of the locals laugh at leaf-peepers who come from around the country to take pretty pictures of the foliage. “It’s like this every year,” those people will say.
All these people will ask or be asked at one point or another “what would you do if you could be *enter age here* but still know everything you know now?” Well, what if I told you you could, and it’s easy?
The previously menitoned types are the least happy in the world, and it’s because they have something in common – they’ve lost touch with their inner child. Here are some ways keeping contact with your youthful heart will enrich your life.
1. It will keep things in your life interesting. Your inner child is mesmerized by sunsets and falling leaves and birds chirping. He or she opens the window in the morning and smiles at the first snowfall of the season. He or she will collect rocks, for the simple fact that they are pretty. As we experience things, we become more conditioned and desensitized to the things we see, hear, and feel. The first time we see a sunset, we are captured by the moment; after the hundredth one, thousandth one, what-seems-like-millionth one, we stop caring or noticing or seeing the beauty of it. The same goes for music, heartbreak, kisses – we lose emotion to those things for the simple fact that we’ve seen/heard/felt it too much (whatever that is). When you cut off or lose your young spirit, your life will become less and less interesting to you. Your inner child wants to see the beauty in things, which in itself seems a good reason to seek him or her out once more.
2. You will learn how to be content and even happy where you are (but still grow). Once #1 happens, we start seeking out more and more and more (items, money, partners, what have you) to feel the same amount that we felt before. When we do this, we fail to realize that the things we are seeking out will also become less and less and less, in due time – unless we keep in touch with our inner child, who will find so much more in so much “less.” I’d say it was a valid concern to say this could stunt your growth as a human, or in your job, or anything else, but children are generally pretty happy (aside from not getting that candy at the store, or having to go to bed early), but they are in the most malleable phase of their human life. People who want change but don’t really make a change in their life do so simply because they aren’t content with who they are at the moment, so they become discouraged about the future instead of hopeful. Your inner child is full of hope – so let him or her bloom, and you will watch your life change.
3. Growth in your life will naturally perpetuate itself. As we grow older, we start to believe we know everything, so we stop growing. When you stop growing, you lose. With aging, we often take away certain bits of our mind to make room for others – we replace emotion with logic and curiosity with knowledge – and we forget that one of those complement one another in ways that create growth. When we choose one or the other, we are truly limiting our Selves, and there’s no reason our minds can’t have both (with a little practice, anyway). Not to mention, if you’re happy with what you have right now, you’re not focusing on what you don’t have… Which can make growth EVEN EASIER. Mind. Blown. When I’m in touch with my inner child, for example, I become much more prolific in my friendships and writing and happiness. People call that “glowing,” and you can do it too. You do sometimes, when your inner child sings.
4. You will unintentionally be more vulnerable, which many will argue is weak, but I beg to differ. When you put yourself out there – your risk might be a little high, sure, but the human reward is too expansive to not take that risk. You will be more open in friendships and relationships. Love will be more rewarding and honest and genuine. You will be honest and sincere, your friendships will grow, your heart will sing. And then on the off days, your heart will ache and you will cry, just the way a human should. Your newfound (or, long-hidden) vulnerability will bless you with all the faults and follies and wonders of the Human Experience, and you will live a life rich with deep breaths and lost ones.
5. It truly is the best of both worlds. When you stop moving is when you die. The best way to feel alive is to move in every which way – by opening up to your inner child and letting him or her out to breathe, you will be flooded with new thoughts, emotions, growths, and changes. You will move physically, and you will be moved mentally and emotionally. Fear will dissipate. You will see beauty in things again.
But you will still know all the things you know now.