Think about a time recently when you have been around children, or at least been able to observe their behavior. What we often observe when watching children is their ability to laugh, play, and explore their world, particularly if they are toddlers. Toddlers, once able to move about freely in their world, are on a mission to discover everything and have a high level of curiosity.
I love being around children, and up until just a few weeks ago, I never had a full understanding of why that is. I always knew that I found them fun and entertaining, and I enjoy that they often want to be physically close to us, by being held or sitting nearby. Yet I discovered another important aspect of the source of my joy around them.
In the Four Agreements, Dom Miguel Ruiz speaks about the process of domestication which he believes all humans are subject to. Over the course of our lives, we grow more apart from the joys of the world, and instead, begin to follow the rules and structure of the world around us, through a process of repetition and influence of those in our world. Over time, many of us become sad, tired, irritable, hopeless, and more like robots than living. We go through the motions of our lives and forget that there is joy waiting for us.
Small children have not yet been subjected to our human domestication, at least not an intensely as it will be a bit later in life. They are still full of hope, promise and magic. They believe in things unseen and then find wonder in every object that they put their hands on. They love freely, they embrace others without judgment, and they are not self conscious about getting dirty or having a meltdown.
So, when I am around children, I remember that part of my self that still lives in me, the magical, funny, silly self that shows my uniqueness without shyness, and expresses my emotions without shame. I remember that only in this moment is their pure beauty, and in this moment is when I can feel closest to my Higher Being. I remember that unless I am purely my self in this world, then I am not free.
And, freedom is what it is all about.