W hen I was a little girl, I was passionate about everything that crossed my path. Life was a virtual banquet of possibilities. On any single day, I could be a dozen different people.
Outside with my little red wagon, I was an Intrepid Explorer and Adventurer. I dug in the dirt and examined archeological treasures. I captured grasshoppers and horned toads, and let lady bugs land on my arm. My imaginary friend and I would enjoy wonderful picnic lunches of mud pies garnished with dandelions.
There were fascinating possibilities inside as well. With a pair of high heels and some lipstick, I was a career woman. Cuddling my blanket-wrapped dolls, I would be the mommy. Paper and crayons or paint turned me into a famous artist, and my bed alternated between being the stage from which I could sing songs to thrill the world, or the arena where I dazzled my imaginary audience with my circus tricks.
These are memories of myself between the ages of three and four, but at times, it seems as if I’m looking at the movie of someone else, and not back upon my own unencumbered moments of being purely me.
You see, that little girl loved herself completely. She believed in angels and imaginary friends. She saw beyond her imperfections, and loved her unruly hair and freckles.
She was uninhibited and wasn’t yet battle-scarred by life. She embraced the now, didn’t focus on the “should” and instead, investigated and explored the coulds and maybes and wonders of the world around her.
She shined. She was like a peacock proudly displaying every one of her colorful feathers.
To be completely honest, you must know that the spark of 3-year-old Debra still lives deep inside of me, and in those moments that I access her wisdom, I find that she helps me see the lights on my soul’s path and recognize the deepest desires of my heart.
And darling, the same goes for you. The spark of that purest version of you – that inner 3-year-old is still there.
Each of us is born into this world knowing who we are and what we are meant to create in this world. And then, life happens.
We fall off the bed during a reenactment of our favorite 3-Ring Circus and have to get stitches. When we try our hand at the flying trapeze again, the voice in our head tells us, “You are bad if you jump on the bed.” We come to believe that being a circus performer would equal being a bad person.
We catch a frog and put him in a shoebox and arrive home delighted in our day’s explorations. We ignore the scraped knees and torn pockets and mud caked shoes in our journey to acquire such a specimen for our own zoo, and find ourselves hurt and confused when a sibling or parent screams at us to GET OUTSIDE WITH THAT THING and then hurries us into a bath to wash away the evidence of our explorations.
We determine that we aren’t meant to be Adventurers, after all, because playing with wild animals, getting dirty, ripping our clothes, and other such occurrences that are typical of life as an intrepid explorer lead to being yelled at and grabbed and immediately told that we must change.
And so it goes over time. We become afraid of being ourselves, because experience has shown us that sometimes, just being ourselves led to getting yelled out or spanked.
Being a shiny beacon of pure joy seems to lead to the deprivation of love from those we love the most.
In an attempt to keep those we love happy, to stay safe, to keep ourselves from getting in trouble, to be loved, to be accepted, to be cared for, we begin to close off parts of what makes us unique.
We follow the rules. We learn the shoulds of polite society.
We believe that our heart’s desires are simply an attempt by the imp inside of us to draw us into mischief.
We become sheep and live behind the white picket fence.
Now, darling, I don’t want you to spend today getting lost in the perils and injustices of childhood; instead I want you to go back to some early memories of childhood when you simply shined in all your natural existence and beauty.
This is the week of Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras, and the beginning of the Lenten Season. What if I were to give you permission to access the core of who you were born to be as a way to celebrate and honor these calendar holidays?
What if you were to write a Valentine to yourself from the pre-school you?
Write in detail about how wonderful and perfect you are. How much you love your chubby legs, because they allow you to explore cool places. How much you love your unruly hair. How much you like playing in the dirt and how much you love playing with your dolls.
Connect with this core you.
What if you allowed yourself to believe again in imaginary friends and angels? What if you wrote about how wonderful it was to shine your light and stand out in a crowd instead of simply trying to fit in?
What if you allowed yourself to explore change as an adventure and not as something to fear?
What if your chose to embrace yourself?
To love yourself for everything that you are and everything that you have been?
To allow the chubby pre-school fingers to pen a letter of love and acceptance and congratulations for growing up. To allow the accepting and loving heart of that child welcome you with grace and encourage you to unearth the deepest desires of your heart?
Darling, you may bear some of life’s inevitable battle-scars, but you can honor this beautiful voyage you’ve been on.
You can access this sacred core of yourself and bring her wisdom into your life.
You may simply need some help to hear her voice. Getting help was one of the first steps I took in releasing the shoulds, stepping outside the lines of polite society, and creating a day-to-day life I adore.
Darling, the time to access her to help you fall head over heels in love with your life is now.
It’s love. It’s grace. It is within you. Your deepest desires are just waiting to shine light into your life today.
Talk to a friend. Buy a journal and write in it. Create a vision board. Grab some crayons and paper. Sign up for a class (like Clearing Brain Clutter – Discovering Your Heart’s Desires). Find a coach or a therapist.
Darling, it’s time to release the bright and curious and fearless child deep inside of you. It’s time to allow her to share in this beautiful journey of living a day-to-day life you love.
So, tell me, baby cakes: what memories of your shining light do you have? Where can you bring that part of you into the world today?