I think there is something magical about the state of childhood, before the dark shades of conditioning fall down around us like shackles. Its something I am thinking of after just having a conversation with my sister for whom everything is just all too hard. I feel like the death like space of depression that falls around us is so often full of thwarting inner voices and forces, there is a reason why things can’t work, there is a focus on the ‘not enoughness’ of life or other people.
One of the lovely things about a child who has not yet been filled chock to the brim with fear is that natural state of exuberance and living in the present moment as well as being open to the awe and mystery of the world and nature. In her book Women Who Run With The Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes speaks of how around age 11 a subtle psychic change seems to come upon us, forces conspire to shut down our soul somehow, or we become concerned with the ways of the world or the rules for appearing or acting that may rest on being what others want us to be or fitting into mould or worse, if we suffered a lot of shaming, coming to carry a sense that who we are and what we want needs to be vetoed in some way.
In another book on Jungian psychotherapy poet, Robert Bly and therapist Marion Woodman talk about the pin in the neck which can go into us when we are conditioned to shut down the link between heart and head, when we get cut off from the magical or mythological self or that self that lives within a natural state of inner connection, joy, creativity and spontenaeity.
No doubt hitting hard circumstance of loss does mature us and knock us back down to earth and reality, yet even here the heart of a child that is open to suffering just allows the suffering to be, it gives it a place recognising that feelings naturally expressed flow from the heart and must have their way, they do not have to be overcome with rational judgements or blockages or negations of the way things ‘should’ be or work out. It is just accepted that things go as they do and its not to be argued with, this natural state of flow and being with. There is nothing harder than looking into the eyes of someone who has had this spiritual side of themselves killed off by outside forces. Something then goes dead that used to be living or else the soul is in retreat and may need to be retrieved in some way. Maybe it just had enough and vacated the body for a while if it wasn’t shut down totally by medications or chemical restraints.
I think personally so many of us end up as wounded children of other wounded children. Until we can take that little one on our knee and into our heart and know how precious, valuable, worthy and loved we truly are just for who we are, outside of all the ‘do not be’ prohibitions we are only half alive.