As a child, I always wondered what this saying meant—sometimes I still do—though I have heard a really meaningful explanation which goes like this:
A personality trait in adults, akin to that in children, which is: to have unconditional love, perennial joy, unshakeable faith in ones parents, strong spirit and a “Go get it!” feeling which can never be explained. In short, to have the heart of a child – strong and soft, at the same time.
Observe a child for even a short period of time. And anyone would know what that biblical phrase means. So, I did too.
A few months ago, I was so worried about my son, that he did not exhibit an interest in outdoor activities and that his bicycle was rusting away. And then, suddenly one day, he got this urge to ride his bicycle.
We helped him, ran behind the bike, he fell down a little bit. His best friend was with him constantly, who had already mastered the art. His grandfather was there too. And then his father. It was a big moment! Yes, it was.
And I saw all the stages with my own eyes. Trying to ride, balancing, joy, falling, pouting, getting-back-on, smiling, balancing, riding-joy, smiling, more riding-joy, riding-fast-joy, exhilaration-joy, racing-joy, controlled-riding-joy, showing off-joy, being-a-pro-joy, and so on …
These were all different stages of joy. There was no disappointment even in falling. There was not an iota of doubt that he could not master it. I marveled at the heart of a child. Yes, I was that too, once, long ago; a few decades ago. He never doubted his joy, he never doubted his ability to master it. As adults, we have regressed a long way.
I wondered, “where is that beautiful joy in me now?”
Yes, I am very happy in my life. And I am joyful now and then for many of life’s blessings. But why isn’t that joy, that zest for life, always there, 24/7, 365 days a year? I am not really sure, I guess “life happens” as they say.
So it made me wonder: “wouldn’t it be great if we all had that kind of childish joy always? Looking at the sky, filled with clouds, making out shapes, dragons and dinosaurs; licking an ice cream like a wild child; stopping to smell flowers; looking at a starry sky at night. Are these the things which give me joy?
Cuddling with my son; seeing him fulfill his aspirations; seeing him successful; seeing him joyful and happy and content. Is this what gives me joy as a mother?
“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.”
~Hafiz of Persia
So what gives me joy? All of the above, and this too:
Bringing silence into my life, even when it is noisy and filled with all the activities of being a mother, a wife, a woman.
Acceptance, forgiveness, and being content with life, even while striving for my own personal sense of perfection.
Reconnecting to my own heart, my own inner self, seeking it in the stillness of my heart.
Will these bring me joy?
Being like a child, enjoying this beautiful journey of life, at the same time, not losing focus, and still loving, and accepting and trying, and being joyful all through!
Oh be still, little heart… the wonders of a joyful heart! Stillness gives me joy!
What gives you joy? Has any simple life event helped you introspect, reconnect with your Higher Inner Self and brought back focus to your life?
This is an original post from our World Mom and Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan.
Photo credit to the author.