It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. When you watch children playing, notice how totally involved they are in what they’re doing, how they run everywhere they go. Notice how they are oblivious to future problems almost as if they have given themselves permission to be free and they show it by becoming totally absorbed in their play. To be more childlike, you don’t have to give up being an adult. The fully integrated person is capable of being both an adult and a child simultaneously. Recapture the childlike feelings of wide-eyed excitement, spontaneous appreciation, cutting loose, and being full of awe and wonder at this magnificent universe.
Here’s what kids know how to do best:
The child in you, like all children, loves to laugh, to be around people who can laugh at themselves and life. Children instinctively know that the more laughter we have in our lives, the better. They will go out of their way to linger with anyone who makes them laugh, who can go along with their jokes.
Keep Fantasy Alive
Children love to dream, to make up stories, use their imaginations—and so would you if you’d let yourself. Remember how you loved to draw, make up verses, or songs, hear stories, make up your own games, wander aimlessly into your fantasy excursions with anyone who was willing to listen or participate? That rich fantasy life was not only great fun but also one of the healthiest aspects of your life as a whole. All of life’s best realities start with “childlike” fantasies.
Notice how children are willing to try anything on a moment’s notice. The child inside you wants to be impulsive and adventuresome, without always having to plan things in advance. Spontaneity is in many ways the key to all childlike behavior. That ability to stop suddenly by the roadside when something interesting catches your eye leads directly to childlike immediacy and “wonder in the face of the world.”
Accept the World as It Is (Be Trusting)
When the infant comes into the world, it has no thought that the world can or should be any different from what it is. The infant just opens its eyes in wonder and fascination at what is out there and makes its way in that world as best it can. The child inside of you knows how to take things as they come, how to deal most effectively and happily with everything and everyone it encounters on this planet. If you can recapture that childlike essence of your being you can stay “forever young at heart.”
These glorious childlike qualities that can help you enjoy your life each and every day are no further from you than your fingers are from your hands. They are an inalienable part of you. If you really love that child within you, and really care to be a child again in the ways I’m talking about, you cannot help but be at peace with yourself.
When you have inner peace, you can do just about anything. Give yourself more of that childlike inner peace today, by letting yourself be that spontaneous, in-the-moment, fun-loving child again. Or, as Friedrich Schiller put it, “Keep true to the dreams of thy youth.”