A dear friend of mine gave me a suggestion a few months back when I was struggling with who my God was or if he/she/it was. She had me get a cork board and start putting pictures of things that make me happy and feel spiritual. Another dear friend offered to paint a large tree on it, as I love tree’s so very much, as I do all nature. I asked her to not put leaves on the tree, I wanted my pictures to be the leaves.
Well, my God had an even better idea. My friend found her voice from painting the tree and made 12 hearts from the branches; subtle but there. It is beautiful. At first I couldn’t bring myself to put anything on it. Then one day I put an owl I had cut out, on one of the branches. Next I put a picture of a Goddess or Mother fairy down at the bottom of the tree trunk. As I sat in bed that night looking at my tree; I saw what I wanted. Birds on each tree; (owls) and quotes. I want to keep it simple as it will be more relaxing. But the child deep down within me saw something else. Her imagination was set on fire. As I continued the tree with all its forms, my eyes continued to be drawn to the Mother Goddess, Fairy if you prefer; but I could suddenly imagine the Mother Fairy going into the tree where there was a whole new world. It reminded me of the closet in the book by C.S. Lewis, The Witch, The Lion, and The Wardrobe.” It made me smile as I imagined that world a part from ours where anything was possible.
So what does this have to do with letting your child within come out? It has shown me how little I allow myself to do things because it is “immature or childish”. I realize now the difference between being childish (immature) versus “Child-like”. To be child-like is let the innocence within come to the surface and create. Or as I like to say; give yourself a voice. I like to write; but I also like to create things. Making a collage or cutting out pictures for my “God” board is very creative and brings up feelings of happiness, serenity and something to meditate about. Not to mention, helping me to find a God of my understanding; one that brings me strength, courage, love and yes, a voice in which to share things I learn or acquire.
Once I began to allow the little girl within to come out to play; and by this I mean, allow the innocence and freedom to do things, create things that I believe God created all of us to be; it has become apparent just how creative and loving I would like to be. It has given me the courage to be child-like and find my voice. In whatever manner my God chooses for me. And I believe the more I add to my tree of life, (that just came to me for what to call my tree), the more I will come to know my Higher Power, God. In the meantime, I continue to talk to the God I do not understand, and I try to be still and listen for his voice to speak to me.
This project has lead me to other forms of being child-like. For instance, I have been busy knitting dish cloths, something I love to do. I also pulled out my pencils and drawing pads that were hidden away for a few years now due to my fear of learning I can’t draw. Now I am free to draw, not to make a beautiful drawing, but to draw for the fun of it. If it turns out horrible so what? I just throw it away and draw another. It is the process of playing with creativity that causes it to be fun. Coloring books also bring me a quiet joy. It relaxes me. Again I had not bought a coloring book for many years for fear of appearing immature and childish. How can feeling relaxed and happy be childish or immature I had asked myself one night last week. How can doing things I enjoy, whether I am good at it or not be a bad thing? If I am judged harshly, isn’t that about the one judging, not myself?
Creativity is about using whatever tools you have to use for creating something. I use yarn and needles to create a beautiful afghan for my son, Pens and pencils are used to write letters and loved ones notes or cards. Something as simple as cutting out pictures and quotes can bring large doses of happiness and wonderful thoughts. You can think of anything you make as being creative. And sometimes this can cause us to feel like little children. Is that a bad thing? Is it hurting you or someone else? If not, then I say, go for it, put all your energy into it. Bring some fun and happiness back into your life with simple tools like crayons and coloring books or paints. Whatever brings you calmness and joy.
To be child-like and allow that child within to surface, we allow ourselves to grow into loving, peaceful, creative individuals. And tell me; how is this a bad thing? Its not. My life is about a small group of friends who encourage me to create. These wonderful ladies show interest and joy when they see my ideas, watch me grow into a better human being. I don’t know what my life would look like without them. I would no doubt still be living in constant fear of the unknown; still be allowing unhealthy relationships into my life that cause conflict and insecurity to fester within. Now as I have been taking time to get to know people and make better decisions about who I allow into my small circle of friends, I find my life becoming more abundant and fulfilling. It is no longer a bad thing to feel like a child when creating something using what adults consider children’s tools, like crayons and paint by numbers. I suddenly remember the cut out dolls with clothe you attached with tabs that you folded over the doll. I remember even as a girl, drawing new clothes for my doll and feeling so proud of my work. It made me feel happy and pleased with myself. I realize I have to let go and be who I want to me; and to let child like thoughts and ideas come out to the surface.
I realize this is short, but I just felt like sharing something positive and uplifting. Hoping there is a reader who will gain encouragement to allow herself or himself to let down their guard, their unhealthy belief that it is wrong to be child-like. To do things that perhaps you think of children doing, not adults. Go ahead. Do it! Climb that tree you have been looking at. Jump into that pool others are enjoying. Color that picture you have been dying to color! Please, allow the little one within, the creative one, to come to the surface. Set her/him free for just a little while each day to create and bring you joy and a true sense of happiness. I assure you, it is an experience you will enjoy once you stop asking yourself, “what will people think?”
It was very difficult, painful even, to allow myself to let down my guard and play. Enjoy life each moment or brief moments. But now, as I slowly allow myself simple joys, I am becoming a better, happier woman. A woman I hope others want to be around. Not to complain to or to judge, but to play with. To share our creative side with one another. I don’t know if you will be encouraged to try this little exercise after you have read the ideas; but I know I am going to continue being child-like at moments through out the day when I feel her strongly wanting to come to the surface. Why wouldn’t I? She is very creative and funny. I like her. And if I can say I like the creative one within, I can say I like another piece of myself. Soon, these likes will eventually turn into love for myself.
So friend, please try to find that child hidden deep down and allow her to come out and play. You may be surprised to find you have hidden talents you never knew you had! Better yet, you just might find some happiness in yourself. I have. And that is why I am going to continue to play and do the things that make me feel good. I am going to give myself and others permission to be child-like! And with that my dear reader, I am going to close this post and go eat a box of Cracker Jacks! Who knows, perhaps I will even look for the prize inside!