What is it about the young?
We are told that they are bundles of unrestrained joy and innocence. Really?
Well, how come I’m looking at a pouty lip from my eldest (6 years wise) on most mornings. How is him waking up and struggling against the family agenda providing evidence of natural happiness?
A better question is, “How does that serve him and what does it tell me?”
On first glance it looks like something called a bad mood. He has all the symptoms. Downturned mouth and gaze lowered to the floor. Apologetic voice, caved in shoulders and chest.
Something is not right. Something has happened.
Yet if you look up close you can see that it is a mask. It’s a persona he’s wearing, as if he’d got one of his superhero costumes from the dress-up box.
It’s a device that he’s using to help manipulate something. That’s how it serves him. And if you can catch it off guard it cracks and you can see him in there. Laughing.
A quick tickle or a reminder that it’s Nutella day usually does the trick.
The game is up and the ‘mood’ lifted.
He wants something and he’s playing the “it’s not fair” game.
But where did he learn such a device?
I know you’re already ahead of me. What a gift we have given them. “Dear children, despite your unrestricted flow of pure joy and smiles let us teach you how to put on a scowl and let everyone know that we are really pissed about something.”
“Thanks Dad, I’ll remember that.”
The hard part isn’t seeing through his mask, it’s realising that we do exactly the same thing. Daily
When someone annoys us we reach for the sulky pout. That will show them! If someone forgets that we were next in line we unleash the full-on “how dare you”. Irritated, impatient, agitated and annoyed.
We bring them out as our tools of communication. To let everyone know that we’re not pleased about things right now!
But as we’ve learned, it works both ways. We can just as easily trigger happiness!
We can choose to be tickled by things. To be amused.
Joy happens first, before the presents arrive.
We have to choose it and it is ours.
Happiness works by us first allowing it to bubble up and show itself. We often get caught up in our own drama that we don’t let it happen and we don’t see that we can choose it. We always think that happiness comes later.
Yet we have the power to make it happen.
We don’t need other people to do things that will make us happy.
We can choose happiness and the joy will flood in anyway.
One of the most repeated pieces of advice I give to people is, “You’re not broken.” I say this so many times. And I believe that it’s true.
It’s sort of the opposite to therapy. In that case you look at the damage caused from your past and relive it or express it to relieve the pressure of suppression of emotions.
I believe we all come into this world perfectly formed in our own way. We don’t need to add anything or change anything. All we have to do is allow ourselves to grow and develop and realise our potential.
To become your possibility. To find yourself.
This is a great relief and comfort to people. You are not broken. I’m not even giving you the burden of “you are a genius”. It’s light and no pressure.
Think about it. You are not broken. No need for therapy, you are not broken. No need for guilt, you are not broken. No need for shame, you are not broken.
Well today I caught myself lost in my self-improvement drive – again. And I wondered why I don’t take this advice.
How many affirmations and clearing techniques do I need?
Why do I get stuck in the working on myself loop?
If I’m not broken, then why do I need to constantly fix things?
Do you find the same thing? Must become more productive, more effective, more loving.
It’s part of our self-actualisation you might say, but are we jamming our bandwidth with too many improve yourself to-dos?
Perhaps we need to create more space to just be. When you create space you get to experience your own insight and intuition. What Philip McKernan calls “your Soulset.”
When you create space you can find your inner voice that guides.
So today I started not working on myself.
I started not affirming that I was earning six figures. I stopped affirming that I had perfect health. I stopped trying to clear blockages and shift energy.
Today I started being who I am. Not broken. And no need to work on myself.
I took a day off from self-help.
Today I started to feel comfortable with my work. Not needing to push on and change things. I found myself being okay with my kids behaviour because they’re not broken either. We just need to be with each other.
Today I was being me.
Today I was unbroken.
Today, try being you. Find yourself. Perfect.