by Robert Kopecky
What is childhood? Sounds like kind of a dumb question, doesn’t it? After all, it’s pretty obvious what childhood is, it’s how you start your ‘real’ life. It’s what happens before you grow up. That’s simple enough, isn’t it? But we all know childhood isn’t that simple; and that perhaps childhood is the very most ‘real’ part of life.
But what if we put childhood in a different context – in the context of our lives reincarnating? Life, upon life, upon life. Then childhood isn’t just a stage we pass through in this life – this life is a stage we are passing through, and childhood is only one of the stages of this life; along with those of puberty, young adulthood, midlife, and old age. But we rarely carry the formative lessons of any of those other stages with as much weight as “what happened to me when I was a kid.”
Most of us who relate to the ‘lives of our souls,’ intuitively recognize the idea that we carry the causes and effects of our life actions–our karma–along with us, in whatever life we’re living, in every moment. It may even be clear that karma is an indicator of the alternative paths we’ve taken, or paths we may take. Right now I’d like you to think of childhood as that neutral intersection between paths. That ‘empty’ space, where our potential will begin to realize and manifest.
Childhood is a time of innocence, of playfulness, of discovery, of awakening. It’s a time when, ideally, we are intuitively carefree, and unconsciously surrendered to the care of our providers. This is so for one simple reason: These are the forms and characteristics of our authentic selves. These are the characteristics of our souls.
Our soul is innocent – part and parcel of a pure, loving, creative force. Our soul is playful – it’s not weighed down by the gravity of self-importance. Our soul is in a constant state of willingness, and curiousity. Our soul is always open to awareness and expansion. Our soul is secure in its connection to, and complete dependence upon, that loving, creative source.
A child is delivered, in absolute innocence, to that critical nexus, with all these attributes in place. Karma delivers our soul into our place, into our family, into our physical being; but the forms our life lessons will take have yet to be determined. This is the crucial period of forming our interface with the world, our ego interface. This is the time when our soul’s true nature is either suppressed, or energized; as well as when the possibilities that Love can awaken are demonstrated to our child. The actual conditions of life may be bad around us, but Love, in all the right places, can lead a to a transcendent path.
So, too, when we look back at the hardest parts of our own beginnings, it’s clear that it was the absence of Love that created them. This results in children feeling abandoned by those they naturally want to trust in most. It’s a purely imaginary condition many of us may carry for the rest of our lives, and underlies so many of our personal struggles. Our soul always knows better: We are never abandoned. That is only the great illusion of human life.
So here’s what childhood can mean to the practice of a reincarnating soul:
- Intuitively, we all know how precious childhood and children are, and how important it is for them to be shown as much Love as possible, so we need to always honor that responsibility.
- It is simply the lack of Love that has created the difficulties we carry with us through life from our childhoods, so we can only overcome these difficulties in later life by becoming channels–givers and receivers–of Love.
- Whenever life seems hard, it’s because you’ve lost touch with your soul’s true nature – with your authentic self. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Do your best to open your heart, and return to a state of willingness. Try to be aware of the wonder and promise alive in every moment. Surrender to the natural design of your life, by releasing your willful urge to control things. Know you are cared for!
- And then, just be more playful!
Here’s something one of our greatest spiritual engineers said about it all, a long time ago…
Yeshua himself called them and he said to them, “Let the children come to me and do not refuse them, because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these.” Luke, 18:16