There is a little girl or boy inside each of us, wanting to transcend itself.
Too often this little boy or girl inside of us gets tucked away, along with its love of life and adventure. It’s true, you can have safety or adventure but you can’t have both at the same time. Talking about his time in the SAS Mark Donaldson said,“I loved it from the start and I’ve loved it ever since. It is my privilege to be doing what I’m doing. He goes on to say, “I got the V.C. for simply doing what I thought was the right thing to do.”
You can’t have safety and the spirit of adventure at the same time.
What he did was amazing, but like C.S.Lewis’s Lucy, this particular digger was led by his heart – his spirit – and what he calls his “little boy inside.”
Our most normal response is to withdraw from threat, but every now and then something comes up from somewhere within that enables us to rise above the ordinary – to transcend the normal animal instincts of fear, greed and self-preservation.
It is the retelling of the story of these moments that creates heroes, because it reminds us of the deep yearning we all have, to live a life less ordinary. But why don’t we?
I seem to remember that Jesus said something about our needing to become as a child, if we are ever to enter into all we are made for.
When the sparkle in our eyes is replaced by blinkers
For too many of us, the part that brings life to our personalities and a sparkle to our eyes goes missing as we are growing up. We think we have become sensible, but usually we have simply become boring, yielding to the illusion of safety.
This happens when we are driven by fear rather than led by hope. Sadly by age 25 to 35, most of us are so blinkered and unaware of the source of our motivation, that our spirit will knock at the door of our awareness in protest – first with a low level sadness, then a fully fledged depression. Why? Because, by then, the tide of life will be carrying us along to a future in which our spirit feels unrecognized. Many of us will be in a career that doesn’t fit. We are likely to have a growing number of responsibilities and too often, a lack of transcendent purpose.
If we just put off the nagging feeling, it is likely to blow out to a huge midlife crisis between ages 45 and 55, when we’re inclined to fall in love with 18 year old females, buy red sports cars and learn tap dancing! Of course we’re trying to return to when we were 18, before life’s patterns claimed us.
The healthy and well adjusted middle aged person will have come to terms with their spirituality.
Jung said he had not come across a happy middle aged person who’d failed to come to terms with their spirituality. Authentic spirituality keeps spontaneity, intimacy and awareness alive in our soul – in other words the little boy and girl alive in us. We need to face the things in us that may produce confidence but that also produces blinkers. They are in fact psychological drivers and they inevitably become blinkers that filter awareness.