Let me start by saying I have never let go of my childhood, not completely. I can still see things with child-eyes, especially in the company of children, like my 7-year-old niece. Not long ago I did some storytelling with her and some friends, using puppets and a toy theatre. I can regrow a 7-year-old heart in an instant.
It is a little like a trance, or switching gears, and it is lots of fun – a salve for all world-worn hearts.
On becoming adults we are asked to give up many things, and too many of us give away the simple joys of childhood (like seeing a spiderweb glistening with dew-diamonds) for the Seriousness of Adulthood. We swap Joy for the Material and it is a very, very poor trade. As healers, mystics, prophets and savants we are invited to recapture a sense of Joy and unlock the key to our hearts, because it is in the fire of our hearts that lasting bonds and gifts are made, because they are not fashioned from the dull, mean metal of base existence.
What I wanted to write about, though, is recognising the moment to let go.
Years ago I went shopping at a marvellous set of markets and passed a stall with many polished stones. Agate, quartz, rose quartz. You know the sort of thing. There was a clear piece of quartz there. Quite lovely. Now I am a fairly blokey bloke (but not a boofy bloke, if you follow my idiom) but when I saw it, it spoke to me. Not in words, but with a quartz smile.
“I am yours, I have always been yours. But you only just found me.”
So I bought it, and took it to work. Three weeks later, a female designer I knew came in and was immediately drawn to that crystal among the four crystals on my computer.
“Oh isn’t that lovely, may I have a look?” she asked.
I picked it up and gave it to her. Placed it in her hand and assured her it was hers. She was quite stunned (because people do not do things for other people in this world, we need motives and reasons and contracts and obligations, not the free gift of joy).
And yet although the decision to give it to her arrived in a millisecond, I recognised that it was indeed the time for that crystal to move on. Its mission in my life had been to create that very moment, that gifting. I felt no pang of parting, but the serenity of doing the right thing without judgement or expectation. It was the gift of an adult and a 7-year-old, at the same time.
I was particularly pleased (or I should say, humbled, because ‘pleased’ tends to invoke a sense of pride) that my inner child did not rush out and hug the crystal and go no, no, no, mine, mine, mine. In that moment I had turned a corner spiritually, by recognising I had the freedom to create an energy, and a destiny, in my energetic world. This reminds me of two things.
In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Brutus says:
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
In our journey we must learn to recognise the flood and sail upon it, or willingly stand at the dock and see the moment sail.
The other thought goes something like this – if you love someone, let her go – if she returns, she is yours, but if she does not, then she never was. This same thought applies to things as much as people who are not ours, in that they are not and can never be our possessions. As the poet Kahil Gibran says:
Lovers should be like strings on the same instrument, dancing to the same music, but not the same string.
We cannot possess love, only give it. We cannot store it in the fridge or make ice-blocks out of it. In relationship, at best, we can bask in the confidence of its existence, like strolling in sunlight. But love exists because we share it, and in sharing we feel it and, if we are gifted, we perceive the energetic changes that love makes to our world.
The world views honesty, love and gifts with grave suspicion because “you must want something in exchange and I don’t know what it is and this makes me suspicious of your motives”. Gifts have no motives. Love has no motive, neither does honesty.
The greatest courage in the world is to do the hardest thing in the world. You must meet that paper tiger called the world face to face, and smile.