Recapturing Our Childlike Joy

"The great man is he who does not lose his childlike heart.” Mencius (Chinese Philosopher) 372–289 BCE

I took a walk alone into town on a sunny day and sat down for a few minutes to watch children play at a local park. What joy and innocence! They were squealing with delight, faces flushed from running and eyes wide open with anticipation for their next game of make-believe. I then saw an older girl, maybe 12, more serious than the others. But she smiled at me as she walked past. She’s growing up, I thought, taking on the heaviness and seriousness that being an adult entails for most.

I tried to pinpoint when I had lost the joy of my childhood, that time when laughter was exhilarating and the world was a playground. I would go to sleep with anticipation for the fun I would have with my friends the following day. I realized that the heaviness descended upon me when I began to perceive the world as a frightening place, when I experienced loss, when school became a challenge, and when I wasn’t allowed to be myself because it was considered “wrong” by the well-meaning adults around me: my parents, family, and teachers.

We begin to lose our childhood joy when we become self-conscious, fearful of expressing ourselves. When we bow to the pressures exerted by the mores of our culture, it stifles the soul.

The creatures of the earth are always themselves. Perhaps they can teach us to be.

"Beyond Inspiration" excerpt. Available in

A compilation of musings, affirmative prayers and affirmations that are spiritual but without dogma. It's a handy book to use daily to awaken the sacred within you. Readers have commented that the words soothes, inspires and encourages them to introspect.

@Copyright “Beyond Inspiration" 2012

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alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

I love the quote at the beginning. Very nice, thoughtful hub. Thanks.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Thanks, Nancy for being the first to read and comment. :)

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Where indeed did our childhood go?

And why?

Well done VioletSun.

Up and awesome!

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Aaash, good question WillStarr... Thank you for the rate up!

Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Beautiful, so beautiful Mary. Soothing, healing, touching, encouraging... a lots love and hugs to you and Phil, and thank you for bringing the angels of peace again into your Hub.

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

Last night I had dinner with an old school friend and we were giggling uncontrollably at something when we noticed a little girl at the next table looking at us in wonder...perhaps she had never seen adults behave like that before? :)

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Tatjana, thank you for bringing your energy here, I always feel connected to you. Love,hugs and much peace.

FP, LOL! My s/o and I get those "looks" of wonder from the very young. Glad you and your friend were not behaving like adults. :)

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

You know VioletSun, even when I was growing up - my mother (who would be over 100 now) laughed, as did her friends - and so many of the women in the neighborhood. I remember laughter and lots of smiling. But that has gone. Perhaps with women being so totally disfranchised back then, they made their own joy - but now being entrenched in the culture (and bombarded through ads, TV, movies, magazines, etc) - there is always a ridiculous standard we are supposed to meet. Buy these shoes, buy these cosmetics, lose weight, yet endless recipes for non-nutritious foods, the latest clothes and hairstyles, how to trap a man, etc. etc. Nothing empowering.

I have stopped buying women's magazine that tell me how to do more (not less) in less time. How to fill my day 24/7 - and then try and take 5 minutes for myself. Absurd.

We need to take back the joy. While there is always misery around us - scowling at it does not help us cope - but laughter gives us the strength to effect change.

Thanks for your hub. They are always great reminders for me and serve as a pep talk. So great I found this as soon as I logged on at 7am. Made me smile.

Rated up. Yay!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago

Blessings to you this lovely Sunday morning VioletSun,

What a wonderful Hub; thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights.

I wondered the same thing a few years back, about when the child-like light started to fade from my eyes. I gathered my grade school photos and layed them side by side. Sure enough, around age twelve and thereafter a certain sparkle had vanished.

I am a very happy person and live a wonderfully blessed life. Now.

My youth also became scary at the hands of relatives with perverted sexual drives taken out on a child. Adults all around barely able to cope with their own demons took their misdirected rage out on me.

The look of 'knowing' in my eyes scared them. An entire family trying to snuff out a small candle that may have been dimmed, but continued to light in even the smallest of places.

My candle burns brightly now, after decades of soul-work. I play and dance and create and jump in the surf and grow beautiful flowers and paint in watercolor and the child-like sparkle in my eyes has returned for the most part.

May each of us contribute to the nurturing of that special sparkle in all the children we encounter, young and old, including ourselves.

Blessings again to you VioletSun for such a loving Hub.

Namaste' EarthAngel

Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

Lovely hub, VioletSun. I like to do what you did, just sit down, watch and appreciate the pure and innocent little children and love them as who they are.

As I spend more time with children, understand, accept and sometimes guide them, I could do the same with other adults - understand and accept them as they are. It's not always perfectly beautiful and wonderful, but life is beautiful most of the time. :)

Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Ready your article is like taking a deep breath, lovely

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

BK, Come to think of it, I too have stopped buying magazines as I cannot connect to the superficial articles. The how to trap your man, still goes on and on after all these years in women's magazines, and the tips do not work. LOL. Best to be ourselves! Thank you for the rate up and your support. Wave "hi" to NY for me, miss my hometown. :)

EarthAngel, Reading your comments made my eyes, wet. It touched my heart and inspired me to read how inspite of a difficult childhood and youth, you did not let the light of your soul be extinguished. Painting, surfing, gardening and sharing of your light is awesome. We both know that when we live in a state of appreciation for the sacredness of life, we are contributing to the wholeness of the world, as we are all connected. May you light continue to shine!

Ingenira, I enjoyed Reading of your approach of watching the children and accept them , and in turn do the same for adults. I find that the when we live in a more accepting state, it creates a space to lead happier lives as most unhappiness is a state of mind.

Fossillady, Thank you for your kind comments. :)

Thank you lovely people for your beautiful thoughts. Enjoyed reading them!

TheListLady profile image

TheListLady 5 years ago from New York City

Ah so true Violet Sun. You know I just recently realized that I had totally lost my childhood joy - when I adopted a rescue cat. With this wild and crazy feline I have never laughed so hard, ran so much, I mean she actually plays tag and hide n' go seek. And right now she is sitting on my desk - thinking of what fun thing she could do. My mother would say she is just so happy to be a cat. How have I not had this silliness in my life. I must always remember to be just so happy because I am a woman - which means I'm supposed to have joy in my life.

Thanks for another hub to make me smile - and rated up of course!

GNelson profile image

GNelson 5 years ago from Florida

My wife and I spent some time on Sanibel Island. We went to the pool at dusk and no one else was there. We floated in the pool as it got dark and watched the stars come out. One at a time at first, but before long they lit up the sky. Neither one of us had done that since we were children. It was a joy!

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

TheListLady, I was smiling while reading your comments. What fun to let the child in you play and with a loving animal. Good for you!:) Thanks so much for the rate up.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

GNelson, OMG, I had little goosebumps, just vizualizing the wonder beauty of floating in the pool and watching the stars come out one by one. Beautiful! Thanks for the share!

neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

we cannot be chidlike all the time but yet as long as we realise we need to be that often enuf life will be is the speed of living, as one comment says, that drains us of the childlikeness. if we stop to smell the roses we will again reconnect to our core and be what you have become.

great going VS keep at it!!!!!!

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Neeleshkulkrani, Thanks for your comments!It's encouraging to see that there are many adults who realize the importance of stopping to smell the roses often; adds balance to our adult lives.

Lene Lynn 5 years ago

Excellent article! You and I had much the same childhood, from what I can tell. And yes, laughter definitely can touch and heal not only the mind and body but the soul as well...the soul is the part of you that is remembered as your personality when you pass on to the next life and those that are left behind describe you! Thanks for such a wise and gentle article!

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Lene, We may have taken our lessons to be where we are now in understanding,love and compassion; so glad that the light of the soul cannot be extinguished. in this life or the next. :)

Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Liked your hub! Thanks! In reading your followers' comments, it seems like some are re-discovering their youthful joy. What a gift you have given.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Truckstop Sally, Thank you for your kind comments, I feel gratitude in reading the comments of my readers. Pretty awesome to see the child in them play. :)

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Marie-what a powerful quote you started this hub off with. I always am excited to read your work as I know it will be rich with inspiration. This hub brought a beautiful question to reflect on. I will take time this week to think of my own transition between being a carefree, joyfilled child of God and one who grew frightened of life, scared to have to grow up and very, very serious.

It has been a gradual process for me to learn to 'let go' of the seriousness of life and live more compassionately for myself and others.

It has been an equally challenging and sometimes daunting journey to unlock the natural joy that lay dormant within.

Thank you for a wonderful and thought provoking hub. Namaste.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK

Many years ago I took my youngest son to one of those play rooms they have. I went on all the slides and dived into a paly area with small plastic balls - until I saw the other parents congregating around the pen and looking at me curiously. The reason I looked up and saw them was because I noticed that the plastic balls were breaking from my weight. I cannot wait until I grow up :-)))

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Denise, If i encouraged yout reflect and let that inner child in you come out and play, I am honored. I too enjoy your work, so thank for your conitnuing support. Love to you.

DG, Aaaw, I like that, you cannot wait to grow up. Funny visuals of DG breaking the plastic balls that were meant for little kids. I get on swings and hope a little kid is not on one when I want to play. LOL.

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Marie, I am in deep appreciation for the work that I do. For being surrounded with kids, they teach me about childlike joy every single day. Not a day goes by when I hear them laugh or giggle about anything and everything. When I feel tired from doing paperwork, I would sneak into the classroom and their energy just robs off on you. And a smile sneaks back into your heart. Thank you for this sweet hub. Thumbs up!

anjalichugh profile image

anjalichugh 5 years ago from New York

"I wondered when did I lose my childhood joy? When laughter was exhilarating, and the world was a playground?"

Well, these seem to be my words. I sigh ..I cry...I wipe my tears and get on my feet again. Thats what life has been like. May be it was meant to be like that. People say that we should look at the bigger picture but (honestly sometimes I get completely disillusioned. Everything I do, seems meaningless...worthless. Till now I have not been able to see the big picture but possible some day I may. Who knows!!!

As usual Marie, your words..your thoughts touch the core of my heart and some buried memories resurface. Thx for being around.

ImChemist profile image

ImChemist 5 years ago

Thanks for this great hub , that rated awesome.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Michelle, I thought of you, really. I remember you were trained as a dentist but decided to become a teacher of children, and Spirit/God knows what He was doing, guiding you into a path that would be in perfect alignment with your spirituality. Being in touch with the joy and innocence of children gets you even closer to God. We all know children are the closest to God as they don't yet have the judgements that create separation. Hugs and love to you my friend. :)

Anjali, I don't know how to say this in a way that makes sense to most, but I think it will to you: being disillusioned, not being able to see the "bigger picture" is often the stepping stone or portal that propells us into a great spiritual awakening where life becomes an amazing place of peace and the beauty of joy. I think of Eckhart Tolle who suffered so much he wanted to die, and he woke up on morning and realized he was not who he thought he was, he had an instant shift of consciousness that gave him freedom from his emotional suffering. Same for Byron Katie, she was agoraphobic, 200 pounds, suicidal, and woke up to realize she was NOT her thoughts. My consolation is that we have so many teachers who have found enlightenment or at least inner, true inner peace, that we may not need to sink very low to see the Light. Hang in there, you are on the path of light. Love and hugs.

IMChemist, Thank you so much for the rate up! :)

gr82bme profile image

gr82bme 5 years ago from USA

I still act like a kid. You are only here once. Enjoy it!

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Gr82bme, Wonderful, I wish more adults acted like kids, the world would be more joyful! :)

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Marie, I reflected on what you wrote back to me and that is why I guess now I understand why I need to share my growing years with God. As a child, (looking back) I didn't have issues about Him and so was able to establish a personal relationship that helped me survive life then :) I am delighted to find people like you to journey life with! And oh, I came back to say thank you for sharing the link of my hub-the missing piece! Thanks Marie..for being you! Love and hugs.

Joshua Kell profile image

Joshua Kell 5 years ago from Arizona

Beautiful and illuminating. Thank you.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Michelle, Your relationship with God is the foundation or your life and living, and its beautiful. Thanks for sharing of yourself with me and those who are blessed to cross your path. Keep doing the work you are doing, its a blessing to the world. And you are most welcome, like to link your work!

Joshua, Thank you for your comments. :)

Rhonda Waits profile image

Rhonda Waits 5 years ago from The Emerald Coast

I was truly inspired when I read this. It is just beautiful. Voted up beautiful.

Sweet wishes Rhonda

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Hi, Rhonda, thank you so much for the rating, and feedback. I am always appreciative when readers take the time to leave their comments. :)

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Oh if we could all be Peter Pans. I so miss my childhood days of frolic and merriment and playing in the streets so many different games. We never locked our doors, life was great, no fear of being mugged in the streets or drugs peddled everywhere.

Sure I had the misfortune of being in a an abused household due to alcoholic parents, but me my brother and five sisters enjoyed the escape to the streets for tons of fun. Thanks for the share, I really enjoyed this Hub.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Wouldn't it be fun to be Peter Pans? LOL. However, we can still connect to that childlike wonder and freedom that is inside everyone, while living our adult lifes. Thanks for the share, can visualize, little saddlerider having on helluva of a good time. :)

dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Marie, recapturing our childlike joy is what I have been doing for the past month. I remain amazed at how our spirits vibrate in the same beat. Blessings:)

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Daisy, this is why we connected! :) Thank you for your presence here. Love and blessings~

toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Beautiful hub. The child we once were still lives inside each of us. Your writing is an important reminder of that. Well done, rated up and beautiful.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Toknowinfo,Its comforting to know the child we once were still lives inside each of us. :) And thank you for your rating, its appreciated.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago

Violet Sun, This is a perfect write and describes the absolute nesessity of "wonder" in our lives , I understand all too well what happens when a child loses or never attains the freedom of learned wonder! I cant think of one thing that hasent already been said here. I too have watched a mother teaching her children about small wonders and them reacting with absolute delight. Perhaps thats why small things like the laughter of children at play go so deeply into our hearts. You and your guy are extremely lucky to share that trust and freedom for the soul! I once watched a woman stopping by the side of our road just to get out of her car and reach her hand into the wildflowers at the edge of the road and I thought , there is a woman who understands magic. Be well my friends.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Ahorseback, The woman picking up the wildflowers is one who does indeed understand the magic, thanks for sharing this. I see children as teachers and reminders to stay in wonder no matter what life's ups and downs may be.

LucasKl profile image

LucasKl 5 years ago from Hamburg, Germany

VioletSun, thanks for this wonderful hub. It is so true, we forget so many things that we knew naturally when we were children ...

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Hi Lucas, its interesting I have recaptured some of my child like joy now that I am a baby boomer, better late than never. :)

Thanks for your comments and welcome to Hubpages!

Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Creative article you actually shared in here which i so much enjoyed reading from.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Sun-Girl, Happy to read you enjoyed reading my article. :)

shimla profile image

shimla 5 years ago

That's the first time I have seen that excerpt from "Dance with Truth" - what beautiful wisdom. I am loving your hubs!

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Shimla, I shouldn't be surprised as we know how perfect Creation is, but just an hour ago, I was struggling with my manuscript from "Dance with Truth" and felt like tossing it aside, and start writing something else, but couldn't think of anything as I need to be true to myself, but my spiritual thoughts are not always mainstream. I am going to go ahead and finish my little book of spiritual musings, release it and trust. Thanks for being the messenger!

sriparna profile image

sriparna 5 years ago from New Delhi

Thanks violetSun - your hub has touched my heart. Adulthood is full of judgements, pre-conceived notions, criticism, creating impressions: to be free of these and let your hair down to do things which you did in your childhood would be so lovely. As a teacher, I do feel energized when amongst the children, but in reality I have lost those innocent joys of my life. Very inspiring hub!

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Sriparna, You are blessed to be a teacher, you get to be around the energy of children. I hope you recapture some of the innocent joys of your life, it's never too late. :) Thanks for the follow and your support!

Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

I lvoe it, mae me smile and made my day, keep thiese coming. I have stumbled it for hopes for traffic blessings for you.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Rebecca, You are very kind, thank you! Always enjoy your visits to my hubs. :)

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

Lovely! Voted up and beautiful! :D

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Thank you, Suzanne for the vote and rating! :)

carcro profile image

carcro 5 years ago from Winnipeg

You have hit the mark, if we could only bring back the feelings of when we were kids. That's when everyday was an adventure, couldn't wait to see my friends after school and throughout the summer holidays. Rated Up and Awesome.

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Great insight here Violet Sun. Uncontrolled laughter and joy. That is what's missing in too many homes. Milk snorting, rib tickling, floor rolling joy. And so many kids just want a little attention and to make some memories of having fun as a kid.

Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

great hub - enjoy the moment and look for the magic in it - just like a child.... love this hub - thanks

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Hello Peg and Neil: I did not get an email notification regarding your comments and the comments needed approval which I don't do, I let comments go through. Looks like a Hubpages glitch.

Peg, I chuckled at the visuals of milk snorting, LOL! But yes, we must let the JOY be expressed, it's very balancing. :)

Neil, Thanks for your comments, and yes, looking for the magic of the moment is the way to go.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

....I try to act accordingly, and become childlike, to entertain my many thoughts and ideas as a writer and hopefully it's not childish - lol lol - but your writing recaptures many many things deep down in me - and that's what great writers always do - lake erie time ontario canada 8:44am

Simi 4 years ago

Words cannot do justice to the gratitude I am feeling for this post since it felt like someone was talking about my life. I will rediscover that joy. You have inspired me, thank you.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 4 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Simi, Thank you! It is wonderful you found this excerpt from my book when you needed this. It's never too late to recapture our childhood joy. I am a Baby Boomer and I have finally recaptured that joy and wish the same for you.

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Awesome hub on Recapturing Our Childlike Joy the photo says it all you have accomplished a well thought of hub

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 3 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie Author

Thank you DDE for reading and your comments. :)

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