Trust is a quality an innocent child possesses that is a key element in the Alchemy of childhood. A child’s trust can overlook many inadequacies of adults by virtue of their unconditional love and faith in the basic goodness of others. When maligned, of course, that trust may be damaged, shaken or broken altogether, in situations of callous neglect or abuse. But in a loving environment a child’s trust may know no bounds. They have faith in their dreams–however imaginary–and confidence in their ability to accomplish them.
As soon as you trust
You will know how to live.
I gave a poster with this Goethe passage on it to my little sister when we were teens. Somehow I associate it in the same memory frame with a printed passage I had taped to the back of a ceramic turtle in my bedroom: “Behold the Turtle! She makes progress only when she sticks her neck out.” These two simple passages were reminders to Trust, to remain open and accepting of my own inherent talents and to hold courage in stepping forth to germinate the seeds and ultimately to manifest my dreams.
Many of you who are readers of this blog are fellow writers and/or artists and dreamers. As you focus on memories of childhood, you can cultivate the archetype of the Innocent Child to gain Strength for advancing your dreams. Trust in your own inherent goodness of heart and listen to your inner Child, who can lead the way in forging your next bold steps with imagination and a creativity that knows no bounds.
No matter how an adult’s trust may have diminished over time through weathering the harsh vicissitudes of life, we can rekindle that trust in OURSELVES by attending to the Innocent Child within. We can re-parent our Child if there is a need to do so. Give your Child a name; Dialogue with him or her, either in a journal or by active imagination or meditation. Go out on a special day with your child, doing things you loved to do when you were younger. Prompted by a wonderful therapist some 25 years ago,I took my inner Child, April, to a drive-in theatre to see the Kevin Costner “Robin Hood” when it first came out. I bought her–represented as a pillow in my passenger seat–popcorn and candy and delighted in her enjoyment of the movie and of our companionship.
Many years later when I was developing the Life Maps Process, I learned about Archetypes especially from studying the works of Carl Jung and James Hillman on archetypal psychology. I developed an Archetype Dialogue Process that is a central component of the approach to personal growth I will be sharing with my upcoming book and self-help handbook, Life Paths.
Through dialogue with my own Innocent Child (a Descender archetype), I learned she has been primarily “underground” for many years because of dysfunctional family issues in childhood. She stayed “beneath” as I advanced into adulthood, preferring to stay in her own private space—like in a lower level, shadowy living room–alone, rather than dealing with the harshness of adults directly. Getting to know her—I now call her Little Linda—I have learned to visit with her on her own turf, going inward imaginatively to sit with her or to play with her in her own environment. Over time I have invited her to accompany me on a more conscious level, for fun outings together.
A couple of years ago I knew I had succeeded in helping Little Linda to ‘surface’. I was at a spiritual workshop. One activity allowed for quiet contemplation, during which I checked in with her.
“I don’t want to just stay down here alone anymore. I want to be a part of your Life!” she told me in that active imagination contemplation.
After the contemplative period I approached several ‘choice’ friends at the workshop. I told them I wanted to introduce them to Little Linda and I let her say to them directly, “I want to help and to know you, too!”
My friends understood (a good thing, for sure)! Little Linda had “stuck her neck out.” And we are going forward together, ever since, with Trust that we will accomplish our Dreams!