You watch, a smile almost splitting your face in two as the child in front of you spins and spins, their joy squealing out to the world for every person within ear shot to hear.
It is the first time they have sat upon this piece of playground equipment, and the child, your child, is giddy and happy. Their abundant joy of just being is so evident.
They know joy.
They know love.
Unbeknownst to them, they are protected. By you.
They are happy to be in and of this world.
For them life for the most part, is filled with joy and happiness. It’s made up of soft teddies and full tummies, warm milk and cuddles.
As they grow, the only time they are truly sad is when their nappy needs changing, or their lollipop falls to the ground.
You’ve watched your child grow and develop. It’s been an amazing journey so far. As the child in front of you evolves, they make discoveries almost on a daily basis. Life is a happy place.
Through them, you perceive the joy that you too once had.
You wonder about your own joy. Where did it go?
You know you were just as joyful as a child too.
Like every adult before you, and everyone after… you grew armour and withdrew yourself from the world to a certain extent. How thick your armour, and how much you withdrew depends upon your life till this point.
Sometimes the armour wasn’t thick enough, so you laid more on creating layers.
If that wasn’t enough, you withdrew. Little by little until you felt safe.
It happened when someone died.
You were bullied.
Cut with words that hurt.
You were betrayed.
Each of these things and more are what built your armour so that you could continue to live in the world that you were born into.
There are few that you will remove your armour for.
Did you never wonder why people drink and get drunk? It’s so that they can take their armour off. Once again grabbing a piece of that joy that they lost and mourn so deeply for. The ones that do drugs? They too are trying desperately to attain that happy place once again.
I hide too.
There are things that you learn from your parents as you grow.
There are things that you don’t learn.
You don’t learn because they don’t happen in your world.
I only ever recall one party. I turned thirteen.
Holding parties for gatherings of people is my unhappy place. I just don’t know how to do them. I tried when I was younger. I wanted so badly for every one to enjoy themselves, but all I saw was failure as the last person left. So I stopped holding them for adults and laid more armour on.
We, each of us, have failings in ourselves. Things that we can or cannot do, things that make us uncomfortable. Fear and past hurts are what stops us from attaining so much. But only if we allow it.
Don’t be fearful. Be aware. Strive and overcome. And when you attain or overcome, then you will have lost a piece of that armour, and relive the happiness once more.