The ‘Innocent’ of Childhood

Small Girl Blowing Sparkly Stars

The Innocent. As a character type—what Jung or Hillman call an Archetype—the Innocent is most often a child. Since we have all experienced, to a greater or lesser extent, the innocence of being a child, then we each carry this Archetype of the Innocent Child within us.

In Life Mapping I coach people to identify and name their Life Chapters leading up to the Present.  Almost always, people name their earliest Life Chapter as something on the order of “Innocence”: a time of relative calm and joy preceding the Storms of life.

By a random review of a set of 9 Life Maps, 7 of their first Life Chapter titles reflect an innocence theme: “Innocence”(2); “Childhood & Youth” (2); “”Well Loved/ Happy”; “Pure Joy”; and “Oblivion”. The other two, I should note, refer to situations involving childhood trauma or abuse.

What was your earliest Life Chapter? To identify it, first think about your earliest major, pivotal life event, before and after which you feel that you were “not the same person”. Then think about the time of your life BEFORE that, between your birth and that first major turning point. As the author of your own Life Story, what title would you use to describe your early childhood?

If your first Life Chapter was not so bright and Innocent, how did that eventually get resolved, if it has been? Is there an Innocent you that was suppressed then?

If your early childhood was a time of relative Innocence (or if you can identify within yourself that archetype-Child who was suppressed), can you feel that Child archetype within you Now? What is she or he like? What does s/he–that part of you–love? How do you like to play, as your Innocent Child? Who is/was your BFF?

How can you best listen to, hear, and nurture your Innocent Child archetype today? Let him or her be a part of your conscious persona, because s/he is there regardless.

To be in better contact with your Innocent Child part-of-self, you might try DOING something you enjoyed most as that Child. Climb a tree? Go to a petting zoo? Sing a lullaby that your Mom or Grandmother once sang to you?

You can even write a dialogue in your journal—or have an active imagination encounter—between your Adult self today and your Innocent Child within you. I invite you to open your Heart to this inner part of yourself. You might be amazed—and even amused—by all s/he can show you!

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I invite you–as Innocent Child or adult!–to share your insights or story.

And always, Better Endings to You!

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