The Child Archetype Can Be the Doorway to True Joy

The Child Archetype can be the doorway to true joy.

Playing games like jacks, hide-n-seek, tag, catch, cards, and coloring with crayons all bring joy to the human spirit. Even if we didn’t have much opportunity to be a child when we were young, we can choose to play now. Playing as adults can be comforting, opening doors to relaxation and evoking sensations of being alive with wonder.

Adult play can have the same power as child play. A sense of innocence and enthusiasm can be experienced with a simple game of cards, dancing, singing, playing a favorite sport, painting, praying, reading a good book, and yes, even a video game.  Just observing children at play can be enough to tap into our fond childhood patterns and memories.

Why is it important to be aware of the child archetype? The calm innocence of a child’s presence can be genuinely healing. Witnessing children playing in the sand or swinging on a swing can be healing, especially for those who have been deeply hurt. The joy and innocence of play can offer a profound sense of security within us.

One of the messages of the child archetype can be one of a ‘safe survival’. We can trust that all is well; we are safe and cared for by a loving parent or community. This trust can offer us relaxation and rest for our spirits. Relaxation helps balance our emotions. It allows us to discover a deeper trust safe people, of God, and of ourselves. When we learn the truth of our child archetypal patterns, this truth can bring us joy.

The next time you walk in the woods, examine crayfish in a stream, go fishing, or walk on the beach picking up stones or shells, tap into those beautiful safe memories. Time will stand still, and joy begins when we feel the rock in our hands and throw that rock in the water and watch the ripples.  We will sense an internal comfort that comes from slowing down and meeting one of our survival instincts: trust.

The child archetype helps us not to take life so seriously.  It can help us to enjoy life and trust ourselves a bit more as we lessen our hold on the worries and anxieties of our busy mind. The challenge for us is to surrender, not work, and to be aware of the shadow side of the child archetype, which makes us demanding, controlling, and prone to tantrums to grab attention needed for survival. Being aware of our fears and when we become demanding can be helpful as we learn to choose to play and trust ourselves.

Keeping ourselves safe and secure is our responsibility as adults. When we embrace the child archetype we have the tools and toys inside of us to cope with life. The child archetype is the guardian of innocence. Trusting our child archetype can be the doorway to deeper joy and peace.

Book Resources

Myss, Caroline, 2003. Sacred Contracts, Awakening your Divine Potential, Random House LLC, New York, New York.

Myss, Caroline, 2013. Archetypes; Who Are You? Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, California.

Hillman, James, 1983. Archetypal Psychology. Spring Publications, Thompson, Connecticut.

Moore, Robert,& Gillette, Doug, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. Harper Collins Publishers Inc. New York. New York.

 

Reference articles:

Rodrigues-Krause J, Krause M, Reischak-Oliveira A. Dancing for Healthy Aging: Functional and Metabolic Perspectives. Alternative Therapies in Health Medicine, 2018 Feb 10. pii: AT5656. [Epub ahead of print], PMID: 29428927.

Martin, L., Oepen, R., Bauer, K., Nottensteiner, A., Mergheim, K., Gruber, H., & Koch, S. C. (2018). Creative Arts Interventions for Stress Management and Prevention—A Systematic Review. Behavioral Sciences, 8(2), 28. http://doi.org/10.3390/ bs8020028

Baker FA, Metcalf O, Varker T, O’Donnell M. A Systematic Review of the Efficacy of Creative Arts Therapies in the Treatment of Adults With PTSD. Psychological Trauma. 2017 Dec 4. doi: 10.1037/tra0000353. [Epub ahead of print]

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