Recently I went to hear Don Jose Ruiz, the author of The Fifth Agreement, speak to a group of teens. He told stories about his own troubled adolescence and what it was like growing up as the son of best-selling spiritual author, Don Miguel Ruiz. He talked about his father making him stay home one night when his friends when out, and what it felt like to hear that their car had crashed and his best friend was killed. He talked about trying to take his own life with a knife.
When he finished speaking, he asked the audience for questions, and one young woman in the front row raised her hand.
“I’m seventeen,” she said, “and I’m afraid to grow up. I don’t want all the responsibilities of an adult. I want to stay a child. I don’t want to lose this part of me.”
The vulnerability in her voice was so touching. She was, I thought, more courageous than any “grown-up” in the room. And Jose’s answer was equally lovely.
“The child in you never goes away,” he said. “Ask any adult here if that’s not true. We never really grow up.”
Is there a part of you that you’ve been afraid you’ve lost? Can you take a moment to connect to the infinite, innocent essence of yourself? Today I choose to see everyone around me with the accepting eyes of a child, knowing that we are all children here.