Innocence, according to all accepted definitions, is freedom from guilt or sin. And even though that’s an appropriate and practical definition of the word, it’s not everything innocence is.
To me, innocence is more than that. It’s the ability to innately feel joy, passion and desire without fear of having it wrecked. It’s about being open to the world and to others, without cynicism or skepticism.
This is something we eventually lose, whether entirely or in part, and it’s a normal part of growing up and going through life. If you think about it, you can look back at some of the moments where you lost part of your innocence.
You will remember some of the stories, and others you might have forgotten because it seemed so inconsequential at the moment. However, our innocence is not lost by the things that happen to use.
In fact, we can experience many dark times, go through incredibly difficult experiences, and still come out on the other end with an innocent heart. This is because innocence is not about being naive, it’s about closing your heart and your mind to the rest of the world.
Things happen to us that make us lose our openness to people, to life, and to desire. Our ability to enjoy the present and truly live it gets compromised. We stop laughing and playing carelessly, and enjoying thing becomes a more conscious effort than it was when we were younger and things hadn’t happened to us.
We can also become cynical and stop being surprised by anything. This is because we’re making the effort not to be fooled or disappointed anymore. In losing our innocence, we’re convinced it was a mistake to open our hearts in the first place. If we hadn’t been so open and carefree, we could have avoided abuse or betrayal.
In the end, the loss of innocence is the loss of interest in the world and everything in it. Life becomes boring and we feel passionate about nothing. This is why regaining your innocence is so important. Not just to feel desire and passion again, but also to make peace with ourselves and the things that made us who we are.
How to Regain Your Innocence
If you want to regain your innocence and experience what it’s like to open up your heart again, you need to learn how to enjoy things again. Allowing your heart to regain its innocence means you need to know what it’s like to feel awe and wonder again.
Awe is an emotional response that transcends our current frames of reference. What this means, is that it’s a feeling that takes over our entire bodies when we’re in the presence of something grand, something out of the ordinary and transcendent. In other words, awe is the way we experience wonder and amazement. Our minds are blown, we don’t have words to describe what we feel.
This response can be triggered by many different things. Listening to a baby’s first laugh, being intimate with someone you love, going to a concert, having a particularly good meal, watching a really good show or movie, and many other things.
These moments are labeled as awesome, which has become quite a tired word recently. We label almost everything as awesome, but it used to be used only to point out things that were truly grand and that caused awe.
It’s important to understand that awe is something we can feel when it comes negative things as both good and bad things have the power to take our breath away. The constant 24-hour news cycle and endless bombardment of bad news have led many to suffer from information overload and a sense of hopelessness in the world in which we live.
Awe, whether it’s a result of the beautiful or the terrible, is something that makes you feel alive. This feeling snaps you right out of a funk. Experiencing it, no matter the reason, will trigger something deep within you that you know is true.
Allowing yourself to experience awe and wonder again will make you more caring, empathetic, generous, and more connected to the world around you, which is key to becoming open again. This feeling allows you to love more, or at least to be open to the possibility of love. Awe makes us innocent again.
So, if you want to regain your innocence, you must look for ways to experience this feeling as much as you can. There are many different ways to do this, one of them is to get in touch with nature.
Nature is full of wonder and truly awesome, amazing sights. It has the power to replenish us and make us feel whole. Being with others is also something that can make us feel awe and wonder. People-watching is a great practice and when you’re walking down the street, you can catch many magical moments if you put your mind to it.
Being able to recognize the wonderful in the mundane is key to regaining your innocence and your ability to feel passion. Our lives are full of things that can shake us and inspire us to open up a lot more. The trick is to find them!
To do that, you need to become aware of what you find amazing, of what makes you feel whole. If you enjoy music, then seek experiences that will put you in front of something great. Seek out concerts, go to underground gigs, get in touch with musician friends, learn a new instrument.
If you’re happiest around people, seek them out. Find ways to connect with others, welcome them into your life, hang out with them, do new things together. If you enjoy food more than anything, expose yourself to new flavors and foods. Take cooking lessons, try out a new restaurant, come up with your own recipes.
Regaining your innocence is possible, all you need to do is put your mind to it and focus on the good.