Ever since I have recovered from cancer, I have celebrated 2 birthdays every year: the original one, and the day I was healed, my re-birth.
Now, as I’m celebrating my 40th and 6th birthday, it’s a great opportunity to examine my view on life as a little child in comparison to my views today.
When I was 6, all I wanted to do was play. Whether it was football with friends, or with my toys, I only wanted to have fun. No worries whatsoever.
At 40 I’ve noticed that most of my worries are only in my head, and for that reason I have stopped playing a lot of the times. Today I realize that life is an experience, and each moment should be looked at like that kid, making sure you are surrounded by as many games as possible.
When I was 6, I used to yell at my parents, be angry at them, fought with them, and sometimes even hated them. I couldn’t understand why they were setting boundaries instead of letting me be who I was!
At 40 I understand that I am who I am thanks to them! I remember to hug them every chance I get, acknowledge and thank them for not giving up on me, try not to get mad at them, and remember that every moment I spend with them is pure and that it could all end in a second.
When I was 6, I fought with my classmates, didn’t want to play with them, hated and boycotted them, and in some occasions even cut off contact with them.
At 40 I realize that the ones who stuck with me through it all are real friends that I should never give up on, and I try to keep them close as much as I can. Today I realize there is nothing more important in life than friends and family.
When I was 6, I believed with all my heart that I could grow up to be whatever I wanted to be; a firefighter, a doctor, a pilot, an astronaut. Everything my imagination desired was an absolute reality to me.
At 40 I understand I was not mistaken, I just lost track of my dreams somewhere down the road. Today I understand that if I can imagine something, there is no reason it can’t happen. All you need to do is go through with your plans and believe in them.
When I was 6 I was certain that pocket money was the essence of life; whether it was Passover, Hanukkah, or every single meeting with my grandmother. I couldn’t wait for the holidays to come.
At 40 I can see that I’m not going to take that money to the grave, but the experiences I create on the way, keep me alive every moment.
When I was 6, I thought I’d live forever, so I did what I wanted, how I wanted, without giving much thought to the consequences.
At 40 I know that life has an expiration date, and that every second is a gift I won’t get back, and if I don’t use each second to do what I love and what best fits me, I’m not sure I will get to fully unwrap this gift.
When I was 6, I was certain that everyone was against me. They made me go to school, brush my teeth, told me what to do, ordered me to go to sleep and decided what was right for me and what wasn’t. My life was stuck.
At 40 I can see that everything in my life is the story I tell myself. There is nobody to blame, and my choices are my sole responsibility. The decision of whether to suffer or dance through life is only mine.
When I was 6 I believed that love meant pulling some girl’s hair, hitting your brother and sister or humiliating weak people; anything to get their attention and prove that I exist.
At 40 I realize that true love has nothing to do with me. It’s about seeing the other persons and giving them their place and space. even if they don’t want me, or think the same way as me, or treat me differently than what I expect.
When I was 6 I believed that the amount of laughter I got from my jokes was proof of my worth, even when that laughter was on my behalf.
At 40 I can see that if I don’t feel worthy and value myself, and love the sum of all my parts, no one and no laughter can really make up for it.
When I was 6 I believed that being a kid is a kind of prison, and I couldn’t wait to be free like the adults.
At 40 I understand that real freedom is connecting to that kid.
A lot of times in life I used to judge the kid I was and get mad at him for who he was and what he did. Today I know that the kid in me is inseparable from my identity, and only if I listen to him, accept him and hold him tight, will I remember who I really am. Then, there’s no limit to where life can take me.
Don’t lose the child in you.