“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we have learned here...”
~ Marianne Williamson
(from the Introduction in A Return to Love)
By Kerri Romeo
This is my Alice:
Of course I am an adult now and as you know by now my name is actually Kerri, but when it comes to politics I often find myself feeling like this sensitive child, still discovering parts of society I had not known or understood before. At first I felt foolish when everyone else seemed to know more than me. However, recognizing that we are all learning, I found myself becoming “curiouser and curiouser” (as Alice would say) as I went further into the rabbit hole.
If you ever fear being judged by the “adults” (aka the establishment) for questioning the status quo or feel like you are expected to just ‘do as you’re told’ by our country’s leaders and their supporters, even if it doesn’t feel right, or find your own close-minded adult-self denying or resisting the truth, or you find politics mentally and/or emotionally exhausting, reconnect with your inner Alice (or Al for the male readers). In the child’s world of wonder and imagination there are more colors than red and blue and knowing your left from your right doesn’t matter, but curiosity does.
Have you ever talked with a child and been blown away by their brilliant sense of observation? What were you like as a child? Were you outgoing and inquisitive? Were you shy and introspective? As an adult, have you lost touch with your own curiosity? Have you stopped asking questions? When did you start to just accept what is because that is what adults are supposed to do? When did the fear of being yourself (because society showed you it was not okay to be) set in?
Your Alice/Al is a main character in this country’s re-awakening story. Not to be mistaken for child’s play, you will undoubtedly find yourself challenged by misleading information and frustrating “characters” (aka politicians, media figures and less-conscious citizens) along the way. What would a child do? Ask questions, find a mentor or teacher (Have you been listening to Ask Jesse?), explore different topics and views than your normal go-to’s and use your imagination to understand what it is like to be in another person’s circumstances.
This process is not to be misunderstood as immaturity. Contrariwise, learning and growing is a natural process of maturation. Throughout this process you will likely make your own mistakes along the way. I have! I have been led into the mainstream media narrative a time or two, but like Alice, I have also been able to more easily recognize when something wasn’t making sense and changed course. The advantage to reconnecting with your child-like curiosity is that your mind is more open and unbiased, you begin to notice what you have learned to overlook or disregard as an adult and you will unapologetically change your mind when you learn something closer to the truth.
There is a distinction between child-like observation and childish reaction. The first is an innate open-hearted and open-minded point of view, the second is a conditioned response based on past negative experience (personal and/or societal) or information that may be false. While healing the wounded inner child will be an important and necessary part of the process (our country reflects this need in both our leaders and our citizens), we need to know in our hearts what we are healing for. We were never meant to lose our sense of wonder and interest in the world just because we grew up.
Kerri spends her days as an office administrator for a ballet barre manufacturer and her free time playing frisbee with her dog in NJ. Often at a loss for words in person, she writes to make sense of the world and connect with others. She wishes for more curiosity & kindness in the world.