by Jacqueline McFadden
Recently I got a lovely card from a colleague who wanted to tell me how much she had enjoyed the year working together. In the same card, she also wrote: “Don’t be afraid to have fun”. What did she mean? I asked myself. Was I not fun to be around? Was I so serious? When I stopped being defensive, I saw clearly that yes, I was rather serious – actually very serious! For the last two years life had become even more so, (due to health reasons). I then started to realise most of my life had been serious – with having many responsibilities from a young age.
Being a single parent with two children is hard, and can feel like a serious job, especially when trying to be both mother and father to your children. But that was then, and those responsibilities are long gone. My children have their own lives now; yet, I cannot seem to shake this seriousness that hangs around me and follows like a dark shadow.
Why is that, I asked?
The truth is, I have forgotten how to play, how to have fun – how to play with others and enjoy life. It feels to me a very long time ago that I knew how to do this… how to have fun. I recollect my childhood and I cannot remember having fun, being silly, playing, playing with others and laughing. That said, every child knows how to play – but I lost that somewhere along the way when I shut down as a child.
What to do? Should I see if there are any courses or workshops on how to have fun? This makes me laugh, considering it is a natural thing for children to play and have fun. On pondering further I see that there have been times when I have had fun recently – albeit only a handful. How can I change this? How do I play with life, how do I remember and reconnect to the magic of life? How do I make playfulness ‘my way’ on a daily basis is my question.
The answer comes: feel and re-connect to the part of me I had lost…
I blanked out most of my childhood, not wanting to feel what was really going on in my family.
This fills me with such sadness that I cannot hold back my tears. The sadness of feeling that my environment did not support me to be me – to be all of the real me.
As soon as I blanked or shut down my ‘child’hood/part I lost the playfulness and fun and joy I naturally held as a child and slowly over the years, seriousness crept in.
After the sadness came some resistance to letting go of the old, the familiar and the shadow, which I have hidden behind. For if I ‘let go’ I might be seen, and I’m not sure if I will be safe. It all feels a little scary, after years living in the shadow, yet something from inside pulls me to walk out of the shadow and walk in my own light and joy.
The expansion I feel from this pull or call supports me to see that it is safe for me to reconnect to that part that I blanked out – my childhood, and the fun, the laughter, the playfulness that I now wish to express.
In this expansion I see how simple my life has become, which makes me feel joyful and light. Simplicity has removed the dark shadow of seriousness that I walked around in for a very long time.
Keeping life simple, and living a simple life each day, staying humble, and sharing from my heart, sharing all of me and not holding back is how I can play with life, is how I can feel the magic of life all around me, and is how I make playfulness ‘my way’ every single day.
It is time to be seen. It is Time To Play and have some fun.