Rediscovering A Sense of Wonder
When we hear of tragedy and are touched by the pain, suffering, and sadness other people are experiencing, it’s hard to keep despair at bay. But sometimes, among all of the tragedies, there are stories of kind, generous people joining together in a spirit of healing, forgiveness, and love. Some people have an ability to see beyond the difficult situations, and with a sense of wonder, find ways to open their hearts and help one another.
I believe this sense of wonder is often forgotten when we grow older, but it is possible to rediscover it. Think about when you were a child, or imagine a child you know now. A child sees the world through the eyes of wonder. A child doesn’t judge the hows and whys, but is simply in awe of life and views it with innocent curiosity. As adults, we tend to develop a need to know and control what will happen, instead of being open to what life brings us. Maybe some of this is necessary, but what if we could bring back a bit of that childhood wonder in order to move through life with more ease and contentment?
For a moment, imagine how it would be if you approached difficult situations by asking “I wonder why this is happening now?” rather than right away trying to control the situation. By asking this question, you allow yourself to have a sense of wonder of why things are the way they are, which can open you up to possibilities that you otherwise might not see.
Children naturally have a sense of wonder—everything is new to them, and so their curiosity and wonder help them move through life. What they lack in experience they can learn through questions and observations. As adults, we often feel like we need to have all of the answers instead of being open and curious about what life will show us. It’s not that we have to become completely like children and ignore our years of experience, it’s just that it can be helpful to access that wondering approach to life when we need it. The next time you are faced with a problem, try asking this question: “What is this experience trying to teach me?” Stepping back from a situation and asking a question like this can instantly shift your perspective and can relieve some of the pressure. You are giving yourself the time and opportunity to consider different angles and possible solutions so you can learn and grow instead of feeling beaten down by life.
Beyond asking the questions “I wonder why this is happening now?” and “What is this experience trying to teach me?” there is another way to recapture a sense of wonder—your imagination. One way I help people access their imaginations is through relaxation training. Learning how to relax not only helps you physically release tension from your body, but it also helps open up your mind to possibilities and creative thinking. I find guided imagery is an especially effective tool to tap into your inner resources and wisdom. Many guided imagery exercises can help you access feelings of curiosity, innocence, and wonder so you can remember to use them in your life.
Imagine living the life of your very best dreams. Imagine a life filled with exciting opportunities and joy. Create a sense of wonder within yourself—what it would feel like to realize these dreams. When you begin to see the potential of each moment, by being present and savoring life, you will be able to recapture that sense of wonder. It can guide you through life’s challenges and open the door of possibilities. Solutions to problems will come more easily to you and you will be better able to access resources and people who can help you.
May you rediscover your sense of wonder and live a full life.