Remember those four words you dreaded every night as a kid, say around 8:00 or 9:00 p.m.? “It’s time for bed!” And you likely kicked and screamed as you pleaded for “just a few more minutes” because the thought of missing out on something felt awful. We felt sure the world would come alive the moment we were whisked away to our bedroom and we simply didn’t want to miss a moment of life.
And when morning came, we likely didn’t need the help of an alarm clock to jump out of bed. We just couldn’t wait to experience the excitement of a new day, to run and to play, to be with our friends, and to burst forth with curiosity and delight with everything, and everyone, that crossed our path.
Hmmm…sounds a bit foreign to us as adults, doesn’t it? In fact, I’d say our behavior is the exact opposite. Not only do we rely on the annoying tone of an alarm clock to wake us from our sleep, I’m pretty sure few of us would use the word “jump” to describe the slow ascent from our beloved bed.
So, what happened to us along the way? At what point did we switch from resisting our bedtime to relishing it? And when did we make the shift from beginning the day with joy in our hearts to starting it with a sense of dread in our bones?
You could say that “work” happened or “kids” or “responsibility” (or any number of things, really). And while those things may be true, there’s something deeper going on – something that’s preventing us from experiencing the sense of joy and wonder that were our childhood “companions.” Want to know if they’re still around? Just look at kids today.
It seems we’ve traded our treasured childhood companions for ones that are seemingly killing our spirits, and the spirits of those around us. Joy and wonder have been replaced by anger and cynicism. (Have you noticed how angry the world is lately?) It’s no wonder we don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.
So, what would it take for you to jump out of bed again with excitement and enthusiasm, like you once did as a kid? HINT: it’s not pain medication; it’s something inside of you.
And what would again give you that sense of wanting to stay up late at the risk of missing a moment of your life and being truly alive in the world?
I’m not suggesting you destroy your alarm clock or deprive yourself of sleep. What I am suggesting is that you destroy your disempowering thoughts so you’ll no longer deprive yourself of that sense of joy and wonder that has long sought to return to you like a childhood friend.
“It’s time for life!” Start kicking and screaming and pleading for more.