What Babies Teach Us

‘Paveli’ (c) Alvin Tanauan

Paveli is the first baby girl in the family. My younger sister gave birth to her the exact day when I posted Return to the Inner Child. That was really a timely moment. Five months have passed and it has been a continuing magical journey for all of us in the family to watch how Paveli grows. We see her amazing changes and we feel her pure joy. For me, watching her is almost a meditation of human life that coursing in, around and among us. Paveli, in her pristine being, like every baby in our lives, is an energy of pure Love.

Of course, all of us have encounters with babies – of other people if not our own, although it is still quite different to have a baby in the family, whether you are the parent or not. I am not really a hands-on uncle (my mom, my cousin and my sister are the ones attending to her), but I’m ready to pacify her whenever she cries. But as another human being who witnesses a newborn being, something along the way strikes me in the most unlikely and profound ways. I see this baby a mystery of my existence, and these reflections encompass many fields of knowledge that I am  somehow oriented with. And deep down those reflections have left me in deep awe.

My thoughts rewound back to the prehistoric age, at the time when humans were living in caves. In an era where huge and monstrous predators roam the Earth, and that extreme temperatures can easily freeze and grill any creature, how did the biology of human being choose to become so vulnerable as a newborn? Of all animals, only humans have less hair, no shells, no scales, no feathers, no thick scaly skin, not even a camouflage to protect itself. Yet as if our biology has put so much faith on life that its very structure and function trusts so well that it could thrive.

Being a human infant is no joke. Unlike our mammal counterparts, which mature and reproduce much earlier and faster after birth, we prefer to stay in the infancy stage for many years before we enter adolescence and start to mature for reproduction. Again, coming from this deep sense of awe, I have always wondered that this is not just about evolutionary biology. Humans have existed and thrive for a very cosmic reason. I could see these reasons symbolically and practically. We have chosen to grow in such unique pacing to demonstrate many of our subtle truths.

We can always trust that just by being alive, we are always nurtured, protected and Loved.

We were once babies. We were once joys and wonders of our parents until we were conditioned by the broken society around us. In truth, we had once lived in purest state of trust and unfathomable innocence. We did not have the awareness of a grown up when we were babies, for in our presence we trust our parents to feed, nurture and protect us. We did not need the words to say. We could not speak, so we simply cry when we were hungry, sleepy or irritated. And our needs were met, because we were Loved.

(c) Microsoft Image

Sadly, we have forgotten this kind of deep trust in our adulthood, yet the babies in our lives teach us such effortless mastery. Babies have given us the gift of awareness, as we pay attention to them, patiently taking care and watching them as they grow. They have given us the gift of newness, of living our days in fresh perspective. We see new and exciting changes in them – their first smile, their first spoken words, their first step as they learn how to walk. They have taught us to become more gentle, more careful, more caring as we hold them and make them sleep. In their sight, we earn the “license” of  being playful, of acting like clowns and fools, of making fun of ourselves just to make them smile – things that we shun or shy away in front of our adult-strained world. And when they cry or make mistakes, we naturally become more understanding, because it is in our nature to infinitely understand that which we Love.

We might not be babies, and we cannot anymore become one, but we can choose to awaken our innocence, to totally surrender to Life’s divine and unseen parent that is present in and around us. In times of our need, we can cry and let go our worries and struggles just like a baby. We can always trust that just by being alive, we are always nurtured, protected and Loved. Inside of us is an infant’s soul. Infans. In Latin, it means “unable to speak”. Babies, like Paveli, teach us not by speaking to us. If we are ready to feel them, we can learn from them by their presence – by being and becoming Love.

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8 thoughts on “What Babies Teach Us

    1. HI Anne! Thanks so much! Yep, Paveli is one sweet little angel. We’re so overjoyed just watching her. Every time I see her I instantly enter in a meditative mood. And now, I suddenly have an insight: the wisdom of living is to BE…that’s the last syllable for the word baby. Hahaha! 😀

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