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Toddlers as the True Integrators

Beatrix (who turns four next month) loves to hear and tell stories about when she was a baby. She loves to make reference to something that happened three months ago as “back when I was a baby.” She’s constantly taking in new data about the world and naturally integrating it into her holistic understanding of herself. 

I remember doing that too as a child. Of being fascinated by my personal history and having a crystal clear picture of it. I lost that somewhere along the way, in the amassing of so many experiences, in the exponential-ization of my life. At times I felt I could keep a handle on it through journaling. The years when I didn’t journal feel lost to me in a way. And then I lost the sense of permission to look at my whole life and call it mine, or be able to explain it to myself. 

She recently grabbed my phone to take photos and now I have a treasure collection of things she deemed photo-worthy, including her cute little fox sock

So this very intentional integration has felt like giving myself back to myself so that I can access all of the wisdom I’ve been allowed to live in, accumulate, develop. 

I want to be more like Beatrix when I pick up something new and can connect it to another part of myself. There’s a joy in that. And it makes it solid, less forgettable. 

The next time something in the moment zings to a moment in the past, don’t resist. You aren’t (or don’t have to) live in the past. You can simply connect more of yourself to the present moment. 

Beatrix capturing her own reflection


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