My cousin was 8 months old when we first met. She was not yet talking, not yet walking. But full of so much personality and expression. Pure love and joy and exploring her life. And I had this thought: You mean everyone started out this way? This small? This utterly new to the world?
For some reason it astonished me. Even though it was beyond obvious. Yes, we all start as babies. But somehow I didn’t really get what that meant. I had very little experience with babies, and didn’t really appreciate how they were. Until I spent time with her, this little 8 month old person. After that, something changed for me.
It occurred to me that everyone at 8 months old is completely lovable, and is doing the best they can to be in and figure out the world.
I looked at people differently after that. Strangers. Co-workers. Old people. Young people. Ex-boyfriends. My family. Famous people. Homeless people. I look around my world and know that everyone here was 8 months old once. And even though our bodies grow and we have new experiences and we act in ways that are not always loving or inspired or kind. . . that essence of being 8 months old and completely lovable is still there. We are still doing our best to be in and figure out the world. I don’t think we ever lose that.
Sometimes, when someone rubs me the wrong way, I’ll think, In this moment you are very annoying, but 8 month old you is still freaking adorable. It makes it easier for me to connect to love and to stay open with people. The more love I feel, the more it moves through me, the more vibrant and tender this life is for me.
So remember to discover the obvious because it might be a door that grants access to layers and layers of wonder. It might even open up a depth of love you hadn’t noticed was there.
Be curious. Savor all of it.