You’re a masterpiece already. You are already whole. All of you is here, it just needs to be found, released and accessed, but it is here. You can (and should) seek outside for guidance, mentors and information, educate yourself on the facts but most of the work is an inside job. Children may not know much of the facts we’ve cluttered our brains and souls with by now, but they are much smarter in living well. They’ve got us beat when it comes to playing, and play is what we mostly do in this life, weather we understand this or not. If you weren’t playing why would you adapt your strategy all the time? Why would you feel the need to win if it is not a game? When kids first start playing they’re not mad if they “lose”. They have no concept of wanting to win over someone, they learn this behavior. Even if they don’t win they would be perfectly happy having had the chance to just hang out with others and interact. Although it is a game we forget is not a competition but a collaboration, a team sport. If you play as a competitor when you lose you’re the looser. If you play as a participant when you lose you still got to play and are grateful for the experience and the lessons of the game. The difference between living and playing is there are no do overs, there is no possibility of hitting “play again” once the screen flashes the “game over” sign, the stakes are higher and the rules not as clear. But still play fair, play with some grace, play it with all you’ve got in you.
Remember when you were a kid there was this sense of wholeness in everything you did. You could be immersed in a crucial task of following an ant on the ground for a whole afternoon and it was magic. The experience was full in itself, there was nothing missing, lacking or to be desired here, everything happening was perfect and complete unfolding exactly as it should with your privilege to observe and interpret. The experience was clean. You were not superior to the ant going about its ant business. You were just one life watching another and felt completely engaged and awake while doing it. You might have even gone to grownups to tell them about the ant and got that look you didn’t recognize back then which is a mixture of “aww how cute” and “I don’t have time for this”.
As we grow we forget what kids already know under the burden of what is expected from us, what we feel responsible for and compelled to do to be considered “successful” by adult criteria. Probably the ant has no consequence in the “big picture” as you trying to pay the bills right now, but it is equally valid… and we forget this while forcing them to get dressed, eat their breakfast and leave house on the schedule of our own world, on the schedule someone else made because you have to be somewhere. They don’t understand your schedule and why you get angry and frustrated when they don’t want to put their pants on, feel they need more sleep or when they won’t be quiet because some random story is just too good not to be shared while you’re still semi-awake. They don’t care about the schedules and rushing because it is not the natural way to live and they are still pure nature before “culture” beats and incentivizes it out of them. They are in the eternal now and are not refusing to drink their milk to be difficult. They may simply feel like they don’t need it now but we’re so used to doing things we don’t feel like doing that we forget how it feels to listen to our own bodies and rhythm. So here and there tear up the schedule, watch the kid doing its thing and actively try to remember how to get into that state of mind where you’re just fully here and now. There is a reason why in psychology the archetype of a child and a wise old man are the same. The old man is just a grownup who went through his whole life searching far and wide only to find out that what he was searching for was already there all along. It came with the package, we’re already complete.