Babies Smile and We Disarm

by Golnaz, Bsc, London, Uk

I have often giggled watching people’s response to a young baby and how self-consciousness is abandoned – all manner of silly behaviours come out and anything goes, just to keep the baby’s attention a few seconds longer. The baby looks straight in your eyes, smiles, and even a big tough adult melts and is disarmed. I have often wondered, what exactly is melting? What is being disarmed?  And what is it about the baby that is causing this?

I live in a densely populated city and during rush hour train rides everyone avoids each other’s gaze.

This ritual is repeated at least twice a day, 5 days a week. It’s crazy…. we have to stand a few inches apart, no choice but be aware of the person next to us, but instead of making contact, everyone grabs something to read – and if there is nothing to read, everyone stares intently into thin air!

But in this same city early in the mornings, or in quiet places as I walk past a new person, when no-one has had a chance to prepare themselves for the unexpected meeting, the person often looks up, we catch each other’s eyes, there is often a nod, a smile or a hello.  There is a natural joy of meeting another and a desire to make contact.

I have often wondered why we have this discrepancy.

I have learned that I have carried an invisible shield of protection most of my life.  This shield has closed the possibility of my meeting others with the openness of a baby.  I have not been able to connect to people to the extent that I wanted to, and that has brought me great sadness. I knew I was selectively more open to some people, but when I became honest I realised even that had strings attached, so I wasn’t fully open.  Did I even know what fully open was anymore?

Then I saw the whopper. I started observing people; I noticed this layer of protection on almost everyone on the train, at work, in the supermarket, on the street! Whoah! If pretty much every one learns from young to create a shield, and there is no true interaction possible, no wonder the world is as it is – how ungracious people are with one another on a daily basis, the rising rates of mental illness, depression, family and community breakdown, crime, violence and wars. And it all starts with us hiding behind our shields.

The beauty of what I have learned since is how – through our daily choices – each of us can make a big difference, not only to our own lives, but to all around us. The fact that so many of us are invisible behind our shields does not need to be the end of the story.

A responsibility I have wanted to shirk off has been the fact that the more I hide behind my shield, the more I prove to another that it is necessary for them to hide behind theirs. If I continue in this way I am actually helping the people around me to not connect to one another and, like I did after a while, to think they ARE the protections and games they have adopted as their shield.

BUT… and it is a big gorgeous but… the more I express the love within me without protection and strategising –just like the smile of a baby – the more it allows others the space to reduce their reliance on their own shield.

I have had the opportunity to feel what happens when I meet another who stands as they truly are – no protection, no expectation, just love: I can breathe easier, I try less to prove anything, I give myself permission to be myself, all in an instant, without even thinking, it just happens, it is completely natural. What a beautiful gift. And I too can offer that gift to another.

Now my daily focus is to build my life so that it is loving, so that I know and deepen my connection to who I am.  It is becoming easier to recognise when the old protection and control comes out to play, and more natural to choose a more loving way.

LIVING THE LOVE THAT IN TRUTH WE ALL ARE when the shields and the lies are removed is the most natural thing.  

I am today more open and joyful in my life than ever, and I know I have just scratched the surface. It is all unfolding to a greater level every day. One delightful outcome of this is that I meet loads more people: they are meeting my eyes, nodding, smiling, sometimes starting a conversation, even on busy packed trains… even when there are no babies present!

331 thoughts on “Babies Smile and We Disarm

  1. Babies feel safe so we can drop our guard. A baby has no guard and perhaps it is our guards that hurt us all along. We’re all walking around with them up perpetuating the hurt we feel. But the hurt is never by another’s actions, only by our shutting off.

  2. We don’t feel judged by a baby, as they mainly go by their internal radar and just allow the joy of being them out and they don’t have to have it look a certain way like we have to, so that we can be accepted or get recognition. Babies just know how to be totally transparent.

  3. Babies are still very soulful and don’t have those demands in how we should be or behave. So we can easily relax. We look in the eyes of God when we look in their eyes. A direct reflection of the divine.
    We can wait for ever if we wait first for other adults to let go their protections and demands. We better start to let go that is the way we support humanity in its truest form.

    1. It’s another inspiring and very valid point from Golnaz’s blog, that when we make the first move to be open it can support others to drop their guard, otherwise as you say Sylvia it’s a waiting game (and perhaps a very long one!) to wait for others to drop their protection and guardedness first.

  4. Openness is very contagious and brings out a lot of playfulness and silliness in people – and it is true we all long to connect with each other, but rarely dare to really do it.

  5. It is beautiful to be disarmed of our shields and deeply connect to others, we are all craving it but can’t expect for another to make the first step… it is our responsibility to do so, showing others what is possible when we do.

  6. I have always had this feeling that the babies can see through everyone and everything, and actually felt self-conscious being around them. In their purity and innocence, if they started showing any sign of discomfort, god forbid, screaming in my presence, what does that say about me??!! Like, something is fundamentally wrong with me? Trusting and reconnecting to the truth that I am a Son of God and I am enough already and daring to let myself be seen and allowing myself to feel that I am actually being loved has been a bit of a process for me.

  7. The power, presence, stillness and joy a baby holds and emanates through a smile is still present within us as we grow up and become adults….. it is ever ready and available, waiting patiently for us to choose to reconnect with it.

  8. The natural joy of connection can be never reserved for one or two but is there, the same, for everyone we meet.

  9. The power of being open to others. Incredible the difference it makes. I have allowed myself to be more open, more vulnerable than I ever have been in the past and I notice how that really helps others around me feel more comfortable in dropping their guard. It has a very tangible knock on effect, and for me, that’s evidence based science.

  10. As we live in a society that currently champions our physicality as the be ‘all and end all’ of life, literally, we as a result relinquish the connection to the quality of our Soul which in-truth remains unchanged from the day we are born to the day we die. It is only our bodies that change, with the majesty of our Soul continuing to sparkle with the light of all that we are in essence. And it is only us that chooses the degree that we live in connection to our Soulfullness, as we naturally did when we were born, through which we can shine without hesitation or protection the joy of who we all are in essence, regardless of our age.

  11. I like how you use the word disarm to describe what happens to us when we see a baby and allow ourselves to just let go and how this lets you discover that it is ok to dismantle the walls of protection that we have learned to wear.

  12. Thankyou Golnaz, a beautiful read – do keep writing! It’s so simple with babies, exactly as you say they are open and loving with no protections – they reflect purity we all know we are. Babies are actually a really great marker to refer to as to where I am every day with regards to my own openness and joy, and how I am with connecting to and enjoying with a sense of wonder the world.

  13. What you have written Golnaz is so easy to see and understand, yet difficult to do. I have often watched myself in a shopping center and how prepared am I to open up to all who walk past me, letting my shield down for all to see who I truly am from within. Yes I am still guarded in this regard, however the opening is slowly happening and what a joy!

  14. I like doing that too Golnaz, catching people’s eyes and ‘disarming’ them in the nicest way possible with a nod or a smile. There is something very beautiful about connecting with a stranger then leaving knowing they are a stranger no more.

  15. Glorious Golnaz! What a delight it must BE to BE yourself. You are correct in saying everyone is just reflecting what each other is doing. In the city it would peak. And imagine what people are taking home? Home becomes a place to numb and comfort themselves from the pain of not having been yourself out in the world. I know it because I’ve been there.
    OR be yourself and change the world – better still melt the world – bring heaven back through our eyes and hearts. So, where does it start in the home or out in the world?

  16. It had never clicked for me that melting is like a disarming process – and in a world that we have collectively created where we have hardened our hearts so much so that when we get up in the morning we also get dressed into a defensive armour that both protects and shields us from the onslaught we perceive will come at us during our day. Therefore, is it not time that we all disarm, drop the shields we are hiding behind and the heavy armour we carry so we can feel far more open, lighter and loving and be the inspiration for others to do the same?

  17. I love the title of this article. It has me reflecting on times I’ve seen supposedly hard, ‘rough as guts’ people just completely let go when they are in the presence of a baby. Of course not all toughies give in to the magic of a baby, but it’s amazing to watch those that do. Those few moments where you get to see the natural them, the them that knows there is more to life than just pushing through it.

  18. I’ve noticed that adults who are completely open, true, loving and content with who they are can actually have the same disarming effect as a baby. Every single one of our interactions could be dynamite powerful if we take a moment to be deeply open and see someone for who they truly are.

  19. Dropping our protection might sound scary, but there is a great power in walking through life as who we truly are.

  20. How we are with babies or even younger people is a great example, we go to them in a way. In other words we are drawn to be child like when interacting with them. Likewise when we become older we all get into the serious stand back pot and pretty soon we all look the same or in some cases we don’t even look to see if we do look the same. To stand back from any relationship makes a gap and that gap will be filled whether you actively put something in there or not. It always comes back to our choice, when can either look someone in the eye and say hello and build on that or look the other way and allow the gap and then allow something else to build.

  21. The example you give of how everyone is on the London Underground in the rush hours each day is a classic example of how protected we hold ourselves in life. The same thing happens when we get into a lift with people we don’t know. The amazing thing I have discovered is that if I take the lead and start a conversation with openness and without protection, I can feel the other person’s shield melt and you can feel their relief that the tension has been broken.

  22. Living with shields of protection really is what is common place, we learn this from a young age, that we can’t be our delicate, gorgeous and lovely selves, we need to protect ourselves from what the world presents, I know that I did that and did that for my whole life, only just now in my forties realising that it is when you open up your heart, let people in, disarm yourself, that is the greatest gift you can give to anyone.

  23. “The beauty of what I have learned since is how – through our daily choices – each of us can make a big difference, not only to our own lives, but to all around us.” Yes and the true beauty is letting go of the behaviours and or old patterns that have kept us held back from the very essence of who we are and simply enjoying our connection and then enjoying the connection with others. I really love observing people through out my day especially on the train and when you catch the eye of someone and smile it really does make my day so much fun.

  24. It is sad that we need a baby’s smile for us to disarm. What a more joyful world we could be living in if we all unilaterally chose to disarm. The protection we build does no one any good whatsoever.

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