So much has been said of the loss of innocence and how it cannot be regained. It is narrated as though a death happened and a new and darker way of being has begun with the prior, lighter and better way gone permanently.
It is our of exposure to the dark, the dirty, or the sinful murder innocence and puts it in the grace forever.
In such a narrative the one who lost the innocence has lost it completely and cannot make claims of innocence any longer. It is as though they are themselves lost forever, permanently stained, and have gone beyond the reach of anything that could redeem them.
I do not believe this narrative. It is a lie.
Innocence is not an all or nothing reality. Exposure to some dark stuff or even experience in the darkness is not some instant death of innocence. Innocence, in my understanding of it, is not easily killed off.
In fact, so long as a person lives, there is innocence. Innocence does not die while the person lives, but instead it can be injured. And anything injured can be healed, attended to, or adjusted to.
We do not walk this earth with or without innocence; we walk this earth with an amount of injury to our innocence.
Is it true that someone cannot unsee what has been seen? Undo what has been done? Unfeel what has been felt? Yes, all of these are true. But that does not equate to a loss of innocence, but rather a relative injury to innocence.
If I believe innocence is lost, there is nothing that can be done. However, if I believe innocence is injured, then the question of healing and way to heal begins to take on significance.
Healing innocence come at believing that innocence is injured, not dead. What comes next is believing in the state of being made in God’s image – an inherent reality.
Spiritual genetics dictates that we have one and only one father. Therefore all are by definition created in God’s image and therefore inherently innocent. It is the injury to innocence that must be addressed, not whether there is any innocence left living.
The next step is to know the injury. I saw this. I did that. I felt this, this and this. Whatever it is must become part of awareness.
The next step to love God and to love others as God would have us love ourselves. Sometimes injuries to innocence stifle loving other people, loving God and loving self.
Another next step is reclaiming healthy innocence. Seeking to be reminded and refreshed as to what innocence is. This can be pursued in so many ways – prayer, reading scripture, simplicity, hospitality and more.
Another thing to do while healing innocence is to heal with others who are healing. Healing our individual innocence with others helps heal our collective innocence.
Innocence is not lost. You are not lost. It is time to heal.