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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

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As a counselor, I regularly hear people tell me that their innocence is gone because of what happened to them earlier in their lives, but can that be true?

Join me today as we consider the true nature of innocence that is in each of us. Stay with me.

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Photo: Scott Lennox, age six


Beneath our history and everything that we’ve experienced, beneath our habits of thinking and behavior, beneath what others have told us or said about us, beneath the things that we’ve come to believe about ourselves—core deep within us—we are still the children we once were, innocent and beautiful, vitally alive, and completely and inestimably valuable.

Today, I’m thinking of a beautiful little boy I met years ago in a church daycare program in Nashville, Arkansas. Sitting around a low folding table, several children of different ages were busy making small baskets from popsicle sticks and white craft glue. Some of the baskets were rather freeform in their design.

Clayton, a six- or seven-year-old boy with a genetic birth disorder, was constantly smiling as he stayed busy at his task. When one of the other kids bumped the bottle of glue and knocked it onto its side, some of the glue spilled onto the table.

Noticing it, Clayton stood the bottle back up and reached for a small piece of paper, using it to meticulously wipe up all of the glue. When he finished, he got up and walked across to the trash basket, matter-of-factly dropped the glue-covered paper into it, then sat back down and quietly returned to what he was doing.

The piece of paper he used was a ten-dollar bill.

Praising him for a job well done, one of the teachers took the bill out of the trash, washed it off, and then placed it back onto the table next to him.

“Here you go, Clayton,” she said, “it’ll be right here if you need it again.”

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Several things have stayed with me about that day. One was Clayton’s quiet but luminous presence. Another was the pure innocence of his actions. Still another was the marvelous way the teacher honored him for the way he used the ten-dollar bill without judging him.

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We can also look at innocence through a slightly different lens. During my career as a mental health counselor, I can’t begin to guess how many people have told me in one way or another that when something happened earlier in their lives, their innocence had been “stolen,” “robbed,” “destroyed,” or “taken away.”

While I fully accept what people tell me about their history, I have to challenge the notion of our innocence being stolen or taken away. One dictionary definition that helped clarify it for me was the following. “Undefiled or uncorrupted by evil, malice, or wrongdoing.” It doesn’t say that nothing bad happened. It holds that what we might call one’s “original essence” is still in its original form.

Hear me out and I’m confident you’ll agree.

Our sense of who we are is influenced by many things, including what we experience as we grow. Many people, including myself at one time, believe that when harm has taken place, their nature as a person has been altered or diminished.

But is that even possible?

After experiencing a personal trauma, it’s rather natural for us to think in a different way. We now carry with us knowledge or understanding we didn’t have before. Our pain is compounded when we identify ourselves by the event. Yet, the moment we come to know that our “original essence” is untouchable, the things we felt and experienced, regardless how traumatic they were, become little more than information in our mental files.

We suddenly understand that the person we Are (capital A), including our value, our sacredness, our options for a healthy life, our place in the world, and our wholeness, are all completely intact. With that understanding comes the beginning of the disintegration of our pain story and the things we falsely believed about how we had been changed our corrupted or permanently altered.

Sit with that reality for a few moments and notice what shifts in your understanding. That’s right, in the deepest place in you—in your Essence—you are what you have always been, utterly valuable and beautiful and irreplaceable.

You are still as innocent as you were before anything happened to you.

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That wonderful fact brings us to this week’s three Beautiful Questions. I invite you to sit with them for a while and ponder them deeply, and then write and tell me what you discover.

Question One: What is the true and essential nature of your inner innocence and how might you be open to it and honor it today?

Question Two: When you accept that you are not irreparably damaged or corrupted, and that you are still essentially innocent, what changes in the ways you treat yourself and other people?

Question Three: What freedom and authority do you gain by accepting your innocence?

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As you ponder these questions, I’d love to know what arises in you. I’d love to hear that a-ha moment! Write and tell me about it. I’m listening.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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Thank you for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing the things we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. You’ll also find an archive of all previous podcasts, including episodes three and four, guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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