The tenth window is play. Children, of course, are natural players. They frolic if given half a chance. Play is a natural capacity of enormous intensity and vital energy that often is diminished through unrelenting socialization. Nonetheless, it remains the most powerful window to growth experience for the developing child, and continues as such for the adult. It is as the Chinese philosopher Mencius said, "The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart." Through play, we explore our external and internal worlds.
Language (like most of our fundamental nonverbal communicative sensitivities) is learned through play. The books used to teach the three- or four-year-old child to read are almost always literature of play. Dr. Suess's books are a wonderful example. Our basic moral and personal ethical values are by and large learned in play, usually in the play of children with each other. Thus, play is the experience in which we most readily learn to be both intimate and close.
This is why it is a striking paradox that most adults come to believe that being intimate means being serious. Nothing could be further from the truth. Being serious in our sexual experiences provides sex therapists with more of their clients than all other reasons combined! If we were able to observe and tabulate all of the genuine and meaningful intimate experiences between couples, the majority would be playful, and the very best would be more like frolic. Lose the capacity for play, and we make self-diminishment not only likely, but almost a certainty.
Taken from The Windows of Experience by Malone and Malone
Jake Thiessen, PhD
I've been working with couples for a very long time. And, I love it! This blog is my attempt to communicate some of the things I've learned over the past 35 years.