At some point in 2006, when the pain & the fear were sharp & deep, I felt an urgent urge to have photographs around me of myself from childhood. Images of that other me being happy, laughing around, playing, enjoying life. So I got some old pics from my parents’ albums, made copies, bought some photo frames and placed them with care in my bedroom & living room.
In one of them I am there in a close-up, my 4 year old face, so close to the lens that the image looks slightly blurred, showing such a big bright smile! I placed that photo right on my bedside table so I could see it when going to sleep, in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep at all and first thing in the morning when waking up. Looking at that little girl, focusing on that wide & open smile I could feel relieved & I also could ease the pain inside. I could not recognize myself in those eyes, face or smile. I felt so far away from her!! Miles away from that joy of living… But I kept telling myself: ‘I am that girl therefore she is within me. If I once felt that joyful & happy then I can recover those feelings, I can be joyful & happy again. I just need to cling to her. She is my hope & my life ring. I will get out of here with her help’.
All that happened naturally, through spontaneous insights & truthful conversations I was having with myself.
To complement the photos I also started to connect with her in other ways. I dedicated time & attention to recover memories & mementos of those times, remembering what she used to enjoy doing, what she was excited about, what feelings were moving her. I rescued her old collection of Gloria Fuertes’ books and looked through those surreal poems & lively illustrations, feeling her feelings of free fantasies & dreams.
I bathed near the shore, walking with my hands on the sand, building castles, spending time on the beach where she used to have so much fun. I felt like playing more so I dug out my bicycle & I also remembered that hula-hoop that she could keep spinning for minutes & got myself a big yellow one. I put her little gold earrings on & bought some fun hair bands to wear. I stared more at the flowers, the plants, the trees & the animals. I began to talk to them, admiring their colours & shapes, wishing them a great day. I started to look at babies & children with different eyes, recognising myself in them. It was amazing to see how they smiled at me, giving me funny faces. We were communicating! It was so magical & so true!
It was easy talking to her, asking what to do, which way to go. My girl always seemed to have the right answers, and when she didn’t, she always offered a wide range of options to choose between, so the answers to my questions where always laying somewhere within that palette of possibilities she showed me.
She cried when she had to without feeling ashamed. She hugged & kissed, jumped & sang. She sensed who wasn’t her type & moved away from those darker energies. She dressed up for fun & did silly things just for the sake of it. She used to love reading, writing, drawing, dancing & singing, swimming & riding her bicycle around in all sorts of adventures.
Slowly but surely that 4 year old helped me coming out of the darkness into a colourful world. Not that I left all the responsibility on her but it is fair to say that she did most of the job. She truly did so much for me in those difficult times!
Afterwards I’ve read & heard in many places statements such as ‘the solutions are within you; the potential is in you…’ Now I know that it is so true! I have the solutions; I know the why & the how. I just need to be connected with my inner self, with the child that I was and that I still am. She never left. She is always here, with me, she is not going anywhere anymore and I am not going to neglect her but care for her, love her deeply, listen to her, always taking her into account. She is my compass now, she knows and I truly believe that she is pointing in the right direction. Compasses always do, don’t they?