The Path To Wise Counsel – A Tale

Once upon a time there was a small version of me. This girl had chutzpah, she had self-confidence and just the right amount of sass. This small version of me had utter certainty that the world was her oyster, and she fully intended to be the creator of pearls.

As the years passed, this small version of me had her spirit squashed, pulled and pushed this way and that, battered by the prevailing wind, stones kicked at her by others she met along the way. She started to lose her faith in pearls.

Eventually, tired from her journey, and somewhat dispirited, the small version of me sank to the ground and she said:

“Enough already.
Whatever you say I will be.
You must know better than me”.

The small version of me stopped speaking.
Life went on.
She became a bigger version of me.

More years passed, and, on occasion, the bigger version of me felt very sad. She couldn’t say why. She didn’t know that she couldn’t say why because she could not hear the voice of the smaller version she had once been.

This sadness sometimes was too much to bear, but she couldn’t hear the voice that might have explained it to her. All she could hear was other people’s views on the matter. She continued to be pulled and pushed. And, though the other people on the path were no longer kicking stones at her but trying to offer a helping hand, their pulling her along did not ease the sadness in her heart.

One day, she fell down. She had hurt herself very badly. She didn’t know if she could get up again. Her knees were bleeding and she’d hit her head so hard it no longer seemed to be working correctly. She went to ask a doctor for help. The doctor gave her some medicine and suggested she talk to a lady who had special knowledge about heads not working correctly. This lady looked into the head of the bigger version of me and said:

“Hmmm, you have hurt your head, and now it seems to think you need to be always perfect. This is making your head hurt more. I can help you with that”.

Gradually, the nice lady helped the bigger version of me realise that she was perfectly imperfect as she was. She had been trying too hard when, in fact, her best had always been good enough. The bigger version of me learned how to be kinder to herself. This was very helpful. Her head hurt slightly less. But for some reason there was still a lot of sadness in her heart. She didn’t understand why. She couldn’t hear the voice that would have been able to explain.

Some time later, the bigger version of me started to stumble on the road once more. The lovely doctor said to her, “I know this man. He may be able to help you to walk better, so that you won’t stumble so much as you follow your path”.

The bigger version of me thought “I hope he can help me with the hurt in my heart?”

The bigger version of me went to talk to the friend of the doctor. She tried, as best should could, to tell him a little about the sadness in her heart, and asked him to help her find out how it got there and how to get it out.

The nice man and the bigger version of me met from time to time. As they talked, the bigger version of me started to feel some stirring within her. It felt like something was shifting, it felt like there was something changing within her. It was scary. But, though these new feelings made her a bit panicky, the nice man reassured her that this was all okay, that it was meant to be happening, and that ultimately it would be a good thing.

Eventually, the nice man, the doctor’s friend, said “Can you hear something?”

The bigger version of me said “I can. It is small voice. It is hard to hear what it is saying, but I think I remember this voice. I think I can hear someone talking to me?”

The nice man said, “I’d like you to listen out for that voice and come back and tell me about it”.

Over time the bigger version of me started to hear this voice more often. And, as she heard it, it started to get a bit louder. She thought “I recognise this voice? I think I used to know the owner?”

And then, one day, the bigger version of me went to talk to the nice man and he said “Do you know whose voice it is that has started speaking to you from within?”

And, the bigger version of me replied “I do! It is the small version of me!”

She hadn’t realised it, but the pain in her heart all this time had been the small version of me. She had been trapped in there for many, many years. So deeply hidden was she in the depths of this heart, that her voice could no longer be heard.

The bigger version of me said to the small version of me “Well hello there! I missed you! What have you been up to?”

The small version of me said “I have been sitting here quietly. I have been watching, and I have been learning some things. I have so much to tell you!”

So the small version of me, and the bigger version of me sat down together and they said “We really have a lot of catching up to do!” They agreed that they should never be parted again – as they were each other’s best friend, and it would be much easier to find the right path and not stumble along the way so much if they helped each other out, kept each other company, and listened to each other’s ideas and accumulated wisdom.

The bigger version of me said “Do you know what?
I am starting to think that the world might be our oyster?”

The small version of me said “I know this to be true. And you know what else?
I know how to create pearls”.

The Beginning


Copyright © 2016 · Words and Image · Forty and Everything After

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24 thoughts on “The Path To Wise Counsel – A Tale

  1. What a wonderful, gentle thing to find the child and to find your voice, FAEA! I’m finding extravagant love as well (in unexpected places), and I’m so grateful that it’s given me my voice back. Keep up the great allegories – it feeds us all :D

    Liked by 2 people

  2. […] And now, in my early forties, I am finally starting to understand this strange hotchpotch of a person that was formed through those early years. Strange as it may sound, it is all thanks to suffering from depression that this transpired. I had experienced depression when I was younger, though I didn’t know that at the time. But it wasn’t until I completely lost the plot in my mid-thirties that my fragile personality disintegrated in front of my eyes and those of the people that love me. My husband said he didn’t recognise me. I was exhibiting all sorts of out of character behaviour. The ‘Me’ I had created out of necessity had imploded. And now, having gone through counselling, and a lot of soul-searching, and some grieving, I am starting to rebuild myself, hopefully to form a more fully functional, integrated, authentic person. (I have captured this process in fairy-tale form in ‘The Path To Wise Counsel – A Tale’). […]

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