“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. – Carl Jung”
The back of the picture was stamped July 9, 1963. I was born in June, 1960. So I was just barely over three years old. I looked at the picture, stared at it actually. I had not seen it in years. The first thing I noticed was that both of the eyes and mouth were smiling. I had never seen that smile on my face. I couldn’t stop looking, it absolutely radiated, and I thought to myself where on earth did it go?
I was going through the pictures to get things ready for my Moms funeral. My heart ached; I loved my Mom dearly and really felt as though my knees were knocked out from underneath me. To see this picture brought fresh tears to my eyes. Who was this little girl, and why didn’t I know her? It was like she was someone else, not me.
I showed my husband, look I do know how to smile I said. He looked at the picture and quietly nodded. I expected more of a reaction than that, so of course I pushed. What don’t you like the smile I said?
It’s not that he said it’s a beautiful smile. I have just never seen it before and I wish I could. Even at the times that I know that you are at your happiest, I have not seen that smile. Not the day we were married, not even each of the days that the kids were born. You were absolutely blissful all of those days, I know you were but there wasn’t that smile. You really ought to think about getting it back. There is nothing in the world that I would want more than that, he said.
It made me think, I too wanted that smile to just flow from my face. I was always so self-conscious when I had a picture taken of myself. I could feel everything in my body tensing up, and would almost brace myself. I would find myself trying desperately to smile so that it looked genuine. It never did. It always looked like a strained effort. So I didn’t want pictures taken. It reminded me over and over again that I didn’t appear to have inner happiness that just radiated. I had just chalked it up to not being very photogenic, but I knew differently. I knew that I had once known how to smile, because my eyes sometimes did. I could just never get the mouth to cooperate too.
So this picture was like a hidden gem. Proof positive that I had once known how to smile from the inside out. I looked at that little girl with the curls, and wondered whatever happened to her to stop the smile.
I thought about the story I had been told, how this was about the time that our little family had fallen apart. Dramatically, and this little girl had seen more than a three year old should see. Her dad had gone away that night, never to return again.
I didn’t tuck the picture away this time; I placed it in a frame and put it on my dresser where I would see it every day. It would be my reminder to find the smile.
All of these thoughts moved through me, as I tried to pull the semblance of my life together. I was so busy initially; get things ready for the funeral, burial, etc. The year had been a blur, even though I was off work to look after Mom. I was working harder than I ever had, and the emotional toll was just starting to catch up to me. As the weeks wore on, and I seemed to be running out of things to do with settling Mom’s affairs, I felt more and more lost.
I would walk the dog, and wear sunglasses, because I was never sure when I would just start to cry uncontrollably and didn’t want the whole world to see.
My normal ‘get her done’ attitude was nowhere to be found, and I would just sit for what seemed like a long time not really even thinking. I thought it was time to get back to work, get busy with something and I was on a mission to do just that. Unfortunately the economy had taken a huge nose dive, while I was off and people were being laid off in droves in the city where I lived. This did not help my psyche very much, and try as I might I couldn’t seem to get my feet back under me.
It wasn’t all about Mom, yes we had been through a very traumatic time there was no question. But this seemed like way more. I seemed to be doubting myself, my abilities and wasn’t sure what was going on. I thought that I was a pretty together person, but wasn’t feeling that way right now.
I had always had a huge sense of responsibility, feeling that I had to take care of everybody and everything. I worried all the time; I had tried strategies for slowing my head down. Meditation, Reiki, all of these things helped me to slow down the constant whirring in my head. I had read so many self-help books that I worried that Amazon have me in their database as a category of ‘Seeker’. Or even worse, that they have me listed as “Digging Deep” or “Perpetually lost”. You know when you sign on to Amazon, and they provide you with a list of books recommended specifically for you.
My list looks like this:
Change your thoughts; change your life by Wayne Dyer
Becoming Magic – A course in manifesting an exceptional life by Genevieve Davis
The Essential Wayne Dyer collection by Wayne Dyer
Amazon obviously thinks that I am in dire need of manifesting something terrific, and keeps me searching in the right direction. Perhaps, if they keep chucking things at me something will finally sink in. I appreciated their hopefulness, but it was a little depressing to see that they knew that I wasn’t living the dream life, and they thought that I needed to manifest something different for myself.
The trouble was, so many of the books were just rewritten with the same resounding theme in mind. The messages were all based on what you think, creates your world. But it wasn’t quite as simple as all that. You couldn’t just review your thoughts, and then simply fix things. Apparently the vast majority of your thoughts were sub-conscious. This was what kept tripping you up, and it was hard to find the guilty party. Because it was happening subconsciously, you are not even aware of it. There were just automatic scripts running in your head. They had been planted there from every experience since you were young, even before you had the ability to properly process what was happening, your sub conscious was adding to your belief system database. This knowledge really upset the programmer in me, how is it possible that nobody was checking the code.
Seemed to me it should be mandatory for everyone to ‘Stop and Reset their belief system before entering adulthood”.
With these thoughts in mind, I took my dog Dalton for a walk. We walked through fish Creek Park, and went by the trees that the funeral home had planted. I stopped at Mom’s tree, and put a little glass angel beneath it. I said “Mom, I have no idea how to move forward and do not even know where to begin to look”. With tears welling in my eyes, I held it together as I saw a little family walking in my direction up the pathway. A little girl with blond curly hair and beautiful blue eyes ran directly into my arms. She looked to be about three; she didn’t say a word, just jumped into my arms and hugged me. I hugged her back, and when I put her down, off she skipped. Stunned, I looked at her mom and managed to say “that made my day”. She said, she must know a kindred spirit when she sees one.
I looked up at the sky, and with tears in my eyes and laughter in my voice, I said “Okay Mom, seems a good place to start”.
Love and Light