Finding Our Lost Pieces

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart,
it is like the dawn breaking within you.
Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy;
where before there was fear,
now there is courage;
where before in your life there was awkwardness,
now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness;
where before you used to be jagged,
now you are elegant and in rhythm with yourself.
When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.””
John O’Donohue

Just last week I found myself standing near an open kiln in a marketplace, broken and discarded bits of pottery and pieces of sculpture scattered about my feet. And amid the rubble lay huddled, what at first glance looked like a tiny, sculpted dog. Something about this little dog caught my eye and I stared. Imagine my shock when the tiny statue blinked!

My heart raced and I squinted. I realized the dog was frozen in fear—not moving, not even noticeably breathing, as if trying to escape notice. But it couldn’t keep itself from blinking every now and then. I was horrified. I began to shout. “Bring me a blanket, there’s a little dog here and it’s alive!” I wrapped up the little dog in a blanket and held it to my heart, feeling tears fall on my face….

Then I woke…

That I was waking from a sleeping dream, into this waking dream, made no difference. Every feeling still vibrated in my body and my arms wondered why they were suddenly empty.

The dream haunted me—the intense feelings when I saw that little dog blink, and realized that it was alive, still fresh. I came to realize that deep inside of me, and deep inside all of us I believe, lives that little dog, discarded and afraid, call it our lost hopes and dreams, that we have long forsaken. We may even feel its loss in our feelings of sadness, longing, disappointment, and regret. Would we know where to begin to search, even if we wanted to?

But that cherished life, deep inside—quiet, isn’t lost at all. It’s just been forced into hiding. What it needs to reemerge and fill your life again with the enthusiastic intensity you may have enjoyed as a very young child, is a foundation—of security, safety, and dedicated care. These are probably things that you couldn’t get when you were a young child. So it went underground. But again, it isn’t gone. You haven’t lost it. It’s still there, blinking sometimes, and waiting for you to rediscover it when you are ready and able.

Here are just a few tips, to help you get started:

  • Be willing to consider the possibility that a deeper, more excited, enthusiastic spark of yourself still exist, and that it is possible, no matter your age or place in life, to be reunited.
  • Take good care of your body. This is the place to start to support the reemergence of that deeper treasure in you.
  • Set an intention to discover this deeper part of yourself and make it a priority in some way. Write it, speak it, and take action to demonstrate your intention.
  • Be on the lookout to see what arises. Pay attention to your waking dreams, sleeping dreams, lyrics, nature,—even stories and movies. Any of these may have a small, tender message from that inner self to you.
  • Be on the lookout for trusted helpers in the waking world who can support you in your quest.


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