My Little Girl Wants to Play Hide-n-Seek
She nudges me hard and says she really wants to play hide-n-seek. But, I really don’t want to play this game, for I fear she’ll escape and I will lose her forever. I am comfortable having her cocooned within me, safe from the bad-bad world. I have hidden her there since I do not when. To be honest I banished her to life-imprisonment into the dungeons of the mind, intellect, ego.
The more the conflicts, the more the judgements, biases, prejudices, the discriminations, selfishness, anger, stubbornness, walls, the stronger the fortress. She is better in there than, safe from the brutal world. I only hid her there to protect her. I do allow her to emerge from the prison, on parole. She prances innocently, spontaneously, joyfully. Alas! When I feel that she is in danger I place her back and allow the guards to take over.
The mind, intellect and ego are three guards that protect her from escaping, and protect her from the bad-bad world. They protect me too, I think. Truth be told, I really don’t feel they protect me, rather they assert their superiority, and I meekly surrender to their demands. They what the senses attract them towards.
They enjoy retail therapy; they love indulgent spas; they relish long winding discussions that end in their victory, ripping the opponent apart; they dance to the tunes of appreciation, applause and praise; flattery makes them flutter, even when they know the words are hollow and lack any feelings to back them; they shine when attention is all on them. The three are greedy, compulsive, selfish, egoistic, self-obsessed. They believe the journey in this body is theirs’. They are the captains of the ship of life. They believe they are the navigators. And, we give them the power to do so, because we believe we need to protect our little child from the bad-bad world.
Give three monkeys a baton each to wield their powers, and all the you’ll have is lots of noise, lots of confusion, lots of conflict, and nothing achieved. They’ll simply be waving their sticks and destroying everything around, mindlessly. This is what happens to us when we give the reigns of our lives to the mind, intellect and ego threesome. Everything seems to crumble constantly, except for the moments when creative inspiration strikes its lightning upon the threesome, allowing the innocent child to surface and lead us to create something beautiful; be it a painting, a meal, a relationship, a poem, just about anything that makes the heart swell with joyful bliss.
Even though we enjoy such episodes of creativity, yet we prefer to scan through other channels, because the mind, intellect, and ego are bored. They have nothing to do. They fight their way back and we send the little child back to the dungeons to hide from the world, to hide from us. But why?
The answer is obvious! To protect our own little child!
I probably began protecting my little child during infancy when my parents left me to be tended by my grandparents. Yet, being an infant myself, I could keep her hiding too long and she would keep seeking her way back to enjoy a healthy childhood. But, why should she be punished if I am not hungry and I am forced to eat. I’ll bear the whacking on Sundays but not the pretty girl, who feels healthy, energetic, inspired, in spite of not feeling as hungry as most kids her age. Or, did I stop feeling hungry because she was being ignored by her parents when her younger sister was born. Did I hide her away to protect her from being ignored? Did I hide her away because I knew she was too fragile to live up to the expectations of her parents? It definitely was not easy for her at the age of five to make tea and toast and carry it to her parents. She needed to be protect from the real world out there. It is not that my parents were bad. Its just that they were young, living in London, struggling and yet being parents in the best possible way.
Their way was right for the mind, intellect, ego; but I thought it was horrifying for the little girl, within. The more I thought I had to protect, the deeper I sent her into hiding. Day dreaming was my escape route to seek her, and be with her. She energised me with her optimism, her innocence, her spontaneity, her reassurance, her calmness. I could see it pained her to see me return without her, and it pained me too to keep her hiding, knowing that returning from the day dream meant facing from either the teachers or the parents. They never understood how important it was for me to be with my little girl within. They though my day dreaming escapades was a way of ignoring them, shamelessly. For most times, it was slap on my face that brought me back, almost instantly.
I gave my little girl a huge big shove when a boy I used to consider an older brother tormented me every evening, Monday through to Thursday, bullying me, sexually harassing me. I could not tell anyone about because I felt it was wrong. I was scared. I did not want ot add to my parents’ problems when I met them over the weekends. Even if I wanted to reveal it, he threatened me, sometimes even blackmailed me. Why should my little girl have to go through this? Let her hide away her pure innocence while the mind, intellect, ego tackle this. Rather deal with it. Every evening it was the same thing for two years that I live with my maternal Grandparents.
My innocence was buried under the fear of being sexually abused. My spontaneity was suppressed under the carpeted layers of shame, guilt and regret. My creativity was hidden behind the multi-carpets of being a bully’s victim. My voice was covered by the whispers of judgements hurled by the intellect, anticipating what people would say if they knew what I was being put through.
MY little girl was hidden away into a dungeon so that I can survive the beastliness of a perpetrator, who was supposed to protect me as a brother should. The biggest joke is years later this beast walked the path of gay-hood, choosing to be homosexual. He made me hide away my little child, and he broke a beautiful heart – a girl he dated for a couple of years, only find a preference for fellow men! Irony!
There were times when hindsight would tell me that I have done more wrong to my little girl, than the bully did to me, hiding her away without explaining to her why. Underestimating the power and courage of her innocence. For it is innocent surrender of a warrior that takes him to battle the demons bravely. She would have revealed her truth and protected me, hindsight claims. But, when I meet her when the mind, intellect and ego threesome are fast asleep during meditation or moments of day dreaming, she says to me reassuringly, “You did was you needed to, as per the script. Everything has happened as per the script. Lessons in the book need to be completed. If you had not hidden away in the dungeon you would have never been able to face every challenge and make them into opportunities to meet wisdom at the end of each tunnel.”
In one conversation with her, my little girl explained to me, “You chose to protect me. Yet I need you to know that I hid away to allow you to experience the pain; so that you grow empathetically, understanding the pain of others. Only the wounded healer, heals the best. Healing is not curing. Healing is releasing the pain completely, so that one reunites with their little inner child and live a live immersed in innocence, spontaneity and creativity. A life where the self and the little child within become one whole, and command the mind, intellect, ego trinity.”
When I used to visit my little girl, every now and then we used to share with each other the joys of living a simple life, being married, having children, bringing them up. We both visualised what we considered the happy life, which was all about the happily ever after. Yet, this eluded me, and I felt my little girl would be hurt by every rejection and every heart break, so kept her within and went along with a life commanded and ruled by the mind, intellect, ego. Career was all that I knew I needed to pursue. Relationships would come, build hopes, and then disappear; but my career, my mind-intellect-ego created identity was the constant that I needed to keep building.
While satisfaction came from inspiring others during the counselling and healing sessions I conducted, one-to-one as well a group sessions; the ego was always intoxicated by the praises I received; the intellect gloated and directed me towards seeking knowledge to improve my counselling and healing skills, and the mind was satisfied with the shopping and salon sprees. I worked, and worked, and kept myself so busy that I almost forgot about my little girl.
She would surface, when I needed her, but then I would pack her away when the creative task was completed.
Was I happy? Not really! Was I busy? Extremely! Was my mind idle? Never! Was there peace within? It was noisy!
What was I missing? My little girl!
Finally, when I got married and chose to be on a sabbatical, I delved deep seeking my little girl. It was not easy to find her, because this time she decided to play the game. Yes, she hid, and I was seeking her. When I would find her, she would come along with me for a workshop, enjoy the time spent learning a new art form and then vanish into hiding. She had gotten smarter, for she knew I needed her, but it had to happen her way. She was in control of the game as the tables turned in her favour.
Oh yes! If I had to bury her to protect her, she had to now surface if I respected and valued her truly, not just for the sake of company, or playfulness; but need her to walk along with me leading a life of creativity, spontaneity and innocence.
For days she would surface, and guide me to create beautiful artworks, and then hide away, blocking the creative flow. I would seek her, but she would elude me. The mind, intellect, ego would then battle their way to guide me to create. The outcome would be a mess. I would sit back, in silence, retiring the mind, intellect, ego, and dive into the ocean of noiselessness. That is when she would come out of hiding and I would find her.
I asked her once, “Now that we are living the life that we always wished for, why do you play hide-n-seek like this with me? Can we not be one, and go through the rest of journey together?”
With her smile of innocence she replied to me, “You allowed the crazy trinity to control your life. You did not trust me enough. Just because your life at present is a manifestation of our visualizations, it does not imply that you can have me with you, just like that, at your beck and call. Now it is my game! When I feel you are manoeuvring towards the mind, intellect, ego, I shall hide, and you shall immerse yourself into seeking me. With time, the trinity shall lose any control, and when that happens, it our journey together. Till then, heartfully pray for creative inspiration and immerse yourself into the creative process, and you’ll always feel me guiding you along.”
My little child and I are the best of friends. She is the wisdom I seek at the end of each tunnel.
As much as I always believed that I was protecting her, I feel that she is the light that has warmed me in the toughest of times, the calmness that has inspired mindful words and actions, the love that has motivated me to embrace everyone on my path, the grace to forgive myself and all, the gratitude that encourages me to reap the blessings, the compassion to empathise with fellow beings on the journey, the wisdom to be aware that “this too shall pass.”