This is a story of a moment *inside* that shows how we can bestow love on our younger selves and heal our past.
A four-year-old, clutching her blue Bunny, is huddled in the corner under a table. She rocks back and forth. Pain pulses through her body. She is hungry, and she is learning not to be. 'I am safest hidden. I cannot persuade the Universe to care about me.'
The big grown-ups are shouting in the kitchen. Their conflict fills her world with a shrill shriek that confuses and blinds her.
The kitchen is where the food is. It's also where the shriek is most intense.
'I am not going to go there. I am safest hidden. Hungry and safe is not too bad. It's certainly better than… Aaah!'
A piercing pain stabs at the back of her head. She looks at the Bunny's smiling face. 'You care about me.'
She wants the Bunny's smile to be for her, about her, to her.
Wait. That pain at the back of the head, that might be the woman's. This pain might belong to the woman, 40 years the girl's senior, who is writing about the girl.
The woman both feels into and sees the girl. The woman is the girl's future; she carries the girl inside her.
Watching the girl rocking forward and back in distress, she moves to scoop her up, press her tight, let her feel held.
'Mustn't forget the Bunny.'
No, of course not. The Bunny needs to come along, too. He, the faithful companion to the girl's misery, needs to accompany her still.
What magic words will the woman find for this moment?
'I see you,' she says.
'I see you small and overwhelmed. I see you infinite and mighty. I see you.'
And the magic happens.
The little girl, too, sees herself, small and overwhelmed. And then she sees herself, infinite and mighty. And then she sees both at the same time, and feels a mix of compassion and awe.
And then she sleeps peacefully, to wake up to another day of wonder.