The Little Boy in the Drawing…

Pencil drawing of a sad little boy (by Diane Mottl)

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My guess is if you saw this little boy in the drawing hunched over, face burrowed in his arms you would stop and ask, “Are you okay? Can I help?” Unlike the hesitation some of us may have felt helping the man with the cardboard sign, most of us would come to the aid of a young child.  Something kicks in that makes us care enough to reach out and connect.

Are we reacting to his vulnerability? Innocence? Is it the parenting instinct to protect (whether we are a parent or not). Or do we see a little bit of our long ago selves reflected in this little person? A pain that we connect to and want to help soothe away, so the child does not have to carry it alone.

How many of us are still carrying pains from our childhoods? Have a hunched over little kid inside, burrowing their face, hiding away. Trying to become invisible, when really what that long ago child wants more than anything is to be visible to love, attention, protection and safety.

Can we give that to ourselves now? In the same way that we would to the little boy in the drawing.

Imagine yourself, right now as a strong, healthy, secure adult. See yourself squatting down beside the little boy in the drawing. Hear yourself saying, “I am here. You are not alone.” See whose face peeks up. Is it yours? Imagine yourself soothing and comforting that little child, so they no longer feel alone. No longer feel afraid. No longer feel unloved. No longer feel the pain of being invisible.

Look into their eyes and find the long ago twinkle. The one that no one could extinguish. It’s there. Look for it until you find it. See the sparkle grow. See how it lights up the child’s eyes. How their face transforms. See a smile start to tug at the corner until it blossoms into the biggest, brightest smile imaginable. See that child jump up in joy. Joy for being seen. Joy for being acknowledged. Joy for having their spirit touched by love.

May we each find that twinkle within ourselves. My we breathe on it gently, with love. May it bring us comfort. Peace. May it give us the courage to be seen, so that we may share the gift of who we are — all that we are meant to be — with the world.

Namaste (the light in me recognizes the light in you).

“From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says I survived.” — Fr. Craig Scott

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” — Louis B. Smedes

“A heart that reaches out with love, can heal a soul, and change a life.” — Kiran Shaikh

“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same….” — Maryanne Williamson

“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.” — Aberjhani

“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” — Siddhārtha Gautama

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” –- Ralph Waldo Emerson

12 Responses to “The Little Boy in the Drawing…”

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  1. Norah Colvin says:

    Thank you for this powerful post, Diane. I have briefly commented on it with your previous post. I love the reminders that we need to affirm ourselves as much as we affirm others; to take the time to make connections and reach out with love.

  2. Amy says:

    A powerful message, Diane. Thank you. I often reflect on the fact that we were all small helpless babies at one time. We were all childlike and innocent. Even what our society considers the worst of the world (murderers, rapists, etc)…I wonder what they looked like as children. Perhaps that is odd of me, but I suppose it stems from my yearning to understand the human race. Sometimes I wonder, what went wrong? And when I am upset with someone over something, I try to imagine them as a child, just as needy and vulnerable as I am, and that helps me calm down and change perspective.

    • Not odd to me at all, Amy. My mind goes there too. I like your point about seeing past the behavior to the hurt child within, so you can stay calm and change perspective. What a gift to be able to do that.

  3. Your drawing is so touching. You have such artistic talent for capturing emotion. I also love the quote, “A heart that reaches out with love, can heal a soul, and change a life.” — Kiran Shaikh With Love and Light, Crystal

  4. James says:

    The moment I saw the drawing, I knew this would be a great, inspiring post.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Another thought provoking and beautiful post. The drawing is wonderful and helps bring the focus to the feelings we need to tap into. You’re right, that child could be anyone—even the reader. Well done, my friend and as always, you have me thinking. xx

  6. Jan says:

    Another lovely post. I absolutely adore your drawing. Great quotes as well.