Once upon a time in the long, long ago there lived a sad-eyed child. People saw her as being a child, but she didn’t feel like a real child at all. She didn’t know what she was or who she was She only knew that people looked right past her and refused to see her as she really was. This made her feel invisible. When she was hungry, no one came to feed her. When she was thirsty, no one gave her water to drink. When she was sleepy, no one came to tuck her in at night. When she was lonely, no one came to sing lullabies or read her stories in order to help her sleep. Most of the time she knew, if she wanted to survive, she would have to rely on herself.
When someone did address her, they would call her hurtful names like: “Stupid,” and “ugly.” Some times they would hit her or kick her for no good reason. When they thought she was very bad, they would lock her up in a dark closet until she fell asleep. Some times they would put her in a bath tub and pretend to drown her. When she came to, they would tell her it was just a joke even though it frightened her. This confused the little girl. She thought a lot and tried to find a reason why this was happening to her. She felt lonely, sad, and unsafe.
The days passed slowly. One day, she got up and wiped the sleep out of her eyes. She looked around her in amazement. All around her were walls built of stone. Someone had spent the night building her a safe place to stay. She felt safe and cozy, nice and warm within her world of stone.
The dark clouds above her hurled their thunderbolts. The cold blue rain fell upon her walls of stone. But they did not touch the child inside. She knew nothing could penetrate and wound her for the walls were high and the stone hard. The little girl felt safe. “Now, I will be happy,” she said softly to herself.
The little girl waited day after day for “happy” to occur. “I still feel like a zero,” she wept. There was no one to talk to, to tell her she was special or unique. There was no one who could make her laugh and dance and feel good inside. Soon, it became clear to the little girl that even though she was safe, her world had become a dark and barren place. There was no excitement, beauty, or love. There was only emptiness and despair. “Safety didn’t bring happy,” the little girl thought. “I am so confused.”
The more she thought, the more unhappy she became. “It’s time to change my world,” she said. Slowly she hammered a way through to the outside world. The darkness of the night was waiting for her, and her past surrounded her. She looked around and with a voice of determination said, “I will go on a journey to search for this thing called ‘happy.’ I will see the world.” She left her home and walked down to the road with courage in her heart and a song of hope in her soul. (continued in part two.)