The little girl walked until she could walk no more. She sat down by the side of the road and saw a woman passing by. She waved to her and motioned for her to come and sit for a while. Soon she began to share her feelings with the woman. The woman taught the little girl that facing her past could harm her. Focusing on the grief and pain would ruin the day for every one. “If you are strong and act like the present can bring forth good things, you’ll survive. I will help you learn to cope and others will feel happy. Happiness lies in pleasing others,” the woman said.
And the little girl sat down and proceeded to meet the needs of her teacher. She learned
to hide her emotions and to smile when she felt sad. She locked away anger and she locked away pain. She denied her needs in order to please. But happiness still eluded her. With a sad, sad smile, she finally got to her feet. She realized it was time to move on. “I still feel like a zero,” the child said. Her eyes filled with tears.
The little girl started walking again. The ground began to change with each step she took. Green tufts of grass started appearing around her. Flowers nodded to her as she walked by. She waved to another woman she saw by the side of the road. “I have become a master of coping,” she said. “I know how to please people and I can make you happy.” She began to show the woman how smart she had become and how well she could solve problems. The woman sat and listened. She barely spoke a word to the lonely child.
The less the woman spoke, and the less she smiled, the more desperate the child became to see herself mirrored in the lady’s eyes. She wanted the woman to notice her and to accept the little girl within.
The woman began to speak. “The way to be happy is to be self-sufficient. Ask nothing of me. I will listen, but that is all I want to do. “The little girl yearned to be herself. She learned that if she released her anger, the woman would purse her lips. If she spoke about sadness, the woman would shut her eyes and ignore her. When the child spoke about fear, the woman would turn her face away and say nothing. The sound of her silence became deafening. “I am not responsible for you,” the woman said. “Where is happy?” the child asked. “I feel like I am nothing. It is lonely here and barren.” With a weary sigh, the child stood up and started walking again. (continued in part three.)