How many books, podcast, retreats, meditations, therapy sessions, friends advice do we need in order to find ourselves? It seems we are always searching for who we really are, what is our soul’s maximum potential and what makes us unique and special.
Recently, it took a child’s drawing to enlighten my path on where to keep looking. I should provide a small disclaimer to explain that this certain child tends to find witty, quick solutions to problems he may have caused. And so, I am still trying to evaluate if his intention was to melt my heart or offer some spontaneous, important insight.
A few weeks ago I was resting while recovering from a minor knee surgery. My almost four-year-old at the time was playing on his own while coming in and out of my room. I thought he was with his legos, until he called me from the upstair hall.
“Mami, can you come see my treasure map?” he screamed and I obliged.
I found him very proud in front of the wall with markers in hand. He had drawn a figure, surrounded by lines and spots all over the upstair hall.
My surprised face said it. He knew immediately he was in trouble.
“Leo, we don’t paint on the walls,” I said.
“But look, mami, these,” he said while signaling colorful dots next to the figure, “these are kisses.”
I am guilty of charge: I thought his way to convince me he had done nothing wrong was so cute that my heart melted a little and I explained with a smile that we are not supposed to draw on the walls. I offered to give him some paper if he wanted to continue drawing. He accepted immediately.
A few moments later he showed me his newest treasure map (yes, he is obsessed with maps). This time the drawing did not contain any figure. It was covered with dots in different colors all over the page.
“Mami, look! these,” he said referring to the dots “are kisses so that people know where to find you.”
He drew a treasure map and the clues were kisses and they were supposed to lead people to me….really? I thought that was so sweet, and thoughtful, and original, and truth be told is probably one of the most beautiful and sweetest things I had ever been told. Why did he chose kisses? What did he thought I needed to be found?
That treasure map my son drew made me rethink my own quest to find myself. What are the clues that define me? What kind of signs I am following on my journey? We are used to seeing that path from our own first person point-of-view; as if we are the heroes of our journey walking every trail while defeating every obstacle. The treasure map gives us the advantage of an eagle’s view, putting in perspective that sometimes obstacles are just clues in a long path. This offers a clear vision that each trail actually get us closer to the treasure. In other words, an obstacle is not the end of the road, it is just a temporary stop.
The spiritual quest to the self requires us to be present and alert. It is on the ground that we fight our battles. The treasure map, however, offers us the perspective that there is a longer path that conveys an ultimate reward. One requires us to do the work; the other one, to stick to a vision. We need both.
So because I am more used to being a warrior willing to get her hands dirty in the battlefield, I decided to try something new this time and create a treasure map of my spiritual journey. Truth be told, I am not sure how many turns I will have to make and how many stops that would imply, but my eye is on the treasure. Like a pirate hungry for the reward, I want to try to read that sometime mysterious map of my life. But maps are worthless if we are not willing to walk the path, so I am taking it with me while I try to define my soul’s path to enlightenment. In the meantime, I love my son’s suggestions and I will use kisses as clues, because who does not love to be followed by a trail of kisses? At the end, the biggest treasure awaits: self-love.
Pirates beware: there are kids leaving treasure maps on the walls, moms finding sweet clues in unexpected places, warriors in search of rewards, and a path to enlightenment that never felt so loving and luscious. Now, it is time to embark on the journey, but if you need to find me, well…just follow the clues just as I will. Ahoy!