I’ve spent the last couple of months playing with my baby granddaughter. Of course, as her Nanna, I think she is totally gorgeous and I’ve had a ball cuddling, singing and playing with her. Watching her reach vital milestones – smiling, giving big sloppy kisses, laughing, rolling over and having her vaccinations – has been wonderful.
In all of this the wonder in her face as she ‘finds’ and recognises parts of herself is fascinating. Her hands first, took her attention, and she became adept at finding her mouth with them. Then she could reach and clasp objects. She found her feet and loves to catch them, pulling them close to her mouth.
After a little while she could recognise herself in the mirror and smiled at that beautiful ‘other’. Knowing where she finished and others began developed. She recognises and looks for ‘her’ people. Touching and tasting everything is her way of learning about herself and the world.
For me this learning in a baby is repeated as an adult when we begin to look inward, to discover what parts of ourselves have been hidden and undiscovered. Often we fear this discovery, believing that all of those undiscovered parts in the unconscious are dark and ‘bad’. We don’t push ourselves to go on this journey of discovery because of the pain we fear will hurt us or our family and friends.
There will be things in our unconscious that make us feel unhappy and bad. But there will also be many things there that strengthen and nourish us. We may find intelligence and skills we have hidden, fearing ridicule or bullying. A greater spiritual awareness and connection could be sitting waiting to be released to help us and others on our paths.
Until we take the chance of these discoveries we will never know what we could be, what we could do.
Like my wonderful granddaughter, we need to keep discovering ourselves to learn our capabilities and is ‘me’ and what is ‘other’.