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Have you lost your self?

Have you ever returned to the landscape of a story you’d loved and imagined breathing the air, hearing the sounds, feeling the sun on your skin in that space?

I have – many times, and I’ve always found it very healing.

I want to tell you about one storyworld in particular, one landscape and setting, which has helped me find peace time and time again. I’m talking about ‘The Little Prince”.

The Little Prince was written by a French aviator and writer called Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It’s a tiny book, which looks like a children’s tale, but is in fact just as profoundly interesting for adults.

It’s all about an aviator who crashes his plane in the desert, thankfully unharmed,  and meets with a young prince who comes from a distant planet. Saint-Exupéry was a pilot during the Second World War and spent many nights flying cargo over the Sahara desert.

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I find this book gripping for many reasons, but above all because of the image of being stranded in the desert. It immediately calls for the question:

What would you do if were stranded in the desert? How would you feel? How would you look at life?

 I feel it’s such a compelling image, because we get stuck thinking in the short term, or in what we think is the long term, but we forget about our legacy. We forget about the fact that we might want to be remembered and what we would like people to remember about us.

What are the possibilities you’ve forgotten about? How can you believe that some things are out of your reach, off-limits for you in particular?

“I can’t stop work and go back to training for two years because I will owe money, I will lag behind my peers and if I fail, I will be very embarrassed.”

In the desert, that place on earth that seems as though it might not be earth, or it may just be a hallucination – that place could be where you rest your head for some peace of mind.

“Grown-ups love figures… When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? ” Instead they demand “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? ” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

How would you perceive your life today if you were lying in the sand in the desert and you were going back over your life? What would you tell the Little Prince about yourself?

If you were to be rescued from the desert and were granted a few more years on earth, what would be on your list?

 “People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…

 They don’t find it,” I answered.

 And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”

 Of course,” I answered.

 And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

“But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.” – A. de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince Tweet This

I regularly go back to the desert and watch the stars. I find it’s a great place to rest my mind and find clarity. In the desert, there’s no Internet, no interference with my self. I have to be with ME and that has to be enough. My problems don’t belong in the desert and I’m no longer scared of being with me. In fact, I love it.

 There’s so much more to the Little Prince. I urge you to read it or read it again if you already have.

I’d love to hear from you!

Please use the comments section below or email me at charlotte(at)astoryworthliving.com to share your thoughts:

  • If you were lying in the sand and going back over your life, what would you remember with joy?
  • What would you regret?
  • If you were lying in the sand and going back over your life, which resolutions would you make? Are there any limitations you think you would want to overcome?

Get your friends involved! If you know anyone who is searching for clarity, please share this post with them.

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