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Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2215
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Self-Trust: Vasilissa the Beautiful

This illustration originally appeared in: Bilibin, Ivan, illustrator. Vassilisa the Beautiful. Moscow: Department for the Production of State Documents, 1900.


by Lynn S.

We don't have to see the sun to know behind the clouds, it's there.
We don't have to feel the raindrops to know rain is in the air.
We don't have to know the outcome to believe that there's a plan.
We don't have to glean the end result to do the best we can.

Faith is what our hearts can see. Inside we feel what's true.
If we know who we truly are, we'll know what we must do.
It's in this faith we find the strength to trust that if we try
We'll either land on solid ground or find our wings and fly.

Copyright 2004


  From: Vasilissa the Beautiful

In a certain Tsardom, across three times nine kingdoms, beyond high mountain chains, there once lived a merchant. He had been married for twelve years, but in that time there had been born to him only one child, a daughter, who from her cradle was called Vasilissa the Beautiful. When the little girl was eight years old the mother fell ill, and before many days it was plain to be seen that she must die. So she called her little daughter to her, and taking a tiny wooden doll from under the blanket of the bed, put it into her hands and said:

"My little Vasilissa, my dear daughter, listen to what I say, remember well my last words and fail not to carry out my wishes. I am dying, and with my blessing, I leave to thee this little doll. It is very precious for there is no other like it in the whole world.

Carry it always about with thee in thy pocket and never show it to anyone. When evil threatens thee or sorrow befalls thee, go into a corner, take it from thy pocket and give it something to eat and drink. It will eat and drink a little, and then thou mayest tell it thy trouble and ask its advice, and it will tell thee how to act in thy time of need."

So saying, she kissed her little daughter on the forehead, blessed her, and shortly after died.

Little Vasilissa grieved greatly for her mother, and her sorrow was so deep that when the dark night came, she lay in her bed and wept and did not sleep. At length she be thought herself of the tiny doll, so she rose and took it from the pocket of her gown and finding a piece of wheat bread and a cup of kvass, she set them before it, and said: "There, my little doll, take it. Eat a little, and drink a little, and listen to my grief. My dear mother is dead and I am lonely for her."

Then the doll's eyes began to shine like fireflies, and suddenly it became alive. It ate a morsel of the bread and took a sip of the kvass, and when it had eaten and drunk, it said:

"Don't weep, little Vasilissa. Grief is worst at night. Lie down, shut thine eyes, comfort thyself and go to sleep. The morning is wiser than the evening."

Wheeler, Post. Russian Wonder Tales. New York: The Century Company, 1912.


From the Annotated Notes of Heidi Heiner at SurLaLune:


"Maria Tatar writes:

Whereas Cinderella and her folkloric cousins usually receive assistance from nature (trees, fish, brooks) or from a fairy godmother, Vasilisa is given a cultural artifact, a figure that can be seen as a miniaturized version of herself or as a symbolic form of her mother. While the doll protects and helps Vasilisa, it is also something to be nurtured and cared for, thus strengthening the fact of her own agency in escaping from villainy at home (Tatar 173)."


Self Trust and Our Inner Knower

The doll Vasilissa carried and relied upon for guidance could be thought of as her own Inner Knower. This "Inner Knower' might otherwise be known as our intuition, our compass, or our sense of what is right for us. We lose track of our capacity to tap into that knowledge at times, yet we all have it. Getting in touch with that part of ourselves which knows what is best is part of the work we do in recovery. Trusting our own instincts again can prove difficult when those instincts seemed to have failed us so miserably in judging the relationship with a Narcissist. We question our ability to discern, to 'get it right' and worry at times that we'll never trust again. I believe that the most important trust is that which we place in ourselves to know what it is right for us and thereby, know when to walk away from a situation which doesn't fit that definition in the future.

This requires change on our part. We have to find our authentic selves. When we discover who we truly are, we know what we need.

Our own little doll, Our Inner Knower, cares for us and deserves our attention and our care in return. We do know in our core what we need to do to keep ourselves safe. That is the most important trust of all.



From Guy Finley at the Life Learning Foundation


"Question: It seems that everywhere I go today, everyone has their own idea of what the Truth is and why I should support their idea or value system. So my question is, as best I can state it, what is Truth and how do I come upon it for myself?

Answer: Start simply. It may not seem so at the outset of your journey, but the Truth is always simple. For instance, here is a simple truth to ponder: Thought tends to confuse what is true, twists it. No one has to tell us this truth. We can see it anytime we go into denial or self-justification. Here the mind races to resolve its own contradictions. For instance, when it finally yields to the truth that of itself it cannot succeed at rescuing itself, in the same moment we see two truths. First, how thought confuses the truth, and then, how evident the truth of this is on the other side of the storm... all of which reveals another truth: Truth is self-evident. And so we come upon the one truth that is the gateway to the Truth we seek: Know thyself. Can you see the beauty in this root-truth? No one else need be depended upon for the Way to the Truth that sets us free, for it resides right within us. What this means to us is that we need no other authority in our lives beyond those truths we are willing to learn about ourselves."

"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Oct/29/2008, 4:07 pm Link to this post  

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