What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye

What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye

by Laura E. Garrard


The Heart Sees Rightly

Today I watched a 1974 film I loved as a child, “The Little Prince.” It’s a musical based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book of the same title. At a point in the film, actor Gene Wilder, who plays the Fox, cites a “secret” he provided to the Little Prince, who tamed the Fox and also learned an important lesson from him about relationship and responsibility. The Fox gave the Little Prince this parting wise gift: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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I quickly came to tears, as I had forgotten how I must have first heard one of my favorite sayings. Later in my teens, I cherished this same quote that artist Mary Englebreit incorporated in the drawing “Invisible to the Eye,” featured above. For years I saved this drawing, printed on a notecard, and reflected on the whimsical little girl lying stomach down on the grass in the moonlight, as her face gleamed in a mystical energetic glow from a daffodil. The whereabouts of this notecard are now unknown, probably tucked away in a well-loved book in my old room back home. However, the saying stuck with me, as I quoted it in my final master’s project in 1995 and again on my business website launched in 2006.

Invisible to the Eye

When I made this connection to my childhood heart while watching “The Little Prince” today, I cried in recognition, knowing that this phrase expressed who I was as a child and who I am now. I realized that even though the saying followed me most of my life, I have spent too much time and effort trying to prove myself in life and love, and to others. This truth struck me strongly. It was a punch in the gut, and one of the grandest “ah-ha” experiences I’ve ever had. I have strived to succeed in my talents and have often viewed success through the approval and patronage of others. Economics and achievement often trip us up. As we reach adulthood, many of us have learned that what others value also must be what we value in ourselves.

As I watched “The Little Prince” today in my 40s—a story that exposes superficial, inconsequential adult agendas, melts the human heart, and reminds us of our deep, instinctual insights and childlike openness, or the beginning of things—I learned, finally and fully, a remarkable message: The only person I ever had to please was me, for I am a complete individual. We are only to be and further become our unique selves. The only enjoyment of my talents that I needed was within my own experience; the most important relationship is the one with myself, for Spirit already knows my true and complete essence. In an effort to share what’s inside, I sometimes became limited by those with whom I attempted to share. I withheld my light to shine in a degree acceptable within constructs. What a conundrum we humans face, for sharpening and sharing our skills may alter our creativity and unique perspectives!

Related: Get Connected to the Bigger Picture!

After the “ah-ha,” a wash of relief and feeling of gratitude were followed quickly by a remorseful thought: In the past I wasted so much time and energy trying to achieve, when all along I could have just acted from my heart, no matter the response from others or the acceptance of applications, no matter my income or any form of worldly recognition. My presence, the self fully exposed to God, is all that matters. My art, writing, thoughts, body, longings, soul—all are of me, so shouldn’t they remain uniquely so? “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,” and it is with this perspective that one becomes who they truly are and were always meant to be. Others may more fully respond to us as they also fully represent themselves. As a reminder, we need only remember ourselves as children with hopes and dreams. We already had all we needed to be our best. We were then, and are now, our significant selves.

 Laura E. Garrard, Jackson artist, writer, and owner of Attuned Healing, www.attunedhealing.com.


Art: “Invisible to the Eye” published with permission from the publisher. ©Mary Engelbreit Enterprises, Inc. 


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