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Monastery of Santo Toribio

"Who looks outside dreams,
who looks 
- Carl Jung

*** All writings presented below are written by Lyn McDonald.  Since these are not yet published, only pieces from each story or prose can be found.  All rights reserved.  No part of these writings may be reproduced or used in any manner without written permission of the copyright owner.  

The Girl at the Mirror


​The girl woke up; the same as she did the day before and the day before that, and every day for as long as she could remember.  She would open her eyes, outstretch her arms, climb out of her bed and go to the bathroom to wash the sleep away from her face.  Every day she would do this, she would avoid looking in the mirror.  But today was different.  While drying her face with her towel, her eyes glanced at the mirror, and even though it was only for a second, that second was enough to change everything.


    Without knowing why, she brought her eyes back to the mirror.  At first she thought it was herself looking back at her, but after staring for a few seconds, she knew that it wasn’t.  There was something different about the girl IN the mirror.  She tried to look away but found herself frozen in place.  Where she had felt compelled to avoid the mirror, she was suddenly drawn to it and couldn’t pull away.  The girl IN the mirror blinked, then blinked again, over and over until there was no doubt in the girl’s mind that she was staring at someone other than herself because her eyes remained motionless.


    The girl IN the mirror finally had her attention. . . 


   “You’ve been living a lie.  You’ve lost sight of yourself.  You’ve forgotten who you are.  You’ve allowed the outside world to change you, to inhibit you, to swallow your essence.  You’ve become afraid and ashamed, and I want to know why?”

    “I don’t know,” the girl AT the mirror responded.

    “Sure you do.  If you didn’t then you would be able to face yourself in the mirror, and truly see who you are and love yourself for it, but instead you avoid it. . . " 

    “You have to look inside yourself for the answer.  You have to let yourself SEE yourself and trust what’s inside you. . .You’ve forgotten who you are.  Only you can take the time to find yourself again.”


Until I Met You


"I thought it was fate; that it was meant to be.  That was the only things that made sense.  I wouldn't have met him otherwise. . . a door was opened and I went through. . .

Every day was magic in the beginning.  The colors were brighter, the smells were sweeter.  Every day was just better because he was in it.  I smiled more.  My heart began to dance.  I wasn't afraid. I  had feelings I didn't understand but I liked them.  He had my heart in his hand and I gave it without hesitation.


But then it all changed and I didn't know why.  I tried to save it but it wasn't mine to save...  I started to change who I was to try and make him happy.  But it didn't.  And everything got worse.  I had taken the leap and he stayed on the edge. . .

So I let him go.  And he walked away and didn't look back.  The magic was gone.  And I couldn't breathe.  And I couldn't smile.  And the tears kept falling. . . 

Until I decided to choose myself.  I started to remember who I was . . . and what I deserve. . . and I picked myself up.  And though it still hurt, the tears stopped, and little by little I could breathe again. . . I thought my heart was broken until I realized that it couldn't break. . . But it was bruised and it would be for a little while, but I knew it would heal.  Because I am strong!

I found my strength inside myself.  And with each day, I healed more and more.  And didn't forget what I had but I looked forward to what I could have again with someone else. . . 

And we would take the leap together, and together we would FLY!



In the Arms of a Tree


​In the arms of a tree, I close my eyes and reflect.  I reflect on my life without judgment and relive each moment . . .


In the arms of a tree, I let go.  I let go of the times I avoided the mirror because I couldn't face myself.  I let go of the times that I submitted instead of standing up for myself and what I believed . . . 

In the arms of a tree, I surrender.  I no longer care about who I was, but recognize who I am.  I give myself up to the Universe and trust that my purpose will be carried out . . .

In the arms of a tree, I accept.  I accept the person I was because it helped me to become the person I am.  I accept that I am loved and realize that I always had been loved even when I didn't love myself.



​There once was a mouse, who didn’t have a house; who didn’t have friends; who didn’t have family; who didn’t have anything but himself and that was all he needed.  Each day he lived his life the way that he wanted to:  no rules, no restrictions, no responsibilities, no worries; just freedom and the world at his fingertips.  And that was how he lived for a while.

Until he met others; others who were like him but different. . .He thought that their lives were better.  So he found a place and decided to build a house just like theirs.  He put up the walls.  He put in the windows.  He shingled the roof.  He paved a driveway.  He worked until it was finished and he had his own house.


But the house was empty. . . But everything cost money, so he had to work.  He found a job.  And he made money and he bought . . . everything that his friends had and everything that he thought he wanted.

But he didn’t have the time to enjoy them because he had to work to pay for them . . . 


And he forgot how to live . . .


And so one day, instead of going to work, he stayed home.  And he threw out the furniture and he disconnected the power and the gas and the water.  He ripped off the shingles.  He smashed out the windows.  He tore down the walls until the house that he lived in was no longer a house but a pile of rubble.  And he left it there and walked away.  He didn’t say goodbye to his friends.  He didn’t take any of his stuff.  He didn’t need it.  He only needed himself. 


For him, that was enough.

*Picture Book "When the Walls Came Down" is based on this original version

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