How many of you dreamed of being Cinderella when you were little? Come on, admit it...you secretly dressed up in your prettiest party outfit with a crown made from your Mom’s brooch or something like that. You danced your way around the living room, sashaying and curtsying to an imaginary court. The ultimate goal of the entire story was to attract the handsome Prince and then live happily ever after in wedded bliss.
I definitely grew up on a diet of wishful thinking. Hoping against hope that sometime in the future, magic would happen, and I would get everything I desired. The underlying message I got from Cinderella, was that ‘nice girls’ don’t ask for anything. They are happy and content being the lowest servant in the house, being kicked around and essentially abused. They never complain, and still, sing while doing all the worst chores.
Somehow, somewhere, her fairy Godmother would come and wave her wand, acknowledging her hard work and cheerful demeanor with transformation. Now this transformation was never specifically described. It involved magic for sure, alchemy, turning ordinary things into extraordinary, but how this worked was a mystery. To my immature mind, I saw only the ‘nice girl’ waiting for her Prince and the magic to show up.
So, here is where the story gets a bit murky, and I began to make my own excuses for why my life was not manifesting this amazing shift. If no Prince was forthcoming, and no Fairy Godmother was waving a wand at me, maybe I was not a ‘good enough’ Cinderella. Maybe I wasn’t sweet enough, or grateful enough, or helpful enough... not enough to deserve the magic.
You see where I am going with this? The ‘I’m not special enough’ to have a transformation in my life, I should work harder and struggle more kind of thing? This is a dangerously self-fulfilling belief! I basically looked at the reasons why hardship was part of my everyday experience and made it about me not being good enough.
Even if I was, at some point, magically ‘good enough’, the best I could hope for was to be saved by a Prince. Something ‘out there’ would finally give me a chance to transform myself from rags to riches.
I recently have begun to realize how ingrained this story has been in my life, and how it has ironically kept me stuck for a long time. As I am now working on bringing my own business to light and taking the responsibility to transform myself, a new version of the Cinderella story occurred to me.
What if Cinderella noticed the pain her stepsisters were going through to squeeze into shoes that didn’t fit and decided to help with that? She could start her own business designing custom-made shoes and become a badass entrepreneur with a thriving shop. No Prince or Fairy Godmother required!
Of course, I know the original story is about the internal transformation and uniting the masculine and feminine energies within us and ‘growing up’ spiritually. But, unconsciously, I was stuck in my young minded version, from long ago.
Sometimes it is worth digging out old stories you loved as a child, and seeing if they need a little upgrading in your mind. You never know what is holding you back from your greatness without searching for the blocks in your own psyche.
Happy story hunting!