Life is like fairytales: Filled with insurmountable obstacles, heart breaking tragedies, and mind numbing monotony. I know this because currently I’m writing a fairytale called Awaiting the Fairy Godmother. But I have questions.
Have you ever wondered why fairytales don’t talk much about the time before the pivotal moment? What’s happening to Cinderella everyday, for-who-knows-how-long, before the arrival of the Fairy Godmother? And what goes on inside Sleeping Beauty before the arrival of her handsome Prince? How long does she live in limbo in this enchanted sleep?
If life is like a fairytale, is it true that some of us never wake up? Do we live life within the Sleeping Beauty motif forever asleep? Surely you know someone who is sleeping their life away. Or maybe the Prince has not arrived yet. It’s confusing!
Why haven’t we asked the hard questions like, how many years did Cinderella grieve her parent’s deaths before the arrival of the Fairy Godmother? How many years did she work her fingers to the bone cleaning for people who were never going to appreciate her efforts and always asked more of her than was reasonable or even possible?
What does Sleeping Beauty dream about in her enchanted castle? Is she dreaming of a Prince who will break the spell of her enchantment? Do her dreams create some kind of magnetic resonance that draws to her the one Prince in the world who can break the spell holding her? Or can any Prince break the spell?
You might not think this stuff is important but if you believe fairytales are templates for living a life of wonder and happiness these questions have value. And who doesn’t believe in fairytales? Be honest! We are all awaiting our happy ending.
So what is Cinderella learning while she is the personal slave of three obnoxious and wicked women? Do you have any obnoxious and wicked women holding you captive at home, school or work? I’m sure many of us are held captive in any variety of ways.
In The Way of the Fairy Godmother the book I recently published describing what exactly the Fairy Godmother taught Cinderella to get her to the ball and her first date with the Prince, I suggest an answer. Here is what I think is the purpose of awaiting the pivotal moment. There is a lot of behind the scenes preparation going on. Primarily Cinderella is living a virtuous life. Amidst the cruelty of her stepmother she strives to do her best in the situation.
What I didn’t realize until I wrote The Way of the Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is also living a higher calling. What is important about a higher calling? A Higher Calling is a transcendent factor thrown into the mix. In the midst of hardship Cinderella strives to create beauty while she cleans and serves her stepmother and stepsisters. Cinderella’s transcendent factor, her Higher Calling, is creating beauty.
It turns out a Higher Calling is a tricky subject and even trickier phenomenon. For example, I am one of those mothers who gave too much. It turns out “over-giving” is not the same thing as Higher Calling. Ironically if you asked my adult child if he was spoiled by an “over-giving” mother he would take issue with the label and might even accuse me of not giving enough. But since this my blog and not his we’ll go with my assessment of the situation.
Surely some of you have confused “over-giving” with being a good mom. It turns out giving too much and Higher Calling are different creatures. I confused the two.
Does this mean I’m not going to have my fairytale moment?
Can you see how these are slippery issues? Does it sound familiar to any of you? Who do you clean for that doesn’t even notice the shiny counter or the folded laundry? All along I thought I was living out a higher calling when in actuality I was “over-giving.”
So what exactly is the purpose of a Higher Calling? I have a couple of guesses. Maybe a Higher Calling keeps us motivated through the hard times. Maybe it transforms and purifies us. It prepares us for the wonderful outcome coming our way as soon as we meet our Fairy Godmother, overcome the new insurmountable obstacles of preparing to take ourselves public at the ball to be worthy and deserving of the Prince.
As I said at the beginning, Life is like a fairytale filled with insurmountable obstacles, heart break, unremitting labor and Positive Possibilities.
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