Once upon a time…………happily ever after. These were the start and end phrases of stories that enthralled me as a little girl. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, I was always a silent character in the story watching the knight in shining armor swooped through danger to rescue the damsel in distress. I could not wait to grow up and experience the same joy that damsel must have known in the strong arms of her knight.
But after years of dating, I soon discovered that the shining armor on the knight sometimes seemed dull and the coma-awakening kiss could lose its power. To my dismay, I realized that my knight was not invincible and he did not always have all the answers. The crushing blow came when I had to admit to myself that my shining knight was human after all and I better find a way to deal with my own distress.
This is the fairy tale setup.
Since little girls grow into women, we are prone to enter into relationships with this fairy-tale state of mind. Even though we may have examples of the true nature of relationships, some of us believe that it will be different for us. We believe our knight will not have any human flaws. We believe we will be able to control the situation so that our fate will be the same as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. We believe that our knight will shower us with “happily ever after”!
OK. But here is my question – why do we always gloss over the beginning of the fairy tale and focus on the end? All the fairy tales start with “once upon a time” – not “twice upon a time” or “thrice upon a time”. So, with that fact in mind, it is safe to surmise that all of us who are waiting for the Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty experience are waiting in vain. It is not happening again.
The truth is there aren’t any more knights. All we have are flesh and blood men that have human flaws and the capacity to love us. I am sure they don’t want to be burden with carrying “happily ever after” on their backs but are willing to share their lives with us. As one male friend told me years ago – the one thing he disliked in a relationship was for a woman to be sitting around waiting for him to come and make her happy.
The life lesson for me was to understand that happiness comes from within – flowing through you and around you. We are all responsible for cultivating our own happiness. This process can sometimes lead us to others with the same mindset and be the first step on the path that leads to “happily ever after”.
Did you read fairy tales as a child?
Did you yearn for a knight in shining armor?
When did you realize he did not exist?