It flashed past, and I managed to find it again. A tweet about Cinderella. I really can’t remember much about the original tweet, but that it made me smile and I retweeted it. I do however remember the backlash to my retweet by one of my followers.
[start of scene setting] This person seemed cynical and upset by the fact that Cinderella was shown to be a role model to women. That it was shocking to show a woman being saved by a man and not getting off her bahoochie (Scottish word for backside. Not used by tweeter, but added here to stretch your Scottish vocabulary!) and sorting her life out for herself. Truly it felt like a sledge hammer had been taken to a walnut. She also happened to mention something along the lines of Cinderella running away from the party and not finding her own shoe. [end of scene setting]
This has stayed with me for a while. I was bemused at how someone could make so much of what felt to me as inconsequential. Of course, that’s what happens in life. If it’s one of your hot buttons, you’ll get all worked up about something others wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at. I’ve tried really hard to see it from her perspective and as I was wandering around this morning, I gave it some more thought. Nope, still I’m not getting it.
Fairytales are stories, they are metaphors, they are not literal, simply figurative. And even in that context, I think old Cinders was pretty damn smart to sort her life out just as she wanted. She used what she had available to her in her time of need. Did marriage to a Prince mean she had undersold herself, that she was unable to think for herself ever again, or that she was less of a person? I very much doubt you’ll find Catherine, Mrs Prince William feeling that’s the case.
So let’s look at Cinderella. She wanted to go to the ball, she wanted to meet Prince Charming, who wouldn’t? I mean seriously, when all’s said and done everyone wants to love and be loved. The fact that he was a Prince, is simply the circle her family once belonged to. She’d been ousted and wanted to reclaim her place as a rightful contender for his hand in marriage. Where would you choose for your first date, or to find the kind of partner you’d like to meet? The local cafe, a wine bar, a wedding reception, a black tie do, 5* restaurant?
She despairs that she’ll be unable to attend the ball in her latter day equivalent of joggy bottoms and a baggy t-shirt! Man alive, I know that feeling only too well. How many of us have to get appropriate clothing for functions? As she prays and asks for help from a source larger than herself, as we’ve all done every time we’ve said ‘I wish’, it appears. We always get an answer, we are so often not able to see it because it might not turn the way we expected. Cinders was receptive, she allowed herself to receive. It sure wasn’t what she expected, it was a miracle. I’ve had a few miracles in my life, some wouldn’t think so, but I know they were – coincidences, synchronicities, meeting people at just the right time, etc
There are rules she has to obey to allow the magic to work. I know that one too, don’t you? If you don’t have boundaries in place, then things can go wrong. All parents, or at least the ones I know, tell their teenagers to be home by a certain time, or go and pick them up – how is the Fairy Godmother’s rule any different? If you’re out on a date with someone you’ve met online, don’t you have someone to report home to by a certain hour?
She was having fun and the time flew past. When the bell struck midnight, was she afraid of being seen in her tattered clothes, or was she in fact composmentous and respectful enough to make her choice, which was to obey her elder’s wishes for her. Frankly I’d be fleeing to avoid being seen in my joggy bottoms too and the queues for a taxi!
So, she drops a shoe. In the moment she made another choice about what was more important – a glass shoe she was unlikely to wear again to clean the floors, or to get home. When you’re on the spot, in the moment, your gut tells you which is most important. Have you ever left something at a party and been delighted when the host returns it to you the next day, or calls you to say ‘It’s here’ – yeah, me too, and often sighed with a great sense of relief.
And in this instance, the host knows who the shoe belongs to, just not where to find them. A wonderful hunt begins as searches for the person who he knows opened his heart, set his soul on fire and felt at one with. Piffle, romantic nonsense – nah, when a man and a woman know what they have between them, they will cross oceans, climb mountains, overcome hurdles and do whatever it takes. It’s called focus, intention and love.
Sure, life isn’t all pretty dresses, princes, princesses, castles and happy ever after. And yet. What is in your way to allow it to be so? Every man has the ability to be treated as a prince, every woman a princess. Our homes are our castles and happy ever after – that’s simply a mindset.
Do you have what it takes to create miracles to get what you want? Cinderella did. It starts with loving and being yourself, and a willingness to receive what comes to you with open arms and heart. Yes, I do believe in magic, do you?