A Beautiful Mess

Life is messy. If you want to get the most of it, you are going to have to get dirty. It is going to require that you roll up your sleeves, dig deep into the muck and sort through it. We are all a mess of emotions, confusion and fairy-tales. As children, we were attracted to the dirt and we enjoyed making a mess. But, somewhere along the way, someone instilled the fear of getting sick, falling down and hurting yourself. It is possible that you will fall down, get sick or get hurt along the way, but it is apart of the journey.

Speaking of fairy-tales, I am hooked on this show called, “Once Upon A Time”, that comes on abc. The story-line involves a load of fairy-tale characters that are convinced that they are regular people. The show jumps back and forth between the fantasy life and “real” life of the characters as they are not aware that they are fairy-tale characters. The show attracted me because I’ve always loved fairy-tales. It’s fun believing in magic. The other thing that I enjoy about the show is that they are true to the actual fairy-tales. The Disney movies sanitized the gory horror of some of our favorite fairy-tales. In the true tales, there was a lot of killing, threatening to kill, poisoning and all types of heinous crimes against women and children. We often love to view them as romantic tales, but the themes that run through them are very similar to everyday life. The appeal is that the characters triumph over their situation. They go through difficulty and experience something awful, then there is a ball, a wedding or some other fantastic ending. You don’t always get that wonderful ending in “real” life.

One could argue that we all have our own fairy-tales. We have spin and stories that we create to understand and handle the things that happen in our lives. Your stepmother may not have forced you to become a servant in your castle, but maybe someone that was supposed to love you was really mean to you because you weren’t a blood relative. Surely, she didn’t give you a poison apple because she was jealous of your beauty. But, maybe someone held you back from a promotion because she was jealous of the attention you received. There was no witch that traded you something you really hungered for in exchange for your soul. But, maybe you sold your soul in another way, by giving away something you knew you shouldn’t to get something that you really wanted. We all have fairy-tales that we believe about our circumstances and experiences. The power that you give these circumstances and experiences is what drives your life. The people that you cast as the villains are just flesh and blood people that are under the spell of jealousy, greed and other egoic attitudes.

Our life is messy. Our fairy-tales are even messy. We are still convinced that life is supposed to be perfect. We are convinced that if we buy the right house, have the right education, marry the right person, get a great job and have perfect children that everything will be great for the rest of our life. You can do everything right and I can guarantee you there will still be rainy days and tears will fall. It’s not important what you have, but who you are in this life. You don’t have to chase the fairy-tale, because none of those Princesses got their happiness without some trial or tribulation. I always say that they cut off the story right before the good part. Instead of trying to deny the mess and telling yourself that it’s not supposed to be that way, you can find the beauty within the mess. You write your own story. Make it a good one.

The past can hurt. You can either run from it or learn from it.-The Lion King