Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fairy Tale Living

The comment: 
Can a fairy-tale actually happen in reality?
There certainly seem to be moments where that happens, right? 
The moments where all seems right in the world. 
The moments when you think, 'I can't believe this is actually happening to me!!' because whatever is happening is so good it's practically unbelievable. 

Fairy-tale moments. 

But what I think we forget about the fairy tales is that there is always an antagonist. The step-mother, the witch, the giant octopus lady with too much make-up and a frightening mole (why are they mostly women...?)
... or the giant, or the Royal Vizier with a sarcastic parrot, or vicious dragons.

We forget that there's opposition that has to be overcome...or else we think that once opposition is overcome that there's only the happy ending. We forget that we never really get to see what happens to Snow White once she marries her prince charming, we forget that we never really see what Sleeping Beauty is like once she is awake (a controlling, unhappy lady who is ticked about having slept so much of her life away perhaps...?).

The point is that the 'fairy-tale' that we so often visualize, that we so often get fixated on... is simply a life full of romance and happy endings. A life of things working out the way we want them to. But... that's not how fairy tales really go.

Because a fairy tale, like any good story, has to have conflict. A fairy tale has to have good overcoming bad. Otherwise, it'd be boring. It'd be just another story about a woman who marries a prince, but it's much more exciting (and weird) when he climbs up her hair to rescue her out of a tower... isn't it?

We want the good parts of the fairy tales... and we often forget about the bad that comes with them, too. It isn't a life of knights in shining armor marrying the girl of their dreams... but it's a life of a man fighting through whatever opposition stands in the way of the damsel in distress. Read me: man fighting (not always perfectly), woman in distress. It's messy. It's ugly. It's uncomfortable. It's scary. It's risky. It's unpredictable. Will he succeed?

And yes, most fairy tales end with a 'happily-ever-after'. He succeeds. And so here is where I think real life begins to separate itself from the fairy-tale world. In real life, there will still be challenges to overcome. Kids, money, jobs, death, depression, addictions... things that get in the way of the fairy tale ending. Moments where you have to continue to fight, moments where you're still in distress.

There's also the danger of identifying too much with fairy-tales. Of identifying too much with the characters in a fairy-tale. For example, as a becomes detrimental for me to think that any man can save me from my distress. The fairy tales can easily lead me to believe that if the right guy comes along, then all of my problems will be solved. But, that's never the solution. I think the fairy tales can give us this disillusion of being able to complete each other, fix each other...heal our wounds and brokenness. We cannot. We will not.

So while our real lives can reflect some aspects of fairy-tale living, I think we have to approach it carefully. We can't gloss over the bad parts of the fairy-tales and pretend that fairy-tale means only good. And we can't pretend like the simple solutions that the characters in fairy-tales find resolution in are the things that will solve our problems.

I think fairy-tales register so deeply within us because they are genuine desires that we have. Desires to be pursued, to be fought for, to fight for, to pursue.... desires to beat the opposition that faces us, to have victory, to be freed. But, we have to look at the source of the opposition...and we have to recognize where true wholeness can be found, where freedom comes from. It isn't in the earthly relationships.

I think there are 'fairy-tale' seeming moments in reality.
But let's be careful about how much weight we place on trying to make these happen. And let's be careful about how much weight we place on 'happily-ever-afters'. And let's remember that those moments where all feels right in the world? That that's just a small taste of what is yet to come.

Enjoy the moments.
But don't idolize the moments.
Remember the weight of eternity. Remember the true Prince who pursues your soul and that everything else is just a shadow of the real thing.

We are made for more than fairy-tale moments.
I'm a firm believer that what awaits us will be better than even a fairy-tale reality.

And again we fix our eyes on what is unseen... for what is seen is only temporary.

Your entries will remain anonymous

No comments:

Post a Comment