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Posts Tagged ‘#happilyeverafter’

Fairy tales are to girls what big truck shows are to boys … they grab their attention from beginning to end, they amaze the viewer and make them think that what they see and hear is actually attainable reality … it is not.

Fairy tales are just that, they are the tales, or stories, that include imaginary characters such as fairies, or dwarfs, or talking mice, or flying carpets. They are, from their very name, made up stories, full of made up characters, and made up endings.

If I were to write a fairy tale it would be different, and probably not as widely read, or made into a major motion picture. Little girls would not wear t-shirts of the princess, or have her coloring book, night lights and video games. No, the ‘fairy’ parts would be absent. But, the ending would, in all honesty, be better than any starry-eyed little girl could ever imagine.

Here is my version (we will call it the Carole’s Notes Version):

Once upon a time …

In a land not too far away, lived a young woman with many dreams in her head. She dreamed of her future every day, and went to the King daily to ask him to lead her in the direction he had for her, and for the strength to do all that she needed to do in order to fulfill those dreams. She knew that the fulfillment of her dreams was reliant on her, and her trust in the wisdom of the King. She knew that she would have to work hard, stay focused and not expect for her dreams to just fall into her lap.

She knew that her goals could only be obtained by first getting a good education, so she studied her best and worked at her school work as if it were her job.

This princess was one who worked hard at all that she did, but she also played hard, knew how to have fun and how to relax.

She also knew that her goals could not be obtained without the support of good friends … girl friends and boy friends. These relationships would be chosen ones, ones that encouraged her to be a better person, as well as relationships of sharing the experiences of growing up. Romance was not in the cards for her at this point in her life, because she knew that it would only serve to divert her attention from the goals set out for her by her own mind, and by the King.

The princess made efforts to be helpful and kind to those around her. She tried to treat others fairly and with mercy. She acknowledged that she was given much in her life, and she needed to share what she had with others.

Throughout her life, the princess pursued her dreams, and relied on the King, but doing good and living right did not always prevent bad, disappointing and sad things from happening in her life. When she was just a young woman her mother died. She did eventually meet a Prince of a man, and marry him, and they shared a deep love, but marriage, she found was not an easy thing, and there were times when she wished she had not married him (and times when she could tell her prince wished the same of his marriage to her). There were times when the pressures of paying the bills for their castle small house just about smothered the princess. The couple had children who they loved, but who did not always look, act or smell nice.

Life was not happily ever after for the princess, despite her best efforts at living well, but she did live a life of joy, always thanking the king for all that she had.

When she reached her later years, she was still seeking the wisdom of the King every day. He was the focus of her days, He was the anchor that kept her where she was, and heading in the same direction. He was her focus …

And when she was breathing her last, she heard the voice of the King whisper into her soul, “well done, good and faithful servant, come and share your King’s happiness” (Matthew 25:23) … and there, in that kingdom, she lived, happily ever after.

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That common, dreamy, fairy tale ending …

“… and they lived happily ever after.”

As little girls, we were read such stories.

As we grew up, we hoped for our own happily-ever-after futures.

As adults, we sometimes wonder if we will ever get such an ending, or we simply wonder how our life can seem more like existence in the dungeon than living comfortably in the castle.

The thing is, the fairy tales we read are just that, fairy tales. They are not really real, nor do they reveal the rest of the story.

Wouldn’t it be great to find out what Cinderella thought of her mother-in-law? Or how Sleeping Beauty and the Prince survived their colicky babes? Or what Snow White thought of rarely seeing her dwarf friends, because she had royal subjects to tend to first. Or, maybe the prince, from Beauty and the Beast, let his inner beast out making Belle wonder why she ever trusted him?

These dreamy stories last only long enough to whet our romantic appetites, leaving our real lives to sometimes feel like we are thirsting in the desert, rather than drinking from the fountain of love.

“… and they lived happily ever after”

How do we achieve happily ever after in the real world, in real life?

Well … bad news,

as there is no guarantee, there is no formula, and there is no fairy godmother who can wave a wand and create a magical spell to fall upon your reality horror-program-like life.

Marriage is life in the trenches of expectations, dirty diapers, sleepless nights, impossible schedules, difficult times with teens and more bills to pay than pay coming in. Add to that PMS, stress, health issues, and you have a cauldron bubbling with more stank than Shrek ever had in the swamp!

A happily ever after ending does have a common foundation, though. It is that the beginning and the middle anticipate that the ending comes at the end … the end of life as we know it. It is a white knuckled determination to honour, love and stick with your prince/princess no matter what forces attack the drawbridge … even if they come from within!

But it is more than that. It is not enough to simply get to the end together, but is a constant, daily pursuit of a together that goes beyond fulfilling the letter of the law, and into the deep, intimate union of body, mind and soul.

In our real life relationships, we cannot expect this perfect pursuit from our prince/princess every day, but it does need to be the goal … for both parties.

So, lets aim for that happily ever after. We might not make it to the ballroom every night, but at least we will have our gown/tux ever ready in the closet. To aim any lower is to jump for the drawbridge as it’s lifting … never sure if our feet will land safely on the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

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Happily Ever After …

That is what women want.

There is an image (just to the left) that is so representative of that to me. When hubby and I were planning our wedding, we would dream of the future (how is it that it is so easy to dream of the future before you are married, and so easy to dream of the past after you are married?). One of the ways we would speak of the future was when we would talk about many, many years off into the future, when we would sit in our rocking chairs on our front porch … and just sit … and rock … together.

It was the sweetest dream. It was OUR dream, and one that spoke of commitment, of a future of forever together. It said, of both of us, ‘I’ll be here forever,’ and ‘I’ll never leave you.’

Although it might drive young single men nuts, though it might go against our human natures, the stability of forever is what women want. But I’m not talking a ‘life sentence’, I am talking happily ever after.

If there is a ‘face’ of romantic … it’s a female face. I believe it is partly in our nature, but nurture does add to it, as well. We females are ‘fed’ romance and forever, from a young age. But, really, we can’t just blame Disney for force-feeding it to us. Reality is, Disney wouldn’t have made money off of their Princesses, if their customers were not willing to pay for it. And the reason their customers are willing to pay for it? We want it! And we want it, because somewhere, within our DNA we WANT ‘happily ever after. Heck, the picture to the right from the Cinderella book version I grew up with. And that picture, not the ones of her wedding, not the ones of her dancing at the ball, but this last picture in the book, under which, the only words written were “… and they lived Happily Ever After,” was my childhood dream.

That dream was about forever, but it was more. It was the dream the love does not fade, or disappear, or die. It was the dream that the ‘prince’ who would earn my heart … would never break it. And, I don’t think I am just speaking for me, but for all women, when I say our greatest fear is that we will have been wrong, and we will have given parts of ourselves away to one not committed to forever.

Recently, I read these words of a heartbroken, hope vanished, dream stolen woman …

“You broke my heart,

but even worse than that

your actions blew out the last light of hope

for a girls dream of happily ever after.”

She was in mourning. In mourning for the future, that she had dreamed of all her life, of the future that her parents had dreamed for her, of the future that even God dreamed for her. She could, eventually, forgive the one who had blown out the candle of her dreams, and hopes, but the scars left behind would never allow her to forget. Forget the hurt, forget the loss. She would never hear of a 50th, or 60th wedding anniversary and not feel the tugs on her heart, that she would never see, and experience in the joy of such a celebration.

In the safety of forever, women can give wholly of themselves to another. In the security of forever, women can be confident of today, and tomorrow. In the permanence of forever, women are never alone. In the intimacy of forever, women can continue to dream. In forever love, we can do anything we want it to … even create miracles.

Women want forever … happily ever after …

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