How fairy tale myths prevent us from finding and keeping true love.
In fairy tales, sometimes the princess kisses a frog, or otherwise falls in love with a beast, and by doing so reveals his true nature as her prince. There are two facets to this particular myth. The first facet is that you can change someone, which is almost always untrue and sets the princess up for disappointment. You can’t change another person; you can only change yourself. This part of the fairy tale has made a lot of women kiss a lot of frogs and other beasts, hoping against hope that this time he’ll really turn into her prince.
Unfortunately, usually a frog is just a frog, but our subconscious mind is relentless in its search for its imago, its ideal mate. We will continue to search out partners who have the potential to heal our childhood wounds. That also means that they will trigger our childhood wounds, and we won’t understand why the frog isn’t really a prince. The solution to this cycle is to have the courage to dive in, dig up and heal those wounds.
The second facet of this myth is that true love’s presence does, in fact, bring out the best in everyone with whom it connects. In fairy tales, true love is identified with a beautiful, young, innocent princess. In real life, true love is identified with someone who has consciously chosen to remove the veils that keep her from remembering that her true essence is pure love. When we encounter a person who radiates pure love, we feel better just by being in their presence. They make us want to be the best version of ourselves. We become more patient, more kind, and more loving when we’re around them. The light in their eyes reflects unconditional love to us and we see the possibility of that love in ourselves. Our souls long to be free, and when we recognize the light of true love, we want to experience more of that.
In the presence of true love, we can recognize that we are perfect in our imperfections. We begin to discern that we are not bad; the stories we absorbed as children, unable to separate doing something naughty with being a bad person, begin to fall apart. As we are loved by true love, we begin to realize that we are lovable. If this person, who radiates true love, loves us then we can’t be all bad. We begin to look for the good inside us and to display it more often. Of course, we do this imperfectly, but we discover that we are still loved. It’s a beautiful cycle that feeds the soul and helps us remember who we really are. If you don’t have someone in your life who radiates true love, and very few of us do, then I suggest you do what I call the Mirror Love exercise. It goes like this:
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