Sometimes I feel as though we give fairytales a bad wrap. And it’s not because we grew up to find that they were giving us false hope but because in growing up our perspectives have changed. As kids, we are hopeful and optimistic, not yet tainted by the hardships of this world. We are born with love in our hearts; we play with other kids without seeing a divide between us because of race, religion, gender, etc. I’m less inclined to believe that children exist in extreme naivete, they happen to be very perceptive. Babies will cry when placed in the arms of someone with bad energy; kids will make it clear when they are uncomfortable with a person. I mean, have you seen the photos of kids with President Obama vs. those with 45, kids be knowin. Lol. As we grow up, we are taught hatred and societal norms. Our brains are developing, and we are being conditioned to believe a lot of things both good and bad from both trusted sources and not. Life and all of its experiences tend to harden us, and so we see things differently.
What was once this whimsical adventure intended to shine a light on true love turns into a trick to have us believe in a lie that we’ve spent our whole lives hoping will come true. I happen to think we’re looking at the wrong thing. We’re dating and kissing frogs with no prince on the other end. We’re falling in love with the potential of men with no kingdom that awaits. And so we look to the fairytales and scoff at the notion. The truth is though, just as with happiness and success, I believe that a kingdom is whatever you want it to be. It’s something that you call and make your own. The very essence of fairytales is far more about the journey than the destination. It’s about two people who sometimes meet under the most unlikely of circumstances and others that fate would bring them together in the most basic of places that they weren’t even looking. They court and fall in love, and at some point, they both decide that this thing they have, this connection they share is worth the fight. And as life would have it, they are then met with opposition from others, obstacles to overcome, and everything that could destroy them. Sometimes these conflicts are self-inflicted, others are by forces outside of them that would stand in the way of their freedom, happiness, love. And through it all, they fight and in the end they win, together. The “happily ever after” isn’t about him being a prince or her a princess, it isn’t about the riches they inherit in the end. It’s about two people who decided that nothing was stronger than their love and who were willing to do whatever it took to protect it.
In the pursuit of happily ever after I have learned these two things:
1. It’s okay to love with conditions & best to love without expectations. You’re not required to suffer in order to be worthy of love.
The word unconditional essentially means without limits. That there is nothing that can be said or done that will break the condition ( the premise upon which an agreement was made) in which you agreed to enter the relationship under. The idea of unconditional love is often taught concerning the love we receive from God. While I am eternally grateful for such a love, I am fully aware of his omnipotent being which far exceeds my capabilities and the responsibilities placed on me even in my desire to be Christ-like. Therefore, in human relationships, I am not required to suffer through someone’s unwillingness to meet the agreed-upon conditions we established to be worthy of the kind of love that would honor them and me. I do, however, understand that expectations are usually the root of disappointment as we are flawed by nature. To expect anyone to do or be anything other than what they are capable of and who they present themselves to be is to create a recipe for heartache. I can’t expect you to give more than your ability, just as I am well within my right to decide if that is enough. I also understand that ability and willingness are not the same. I can choose to give room for growth, learning and the possibility of cultivating the type of love that serves us both and fulfills our desires in a mate. I am not required to suffer through your maturation process and the choices you make that continually cause me pain. I’ll pass on waiting with the hope of maybe someday being appreciated for my willingness to hold you down which comes at the expense of me. I’ve realized that that is much too high of a price to pay.
2. While sickness and health, for richer or poorer are vows that some struggle to keep, the toughest thing to do is to grow old with someone. You have to find something new about them to fall in love w/ at each stage, and you’ll never grow apart.
Love is typically not enough to see two people through till death do them part, but it is usually the very thing that will propel them to do the things that will. It is in the conscious act of finding new ways to love one another that you discover new depths that you hadn’t believed possible. Understanding each other’s love languages and choosing to love them as they like and not always as you want is an overlooked concept that could be the very thing to unlock lasting love. As each person continues to evolve, meeting each other at each stage allows you to grow with them instead of apart from them. What ways has life changed their perspective which has caused them to require something different now than before? And how can I as a partner adjust so that they may feel seen, loved, and heard? Being willing to let go of who someone once was and accepting them for who they are is allowing them the freedom to become. And as you both become as individuals, you make room for you to thrive together.
To me, Fairytales haven’t become less likely, our willingness to work for them have. Our focus is off, and our attention has shifted to the very fleeting things that allow for the divorce rate to be high and heartache to run ramped. Ultimately, just as we are the creators of our realities, we are also the creators of our own “happily ever after.” Starting with self-love and discovery allows us to know who we are, what we want, what we will and will not tolerate and hopefully the ability to walk into a relationship whole. Finding someone who has done their fair share of the same self-work helps to even the playing field and create a harmonious environment. Then there’s the failing, the working, the staying, and hopefully, the happily ever after. I believe in a love that sees you, requires the best from you and brings out the best in you. The kind of love that is consuming without being suffocating and is loud without having to be shouted. Whatever that looks like for you, may you never give up hope in its possibility. Fairytales happen every day, b. 😉