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Once Upon a Time
by Strahbary

Once upon a time there was a girl. She was a young pretty thing. However through no fault of her own she finds herself in a horrible situation. An evil woman has trapped her and she canít get out. The poor girl was so disheartened that she just didnít know what to do but to let the beautiful days of her youth just slip right through her fingers. That was until the day that the young and unbelievably handsome prince charming came riding up on his white horse to slay the evil woman and rescue the beautiful young damsel in distress so that they could go on and live happily ever after.

There is just one problem with this whole scenario. The girl does nothing to get out of the situation on her own. She sits and waits for her prince charming to come rescue her, foolishly letting potentially good opportunities slip right through her fingers. These stories were very pertinent back in the day. When it was all about women being nothing more than a mans chattle (chattle is a legal term for a personís property requirements to that of a cow, donkey and in some cases a wife). I canít help but think that raising modern day women on these stories may have perhaps made women soft and naive pining for that prince charming to come riding in on his white horse.

If you pick any Goddess at random and look at her stories very seldom will you see one not at least trying to take care of things on her own. Sure, she takes help from others. Thatís different. She is open to the kindness being shared by those around her but she is not expecting them to solve all of her problems. She is taking the initiative to solve her own problems in her life in one way or another. Depending on the Goddess and the culture depends on the means that she uses to get to an end.

Itís not easy to find fairytales that have women that exemplify this Goddess like attitude. The majority of fairytale women are unassertive and vulnerable. When I was a child I was raised on these fairytales. If I wasnít being told a story about a Goddess I was being told about a fairytale of some sort. However, when I grew up I found that part of me wanted that fairytale kind of life where the prince charming would come in and rescue me and we would live happily ever after in his castle. However, reality eventually set in. I found that the only way I was going to get my castle was if I took steps to create my own happily ever after, taking on more of a Goddess like attitude than the unassertive fairytale one.

I have watched other girls in their pursuit for the happily ever after. One such friend seems to think that every man is her prince charming no matter how much of a toad he may actually be. To her the world is all pink fluffy clouds, soft pretty unicorns and lollipops. Pretty much your average 1970ís psychedelic cartoon. Unfortunately we are not all on some big happy trip. Reality isnít a cartoon nor is it aHollywood movie where the hero always comes out alive. These fairytale expectations could very well be the reason so many of us women have had such a hard time finding lasting love. We are trying to get that prince charming to do so much for us and even if he is pretty close to being the ideal prince he gets tired of doing it. Which really is understandable.  He has a whole laundry list of things that he is supposed to do for us and the Godís forbid he looks after his own needs every now and then.  Then we wonder why on earth did we get dumped or why the relationship just didnít work out.

It is inevitable that we are forced to live in reality though granted it may completely suck, there is just no escaping it. Fantasy lives eventually fizzle away to nothing in the end anyway and you are left with the very same reality that you wanted to avoid in the first place. One of my favorite fairytales growing up was that of Sleeping Beauty. I still love the story mainly because it reminds me of the happy points in my childhood. In the Arabic version Sleeping Beautyís mom ponders her daughters life now that she has met the prince. In her musings she thinks, ďFor it is only in the life of men is it possible to live happily ever after. There lies the test of every hero and the outcome of his quest.Ē  This phrase says so much. Living in a world of fantasy will never give us true happiness. There is such a thing as happily ever after but the challenges that are put forth in front of us by fate are what will steer us to our personal happily ever after.

We have to find happily ever after for ourselves. No one can lead us there. Allowing ourselves to be self sufficient and capable of truly loving ourselves is the only way we can make our way into our happily ever after. Itís like that old adage, how can you love anyone else if you canít even love yourself. How can we expect someone else to make us happy when we canít even pin down what it is that we want that will make ourselves happy?

My husband may not be prince charming and my life may not be the standard fairytale. I am ok with that. I love my husband and enjoy being with him. My life has its challenges and I make the attempt to face them like a Goddess and not as a fragile princess. Maybe then one day happily ever after may be the outcome at the end of my quest. But until then I will keep on living in the reality that is. My once upon a time has yet to be written and I am ok with that