Wednesday, December 31

To the self-rescuing princesses

As I watch the snowfall outside the window of my cozy hostel in Istanbul and drink my Çay (Turkish Tea), the fairytales of my childhood runs through my mind.

Have you ever wondered why all fairy tales ended in happily-ever-afters? 

Think of the Walt Disney versions. Beautiful, innocent girls suffered at the hands of wicked witches/step mothers and pined for the day their prince charming would arrive, with his dragon-slaying skills and magical kiss. These stories were oh-so-cute with fluff and romance. The more I think about it, the more they seem scary . They taught a girl to be deluded, trusting and passive, rewarded for her looks alone (and maybe a bent for emotional masochism).

What if these tales didn't start this way? What if they were female tales where the heroines were not just pretty victims killing time and waiting to be rescued? Sisters rescued brothers, daughters rescued fathers or lovers.

And when the princess would fall into a deep, enchanted sleep, she would close her eyes and withdraw into some serious Me time. Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, in her sleep she will discover her newfound sexuality as she blossoms from girl to woman. The moment she matured (insert, the process of ripening had come to its natural end), she would awake to her prince who was both her reward and symbol of adulthood. (Note: he didn’t actually wake her up himself. He was in the right place at the right time, with a tendency to take all the credit.)

Now, lets take the spotlight off hero's heroics, and put it, instead, on heroine's initiation into higher consciousness Then fairy tales will not be about true love anymore. But instead would be about transformations. They will be about growth in female consciousness that makes love possible. 

No growth, no story.

Transformation is truly a painful process, and not just an endless slumber. It involves struggle, suffering, sacrifice and pain : skills must be acquired, lessons learned, experience earned the hard way. And yes, a whole period of wandering in the wilderness - through unknown lands and difficult situations - alone. 

You must lose the old life - or get forced out of it - if only you want to come to the life that is awaiting for you.

But then Walt Disney wasn't interested in any of this. His hero battled the dragon and fought the witch for possession of the beautiful virgin. Suddenly a girl could be transformed into a woman with a single kiss. All she had to do is to wait for The One who would bestow it, so that her real life may begin.

And so many of us kept waiting.

But what if the prince is just a metaphor? The moment you fight through painful experience (that's slaying the dragons), when you descend into your personal hell and come back up into light, when you retreat from the world into your cocoon, only to assimilate your truth and grow strong enough to carry it - what if, the prize for all of this, for making it to the other side is not a man on a white horse, with shining armour and a feathered hat on his oversized head, but a more integrated sense of self, and a vision for your future that makes you passionate and come alive? 

You learn that you are stronger for the broken places. 

But this doesn't happen just once. Such initiation to consciousness comes again and again through a lifetime. Things fall apart, you eat the poisoned apple, you descend once more into dark. You wander alone through some bleak internal landscape until finally you see a crack in the dark clouds - and you turn your face to the sun. You rise to claim your reborn self, spiralling up a little more with every new transformation.

You the look into your prince's face, and discover its your own.

You have opened your eyes. 


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4 homies speak!:

Sridhar Chandrasekaran said...

You have such an interesting blog. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading your posts. All the best for your future blogging journey.

Tongue-fu Lady said...

Thanks for reading!

phatichar said...

Some day in the near future, I'm gonna make Aayushi read this.

Welcome back. :)

Tongue-fu Lady said...

Oh wow, Sri, m humbled by your statement. :)

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