I love how movies can bring us messages. I recently watched the new Cinderella. Her mother drums into her three things; have courage, be kind and believe in magic. These serve her well for the most part. In being kind, she followed a pattern we have been programmed with. She was kind, to a fault towards others, while allowing herself to be abused in the name of kindness. Only when her stepmother threatened to use her in a way that would harm her prince, did she stand up and say no more. How often have we done this, allowed ourselves to be dishonored and abused, yet standing up for others that we care for. The message we inherit is to be kind to all, except ourselves. Somehow we feel we can bear it for ourselves but not for others. Yet in truth, we are all one. So by allowing ourselves to be mistreated, we allow that behavior to continue. It is time to know that kindness begins, first and foremost, with ourselves. We serve no one by accepting abuse of any kind, not physical nor emotional. It may not leave marks, but emotional abuse is every bit as damaging to our hearts. This is coming to an end as we each learn to love and honor ourselves. We are deserving of every bit of kindness that we can muster. Our hearts thank us as we gift ourselves.
The most powerful scene of the movie for me, was when Cinderella was walking down the stairs to meet the prince once again, this time in her rags, to try on the glass slipper. She pulls from her stepmother’s arms, who is reminding her that she is nothing and nobody and not worthy of love, (that inner critic we all know so well) and she knows this is the moment where her life turns. She can play small and accept the vision her stepmother has created of her or she can stand tall and know herself as the love that she is. She passes a mirror on the stairway, sees her ragged reflection, lifts her chin and walks like the royalty that she is. She chooses to stand in her truth. Before trying on the slipper, knowing it will indeed fit and make her a princess, she asks the prince if he will accept her as she truly is. Not a servant girl, not a fairy princess but as a true kindhearted being full of love. His response displays his truth as he says, yes. His condition is that she accept him, not in the role of prince, but as a young man doing his best to live a life of truth. The prince had to defy convention by not marrying to create advantages for his kingdom, but to follow his heart. They each open to embodying their truth at the risk of losing the one that they love. As truly, it is only in doing so, that the love can flourish.
How often have we turned from one who truly saw us, as we feared to let down our mask. We have been indoctrinated that we are not worthy and we play this out by choosing to be with those who do not see us, rather than the one who will open our hearts to our own love and truth. This was beautifully expressed in another movie, You’re Not You.Hillary Swank plays the role of a beautiful young pianist who gets Lou Gehrig disease. Her outer life shrinks as her inward life grows. A young tough, hardened woman becomes her caregiver and friend. They each teach one another so much about love. Hillary moves from victim consciousness to taking responsibility for the demise of her marriage. She tells her husband that, “We created this.” It is not just his fault. She recalls him looking at her early in their relationship, and how she made the decision in that moment, to be the woman that he saw rather than to be herself. She remembers a man who saw her truly and how she turned from him, choosing instead the one who could not see her. We are freeing ourselves from these false notions, realizing the price we pay when we try to be someone who we are not. The young woman in the story has allowed herself to be used by a married professor while there is a young man who sees her truly. Both of the women’s mothers fill their heads with tales of “you are not enough, you are not acceptable as you are”. It takes such courage to allow ourselves to be seen, with no cloak, no mask, no cover up. To turn from the programming of old and embrace what our hearts know. I think of us all standing naked before our own higher self, before the Creator. There are no fancy shoes or clothes or degrees or roles to identify us. There are only our hearts’ flames to tell the story of who we are. Our flame shows up in our eyes, which are indeed the windows to our souls, broadcasting our truth for others to see. To look deeply into another’s eyes, is to fall in love. We are one being, coming to recognize ourselves. How beautiful our world becomes!