When I reflect on my life so far I’m struck by how often I find myself holding my breath, waiting for the final moment – the ‘ta-dah! you’ve made it’ moment. The ‘it’s going to be ok moment’ so that I can relax.

And it doesn’t come.  Or if it does, it’s so fleeting that I miss the opportunity to relax and I’m back in deep breath mode.

And I’ve decided that I blame Disney..

Every Disney Classics film has a suffering main character, an evil character and a supportive character.

Snow White had the seven dwarfs – seven!– supporting her.

Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) had three fairies to help her – it wasn’t her fault her fathers decision to cut off Maleficent’s wings to gain the kingdom led to her having to be hidden in the forest.

Cinderella had a fairy godmother – she was lucky that the Prince fell in love with her but it could have been a whole different ending without the use of magic. 

We’ve all been taught to look for the happy ending, knowing that it will come and that everything will be alright. 

I watched these movies as a child as entertainment. I read a beautifully bound Disney Classics book – always under my stepmums supervision, never allowed to have it – turning those pages, loving the happy ending moment.

At that age (before seven years old), our subconscious soaks up information without a filter. There will always a be a supporting cast. Everything works out in the end. 

Does your life work like that?

Life isn’t easy. I imagine your life hasn’t felt easy. (And please, don’t compare yourself to those who are worse off than you – suffering is suffering no matter what it looks like). You’ve experienced the evil characters. The supportive characters.

For years, I clung to my belief that it will all be alright in the end. That i’ll have my team of dwarfs, fairies, or a fairy godmother. That good will overcome evil. I believed it. I still do. And it turned out not to be true.  People leave. People say things they cannot deliver on. People lie. People die. Everything changes.

I thought if I did all the right things; tried hard at school, did well in exams, got a job, I would get my happy ending. Right? Wrong.

Obviously I now know only too well that life isn’t a Disney Classic film. It’s a tsunami of events that continue to happen and we are taught to cling on to those fleeting moments of joy instead of actually focusing on the individual steps and learning how to live with uncertainty and celebrating our strengths, developing our resilience (this has to be taught and learnt and encouraged and made more visible so others can learn how to build it too).

I find myself watching films today and the ones that I prefer are the ones which show the struggles more than the happy ending.

Erin Brockovich – for example – Seeing the passion and the struggle and the break that she got from Ed when she created a job for herself – “don’t make me beg, if it doesn’t work out you can fire me”. And wow, the impact she had on others.

I’m learning how to understand my story so that I can learn from it and find ways to pause and celebrate the moments when I keep moving through, every single day. 

Don’t wait till the end.

Embrace the uncertainty. Learn how to dance in the rain. 

Learn about your nervous system, the vagus nerve, intergenerational trauma, subconscious beliefs. Use your triggers to highlight your self worthiness wounds and tell yourself you are good enough, you are important, you are worthy. You are loveable. Every single day.

Don’t wait for a happy ending to come – be your own fairy godmother.

A person holding a red umbrella

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