Raised on Cinderella
Most women in first world countries grow up with a healthy dose of dreams, dollhouses, Barbie, and playing dress up. All in anticipation for that big day when we are the princess, marry our prince and ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after, right?
Even with some of the women I have worked with that married, as they say, “far too young” or perhaps, because they “had to”. Even when a marriage starts off in less than glorious circumstances (and I am not referring to twisted unions forced by some cults – just something we might not categorize as the “ideal”) we don’t say I do, thinking we will regret it. We marry because it is often the culmination of a life time of dreams.
But somewhere after the “I do’s” we meet a tidal wave of reality and years later we are signing up for classes with titles like, “I Can’t Live This Way Anymore”.
What happened? The dreams faded, and along with it, our belief that anything could ever change. We fall into despair and become desperate for answers, spending so much time looking out, the inside is left untended. And like any neglected garden, it begins to grow weeds in the form of thoughts that don’t serve us. Thoughts of “I guess I am not enough” “I guess I don’t deserve to be happy.” “I guess this is just how life goes.” “I guess it was all a fairytale – meant for someone else.”
I believed those things for a long time. A really long time. I couldn’t see how small what was going on around me was, in comparison to what was going on inside me. I was a whirlwind of energy, pushing in vain attempts to change everything - except me.
As Thoreau said, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Or, from my perspective - hear, think and believe.
Discovering this truth was a roller coaster ride, I won’t lie. When my first life coach suggested I look at what I wanted and where I wanted to go as opposed to the past – it was like “Wow! Yes, I got it. Let’s go!!”
And then came the very fast descent when I realized that meant I had to assume 100% ownership for where I was. HHHmmmmm, this was not what I thought. Resistance popped up like the gopher from CaddyShack. And much like Bill Murray I fought it at every turn, blowing the entire golf course up until I hit a defining moment. I finally understood that this also meant I had control.
Ahhhhhh, that was something appealing, control over my life. (Having believed my ex husband had that for 20 years.) I was back at the top again.
But there is intellectual awareness and internal absorption- wholly different
EEwwwww, here we go again ––up- down–practice- up down practice (repeat ad nauseas).
The last 9 years since making these discoveries have been the ride of my life –I closed one business, broke off a very bad engagement, became a Life Coach, started specializing in making dreams come true for women, moved to Paris, married a beautiful Frenchman, and live in an incredible 3 story house in the charming hamlet of Orleans, the land of the kings. Yes, trust me, fairytales can come true, just not in the way we grew up believing.
Instead of becoming someone’s princess and expecting to be swept away on a white horse, think in terms of becoming a queen, your own queen. Ride your own damned horse and co-create the kingdom YOU want.
I think it’s high time we get Barbie a new body, new wardrobe, and new attitude. Change those unrealistic stories once and for all. Write a true story, a real fairytale.
It is so much better living in this one...
If you are ready to untangle the Marriage Myth, ditch the white dress regrets and write your own story – let’s chat.
Why We Stay Stuck
The #1 Reason most women don’t act when they are unhappy, do you know?
Yes, it involves fear, but what kind?
The answer may surprise you.
Not fear of failure as we might think, or fear of the unknown, or even fear of making a mistake. It is fear of judgment.
It is the fear that we may do one of those things -fail, make a mistake or leave something safe and familiar for something unknown- and someone we care about or whose opinion we value will be standing there saying, “I told you not to do that.”
Ironic, isn’t it? We fear falling flat on our faces less than we fear what someone else might think.
But whose judgment? Who is it we see when we fear judgement.
Who is it that we fear may not approve of us, our decisions, our words, or worse, our possible failures? Us?
This is the part to uncover. So, stop for a moment, sit comfortably, get very quiet, take 3 to 5 deep, slow breaths. And think about what you really, really want to do. If you feel fear of judgment creeping in, ask yourself what it is about. Whose represents that fear of judgment for us? Do “they” have a face, or is there a moment or event that pops into your mind immediately?
Remember that all the voices do not have to be from childhood. We collect dramas even as adults. Be gentle with whatever comes up for you. Be curious, invite the awareness. The feelings will not overwhelm you if you allow them a 90 second wave. If it becomes too much, try Mel Robbins’ well documented attention breaker – count backwards from 5. 5-4-3-2-1. That small interruption in thought patterns will snap your brain out of the spiral.
For more on how to uncover the “nebulous they” whose judgment we fear check back next week.
À beintôt et Gros Bises…
PS, for more tips, support and direction:
Join our FB group Undone Women – it’s free, it’s for you, it’s about learning to nurture you, it’s an amazing community of women full of support, love and laughs (and isn’t that a nice change from the reality tv show you are living in now?)
Or, if you prefer, there are several ways we can work together personally to give you the support you need to untangle your marriage and rewrite your life - and shine.
Here is a link for a free, no obligation call – no really –