Sitting in ashes covered in soot

Have you ever looked closely at the story of Cinderella? It’s a terrible story. Mother dies,  father marries a bitch, two evil step sisters arrive, father dies, and Cinderella’s only hope of escape is a fairy god mother or a prince.

What are those chances?

Children grow up is situations that are less than perfect and for some, the only way they will survive is to go into a – survival mode. But when someone remains in the survival mode for the rest of their life, there’s a problem.

That is why I was shocked when after I had reached my pique of a frustrating, I heard myself say, “I’m done playing the role of Cinderella!”

I gasped! Who said that? I looked around in disbelief.

“I’m not Cinderella!” I exclaimed to myself. “I like my mother! I’m not waiting for a Prince, I’ve got a Hoppie! I’d be okay if a fairy godmother granted me wishes, but I’m not sitting on my ashes waiting for her to appear.”

So what part of this story was my inner self speaking to? Could it be … (dadadadaaa) … the two ugly step sisters? (I like to say ugly because it makes them less scary!)

YES!! I do that!! I know I Do!!!

When they walk into the room I shrink into the dirty, bucket carrying, ash shoveling, servant girl, who talks to birds and hopes someone will take pity on her. When the bully speaks up my first instinct is to meet their challenge, but the Cinderella in me shuts me down. When the unkind accuse, I want to make it right, but suddenly I’m covered in soot and feel unworthy.

It’s a role that seems so out of character, yet, it’s also second nature. How have I not realized this in the past? Why hadn’t I turned the survival switch off?

Many of us play those roles. Either it’s the victim orphan, or the victim of a unloving parent, a victim of limited finances, or a victim of bullying. And some times, we continue in the role even when our circumstances have changed.

It’s time to flip the switch and turn off the flashing neon sign announcing our victim-age. Let it flash and buzz and flicker until it goes dark. It’s time to choose new roles, new characters that have fun, who live life, and aren’t willing to sit on their ashes covered in soot.

I’m happy to give this particular role up. I gladly walk away. And going forward, the announcer in my head will loudly proclaim, “The role of Cinderella is NOT being  played by …. ME!”

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