Finding Courage Through Fairy Tales

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On March 25, 2016, Posted by , In Behind the Scenes, With No Comments

Wanna know a secret?

I’m scared.

Yep, it’s true. I constantly battle fear.

  • fear of rejection
  • fear of failure
  • fear of pain
  • fear of being deemed unworthy, less than, not enough
  • so. much. fear!

Through much of my life, I’ve subconsciously believed that the world is a dangerous place and that an enemy lurks within every friend. I’m constantly in flight or fight mode, scanning for threats real or perceived, rarely able to relax, seldom feeling safe.

Life… real life… demands courage. Without courage, life means hiding. It means loneliness. It means missing opportunities. It means failure.

That’s no life.

If I walk through life controlled by fear, I may be alive, but I’m certainly not living. There’s a big difference between the two.

How do I overcome fear so that I may live?

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.Philippians 4:13

My greatest source of strength comes from my faith. Time and again, I’ve found courage outside myself to face whatever test, heartache, or hardship stood in my way. Knowing “I can do all things through Christ” does, indeed, strengthen me.

I also find courage in other places.

  • seeing personal acquaintances face their own battles
  • hearing about strangers’ courage under fire
  • reading both real and fictional stories of bravery

In the fictional arena, fairy tales have always inspired me.

Since I was a tiny girl, books have been a huge part of my world. By age 5, I was reading the Little House series by myself, and I haven’t stopped reading since. To this day, you’ll often find me with my nose stuck in a book (or Kindle, which I love because it holds thousands of books), completely oblivious to the world as I take part in fictional adventures.

Fairy tales captured my imagination and remain some of my favorite stories. I loved how seemingly impossible odds were overcome time after time.

No, not every fairy tale had a happy ending, especially not in Grimm’s collection. (The poor little mermaid doesn’t get the prince. Instead, she turns into sea foam.) But even the stories with unhappy endings demonstrated courage, sacrifice, nobility, and love – all characteristics which deeply impressed me and helped shape my personal code of conduct.

I still find hope and courage in fairy tales.

In fact, they speak to me more today than when I was a child. I’ve experienced and better understand some of the battles described. While I haven’t actually fought a live dragon, I have struggled with being overcome by hate, deception, greed, envy, and all manner of despicable actions, thoughts, and attitudes.

When I created the Fairy Tale Collection, I chose to feature four stories that inspired me in specific ways.

  • Cinderella shows that kindness and courage can overcome cruel abuse. Have courage. Be kind.
  • Beauty and the Beast teaches that discernment trumps deception. Belle saw past Gaston’s handsomeness and the Beast’s ugliness to the true men inside. Seek the beauty within.
  • Snow White demonstrates that kindness makes one more beautiful than a perfect face or figure could ever be alone. Kindness is always fairest.
  • In the Disney film, Aurora and Prince Philip’s love provided Prince Philip with the courage and strength to defeat a dragon. True love conquers all.

Every time I wear one of the Fairy Tale Collection pieces, I’m reminded of the lesson learned from that tale. Those lessons remind me that what seems an impossible battle can be won if I don’t give up. Failure and defeat only claim us when we surrender to them. Never give up.

What gives you courage?

I’d love to hear what keeps you going even when defeat and failure seem inevitable. Please share your thoughts in the comments, or feel free to contact me privately.

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