Lessons in Life and Love from Once Upon a Time

I wasn’t the girl who was hooked on Once Upon a Time from the beginning. I’d recorded it with the intent to watch, but somehow, I never did. Until the end of this last season. What I found was brilliant script writing, fairy tale characters I remembered, but spun to be virtually unrecognizable in the coolest way possible….and some awesome lessons in living and loving well if you paid attention.

If you know anything about fairy tales, you know that there are certain inalienable truths.

According to Shakespeare, “The path of true love never did run smooth.” The folks in Storybrooke, Maine would agree with that. In fact, they don’t even know it, but they’ve been trapped by a curse placed upon them by the evil queen to gain her revenge on Snow White, a local school teacher. Yes, when she activated the curse, she moved her world of magic into our world, a place where magic didn’t exist. In this world, no one remembered who they were or got happy endings…well, not until the “savior” arrived and the curse was broken.

Lesson: True love takes a lot of work, faith (both in yourselves and each other), and sacrifice. Problems and challenges don’t just disappear because you’ve found your true love. In fact, there will be times when you will lose sight of what’s important. In those times, the other part of you will rise up to the challenge–to believe and fight enough for you both.

Charming said it best. “I will always find you.”

Then there are the villains, Regina, the Evil Queen, and Rumplestiltskin…and even, to an extent, Regina’s mother, Cora. They’ve made some terrible, hateful decisions in the name of anger and revenge. But they are capable of love…and when they embrace that rarely used part of their souls, amazing things happen.

Lesson: With the power of love, no one is irredeemable. Flaws are there, and seen, but true love is acceptance, warts and all. Love means letting go of hate and anger, sometimes sacrificing yourself, to put someone else’s happiness and well being above your own.

Sometimes people will lose their way, forget who they are. In Storybrooke, this has happened quite literally. Charming lost his memory, for a while the entire town had no memory of their life in The Enchanted Forest, and Belle literally lost all her memories of Rumplestiltskin and their love. Sometimes losing their way can also be metaphoric. Snow lost sight of who she was in her quest for revenge, Pinnochio forgot his path and his responsibilities, even Red (yes, that’s Little Red Riding Hood) lost sight of the true meaning of family and acceptance when she met her mother.

Lesson: Those who love you will remember who you are and hold on to you. They won’t let you stay lost for long. They’ll remind you of just how important you truly are.

In life, we’re all bound to make mistakes. They don’t have to define us. In Once Upon A Time, Emma had given Henry up for adoption, thinking she had nothing better to offer him. He found her, and she fell in love. He was adopted by Regina, the Evil Queen, who had cast a curse of vengeance against Snow and Charming, Emma’s parents.

Lesson: Everyone has an opportunity to redeem themselves if they’re brave enough to take the chance. Love means owning your mistakes and moving forward. They don’t have to define who you are.

And finally, the most important lesson of all– “True Love is the most powerful magic of all.”

Yes, I’ve definitely got a soft spot for fairy tales. Always have. I love the way these ones are being told and blended into this beautiful tapestry. Are you a Once Upon A Time fan? Are there any lessons from the show that you’d like to impart? Is there another show that’s gotten you hooked? What life/love lessons did you catch?


34 thoughts on “Lessons in Life and Love from Once Upon a Time

  1. Mae Clair says:

    Kitt, you Oncer, you! 🙂 OUAT is the only show I watch when it’s on (instead of setting the DVR). So addicted, I tweet through the whole thing, LOL. I’ve loved fairy tales since I was a kid. Discovered OUAT halfway through season 1 and never looked back. My two faves are Rumple and Regina. Hmm….wonder what that says about me. Maybe it’s just that belief of love conquers all, no matter what you’ve done. Great post!


  2. brickhousechick says:

    I’m in my own fantasy world because my husband just confessed that when he hears John Legend’s song, All of Me, he thinks of me and how he feels about me. My heart just melted a little. Great post about love, Kitt.


  3. artisticmilestone says:

    I got addicted to that movie (1st season ) but didn’t have the time to watch the second season. Not that I really want to because I already wasted 2 whole days watching the 1st season and felt guilty and lazy 🙂 “In life, we’re all bound to make mistakes. They don’t have to define us.” This is the best lesson to learn from this movie 🙂


  4. Kristy K. James says:

    I really like this show…but I’m way behind on it this season. I need my Rumpelstiltskin and Hook fix (is it wrong that I like the two ‘bad’ guys the most?).

    Totally love Sleepy Hollow and Sherlock. Ichabod Crane is incredibly sexy…and so is Mr. Holmes. 🙂


  5. Emma says:

    Mae has mentioned a few times she loves this show. I don’t know why I haven’t tuned in yet, probably just got too many shows I’m already addicted to. The first paragraph of your blog post has me thinking I need to go check this out, Now!


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      You really should! It’s an awesome show. Sometimes the person you remembered was good was actually evil and vice versa… Plus, it’s fun to try and figure out who everyone’s matching fairy tale persona might be.


  6. Coleen Patrick says:

    I watched the first season of Once Upon a Time, but I can see myself doing a TV binge to catch up one of these days!
    I love this lesson, Kitt: “Everyone has an opportunity to redeem themselves if they’re brave enough to take the chance.” That resonates with me. I’ve been thinking a lot about being brave, lately. 🙂


  7. jansenschmidt says:

    I was a fan of the show until the whole Peter Pan thing. I like the role reversal of Pan and Hook (especially since Hook is hot), but I’m not liking where the show is going with Henry morphing into Pan. Henry was the epitome of everything that’s good and right in the world, the everlasting beacon of hope and now that getting all screwed up. Not sure I’m going to keep watching, but it’s been interesting.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  8. The Regular Guy NYC says:

    I actually really like this show. My gal got me to watch it and since I am also a Disney fan I was sucked in with the great writing and cool charactors that keep showing up, even the twisted versions. Bottom line it is all about good winning over evil.


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