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?

 

Brave

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Image source Natalinicola.blog

What do you do
When words said
Cut you to the quick
With their forceful
Honesty?

Where do you hide
When life
Barrels through
You?
Just one more pothole
Along the way…

How do you
Cauterize
The gaping slices
Etched on your
Soul?
Oozing thick, red
Tears
With each beat
Of your battered
Heart.

Where can you run?
To lick your wounds,
Curl up,
Fetal position
To protect.

Deep breath.
Look up
Into eyes that see
Through
The outer facade
To joint and marrow.
Feed on that power,
Regain your strength.
Shoulders back,
Head high.
One more challenge.
The answer…
Is you.

Yesterday…the words people say set me off into a ranting blog. As I thought about it throughout the day I realized…our words? They can carry a lot of meaning. They can have huge impacts on people whether we know it or not. The wrong words can be debilitating…regardless of right or wrong intentions.

I thought back to the things that have hurt most in my life… The inevitable conclusion? It was never anything physical…always mental. So if words can tear down… Don’t we, as writers and bloggers, also have the responsibility to build up? To leave someone a little better off? To encourage?

You never know whose will touch a heart. Or when what you have to say may be the difference maker in a person’s life. The thing that makes everything click…and make sense again.

Really, it’s always up to you, the individual, to choose who you want to be today…victim or survivor. Positive or Negative. Lover or Hater. Encourager or Naysayer.

Today I’m making my choice. Life…it’s full of bumps and bruises. Wounds that sometimes never fully heal. But I control one thing. My outlook….the decision to get up every morning no matter how battered yesterday may have left me…and to find the beauty and purpose in my today. Some may call me a sucker. I’ve been told I’m a glutton for punishment, that people will let me down. But you know what I’ve found? More people prove me right than wrong. I can wake up with a smile on my face. I can still appreciate the little things. I can love my life. Those other people? Well…isn’t it kind of sad that they can’t find a single thing to look forward to…except spreading their misery. Is it any wonder they find themselves alone more often than not…and not by choice?

I really believe you get what you put out in the world. What do you think? When was the last time you made a difference and you weren’t even trying? You guys do that for me all the time! So, let those scars become something that gives you character and join me in embracing life. 🙂