I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been known to romanticize a fairy tale or two (or three or four…) in the past. And if we’re being honest, I think we’ve all done this at one point or another. It’s so easy that sometimes we probably don’t even think about it, especially when we’re young and are so sure that Prince Charming is out there somewhere with that glass slipper, just waiting to slip it on our feet.
But what about the real-world lessons found in the subtext of said fairy tales? It seems like those sorts of lessons become more and more apparent with age — and we all know that I’m getting older! I knew I couldn’t be the only one looking for these deeper lessons, so I turned to clinical psychologist and personality expert Sue Thompson, who had these words of wisdom to share about the upside of even “dark” stories…
What do fairy tales teach us about love and life? First, I believe they are “safe” ways to address the fact that there is evil in the world and it can touch us personally. Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and The Ugly Duckling inform us that there are bad people in the world who will take advantage of us, stab us in the back, step in front of us when it’s our turn in line and even seek to harm us.
They also teach us how to respond: that no matter how cruelly we’ve been treated, it will serve us well to forgive, ignore or stand aside. An “evil queen” may hate our guts, but we must look for those around us who love us and will always seek our good. Fairy tales can be downright inspirational when we are in the midst of troubles!
Translation: You can be strong, even in the face of adversity. That’s a pretty powerful lesson, don’t you think, friends? Do you agree? What’s your favorite “adult” lesson from fairy tales? Has your opinion of them changed over the years? Let’s chat! xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]