Wednesday ‘On the Shelf’: The gift of fairy tales

Once upon a time…
In a kingdom far, far away…
There lived a brave…
There lived a beautiful…
An enchanted forest where dragons, elves, and fairies dwell surrounded the castle…

There is something about fairy tales that whispers to our soul. Across ages, pages, and the passage of time, a deeper part of ourselves recognises and identifies with the lure of once upon a time, and the promise of happily ever after.
Fairy tales amplify all the parts of human nature; the good, the bad, and the ugly become the saintly and effervescent, the wicked and evil, and the warty and weird.
Our beginnings, average and suburban, become once upon a time in a kingdom far, far away.
Our homes become castles, our challenges and fears become dragons and evil queens.
Everyday life and the steps we take to move towards our dreams are woven into quests and searches for lost treasure.
Unexpected delights and the rewards for hard work are transformed into magic, true love’s first kiss, and happily ever after.

Fairy tales existed long before the wonderful Grimms brothers and Hans Christian Anderson decided to write them down. These tales are of a deeper time, a far away time, which may or may not have existed, but they have lessons for us in contemporary society. Simple to complex, heartening to terrifying, these tales carry messages that are timeless. Morals and ethics woven throughout the trials and triumphs of fair maidens and knights in shining armour. Fairy tales are finding a place in psychotherapy to help people explore deeper themes and trials in their life. Through identifying with characters and situations patients are able to navigate their way through disturbances in their lives and find hope and healing and even their own happy end.

My favourite fairy tale has always been ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The central tenet that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not the reflection of the beholden, and that beauty lies in the heart of everyone.

I truly believe that we all find our happily ever afters but we need to keep our eyes open to recognise them, because sometimes they don’t start in a castle with once upon a time.

My dear reader, what is your favourite fairy tale and why?

6 thoughts on “Wednesday ‘On the Shelf’: The gift of fairy tales

  1. I’ve always had a soft spot for Thumbelina, probably because it was the first book I purchased and read on my own as a kid. I read it so many times I could recite the words without even having to look at them. I also like the Emperor’s New Clothes, Rapunzel and The Ugly Duckling.

  2. This is so beautifully written. I love Beauty and the Beast too. I think I like fairy tales because they give me hope in a world where happily ever after seems possible.

  3. Pingback: Is Your Life Enchanting? | Writing Your Destiny

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