Friday, February 17, 2012

Suspending our disbelief

I have a confession to make.

I am a fantasy nerd.

Let me explain. I grew up on Tolkien’s world; before I was a teenager I’d read all three installments of The Lord of the Rings, became the typical obsessed fan girl of all three films (the extended edition, if you please), and before that, Grimm fairytales (and their Disney interpretations), Sailor Moon, magic, fairies, and warlocks littered my life with fantastic stories and fanciful imaginings.

I suspect the majority of us remember a time in our childhoods when we imagined and enacted incredible adventures. The possibilities literally were endless, as was my capability to suspend my disbelief. Who cares how it’s possible? What matters is that it IS possible, and gosh darn it, I’m going to have fun with it! I could be anything, and anyone, let my imagination transform my bedroom into a mining town from California’s Gold Rush and play a plucky girl named Kate, making a name for herself, and finding gold for her mother back home.

There are two major branches of storytelling that we as human beings most commonly come across, or weave ourselves. Stories used to escape reality, and those used as metaphors for reality. Sometimes the line between the two is so blurred they become one and the same, but it all depends on two things: what was your intention, and what was the result? Stories have the power to either draw us away from whom we really are, or pull us closer and closer until we break through our conceptions and assumptions and take one bounding leap into what is Possible.

As children we are masters of imagination, make believe, and fairytales. At some point most of us stop believing in the fairytales and stop believing we are something special. We stop believing in ourselves. The fairytales we weaved as children were merely metaphors of our soul’s desire to fly. All the characters and demons were aspects of our lives and ourselves; the epic quest to slay the dragon and save the princess? What happened when I found out that the princess and the dragon were one and the same; my enemies turned out to be my greatest teachers!

When we stop believing in fairytales, when we stop believing in ourselves is when our story, our fairytale, really begins, because it's the hero/heroine's journey towards redemption, rediscovering who they are and how beautiful and precious their light is. Your life is the biggest, most elaborate, most fantastic fairytale there is, and ever will be, period. Your quests are real, the magic is real, the romance is real, and the journey towards self-discovery and love is so very, very tangible and real. YOU are the hero, YOU are the heroine whose destiny and duty it is to BE on that path, and wherever you are in your story, you are just getting to the best part.