Growing up is not an easy thing to do. Children negotiate a world full of obstacles one of these obstacles is adult expectations. Through this negotiation an understanding of how the world works is born. This knowledge is then used as a foundation for adult life.
As time poor adults we don’t question the stability of this foundation. Instead the fairy tales (some good, some not so good) which make up a great deal of this foundation are unconsciously perpetuated. Feelings of disloyalty quickly squash any thought of questioning the status quo. The adults in our lives did the best they could with the knowledge they had, yet they were not infallible. To question their thinking does not undermine the importance of their role in our lives.
As children we develop a set of filters to protect us as we navigate the world. They are born of the need to satisfy key people and establishments. Parents, the extended family, schools, churches, sporting bodies, dancing classes and any other groups that a child could possibly belong to, all share a common goal. The creation of the person they think you should be.
The child is presented the picture of the ideal person any variances to that picture are quickly discouraged. The child eager to please quickly learns to feel shame. They will hide any part of their self which is not in alignment with the adult vision. In an effort to thrive and survive they accept the stories written for them by others, by the people who love them and the community as a whole.
As adults we are able to choose for ourselves. If your life is not working for you then I would suggest it is because you are hanging onto a fairytale which simply doesn’t serve you.
Toxic fairytales can be identified in the language you use or the stories that you tell. Were you ever told you couldn’t sing, dance, paint, or that your body was the wrong shape, or you had a funny laugh? As a result do you deny yourself these experiences as an adult? Were you ever accused of publicly shaming your family, or told you would never amount to anything? Do you find yourself as an adult fulfilling their prophecy?
Let me give you a personal example. The ‘fairy tale’ that ‘real’ families consisted of a Mother, Father and children resulted in heartache for me as a child. My father was killed in a work accident when I was two and a half. His story became my identity. At that early age I had absorbed a common fairy tale which believes who we are, is the sum of the ‘events’ that have taken place in our life.
‘Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to ......’
As a child I knew without doubt my Dad dying was a bad thing. Bad things happen to bad people therefore my conclusion was I must be a bad person. The seeds for low self-esteem were sown, and the subsequent striving for perfection, the need to be accepted when I couldn’t accept myself ruled me well into my adult life.
As an adult we can acknowledge that events whether deemed good or bad in life don’t determine your value as a human being. Any event no matter what the magnitude is not a reason to sit at the edge of the pond of your pure potential.
Value as a human being comes from your ability to process these events in a way which enriches your life. You have the power to not only edit the fairy tales of the past, you can choose to throw out the whole book and write your own story. A story built on a solid foundation of self-awareness, self acceptance, and personal accountability. Breaking the habits of a life time can be a little scary. Whenever you feel the commitment waning, ask yourself this question.
‘Is this fact or fairytale?’

Author's Bio: 

Shelley Murphy is a Heal Your Life Workshop Leader, Reiki Practitioner, Artist, and Writer who is passionate about personal empowerment. For more information email or visit