The story of Cinderella reminds me our relationship to the outer world and the divided parts of our being. “Once upon a time there was a family that lived in a fine house and was very happy, all the days were sunny and they love each other very much” (Young, Lecture 1). This scenario represents the true essence of our being when a baby was born he or she is pure love and joy.
Ella’s mother became ill and she won’t be there to help in her life’s journey so the wisdom she passed down to Ella is “try to hold on to the good” because that will be her saving grace.
Ella’s stepsisters symbolized the part of our unconscious called the inner critic who tends to be critical and demeaning. Ella could have fought back but she stayed in this unhealthy relationship because she was consumed by grief of the lost of her mother and perhaps fear of loosing her father’s love. Sometimes we got stuck in a relationship we do not like because fear is holding us captive until we heed the inner calling for transformation.
The notice of a ball at the palace was lighting a lamp for Ella, this image mean developing a clarity of purpose (Young, 3). She knew that she have to go to the ball because something grand awaits her. In the process of transformation we will encounter setbacks (stepmother) and we need the help our inner wisdom (fairy godmother) that connects us to the divine. In the end, when we reconnect with the treasure of the soul, joy abounds (Young, 4).
Getting stuck in a relationship is a big challenge, especially if we have carefully chosen our oppressor. Not likely we can leave, until we find a way to lift our projected inner negation off the partner who is acting out the critic for us. Once we leave, the inner version may flare up. It tends to go with us.
Young, Jonathan. SAGA: Best New Writings on Mythology, Vol. 2. Oregon: White Cloud Press, 2001.
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