Ladies, Your Life is Not a Disney Movie

“And they lived happily ever after…”

It is not until we are grown, ladies, that we realize that the most famous quote of all time is also the biggest lie of all time. In a way we are fed a female version of “soft porn” from a very young age. Those words may seem a little strong, but let me explain. From childhood we are led to believe that romance is the key to a happy life. We watch Disney film after Disney film, chick flick after chick flick, sometimes we even get sucked into the world of romance novels. No matter the medium, the message is the same. Life sucks, but add a “prince” and all our problems disappear. As fast as you can say “bib bitty bob bitty boo,” we are living happily ever after.

You see as members of the female gender we are much more driven by our emotions. Whereas men are driven romantically by visual stimulus, our drive is stimulated by stories of romance, heroism, and “love.” Most women live each day pining away for their “prince,” because they have boughten into the lie that when he arrives their problems will be solved. They believe that, like Cinderella, they will be swept away to a far away kingdom where they will be pampered, romanced, and loved for the rest of their days.

However, when they finally arrive to this far away kingdom they begin to realize that the “prince” that “rescued” them is not at all what he first appeared to be. In fact he has more qualities of a frog than a man. In their disillusionment their hearts are crushed. Then begins the ranting, the complaining, the “man bashing.” The hurt they feel spills out and their dreams slip further and further away.

Many of you may think that I am being cynical. Others may think that you will be the exception to the rule, and some of you know exactly what I am speaking of because you are currently experiencing this disillusionment.

So please read on. Give me a few moments of your day, it may just save you a lot of heart ache.

The first step in protecting your heart is installing a stronger filter. Disney movies are not bad and neither are chick flicks. However, they may be doing damage to your love life. They are doing your husband, or future husband, a huge disservice. These flicks are leaving false imprints on your heart. Imprints that any man would be hard pressed to match. We would be hurt to be compared to a Victoria Secret model. No woman likes to feel that kind of pressure to be physically beautiful. However, we put that kind of pressure on the men in our lives every single day, insisting that they fill the shoes of “Prince Charming.”

Just as we love to hear that we are beautiful just the way we are, we need to be aware that we should be encouraging, rather than discouraging the efforts of our men. They need to hear, ” I appreciate you and I am proud of you.” They need to know that we see their valiant efforts. Instead of verbally lambasting our men behind their backs, we need to be encouraging them to their faces. We would be crushed if we heard about a conversation our men had with their friends about how we needed to lose weight or stop eating like a pig.

http://filmschoolrejects.com/news/the-princess-and-the-frog-controversy-or-innocence.php

We need to come face to face with our own faults and the “pornographic” images that we entertain. Even when these images come from a PG Disney film. Only in seeing the potential in a frog will you ever discover the prince inside. It is our role as “help mates” to encourage and call out the hero that lives inside of our guys. YOU have that power. It is time we began using our power for good and not for harm. For healing, not for wounding. Only then will we begin to see the transformation that we so deeply long for.

The truth is we often refuse to put in any effort ourselves. We take one look at the frog before us and we begin dreaming of a prince. We begin looking around us and wondering how so many of the women in our lives found their “prince charmings.” But if you really ask them, you will find that their prince didn’t start out as a prince. You will discover that she simply saw the inner potential and decided to lend him her transformative power. And through team work they are working towards a realistic “happily ever after.”

It is time ladies. It is time to let go of the mirage and face reality. I speak this from the heart. You can keep throwing those “frogs” to the curb, but eventually you will realize that the prince you were looking for was inside one of those amphibians.

http://jadensadventures.wikia.com/wiki/Flynn_Rider

Each time I write I try to to pour grace and understanding into my words. I make the upmost effort to leave no loose ends. So let this last paragraph serve as a tight knot. In saying all of the above, I am not saying that you can just grab any Tom, Dick, or Harry off the street and transform them into a prince. Some men, by choice, will remain frogs for the rest of their lives. So it is up to you to discern what kind of frog you are committing yourself to. So choose wisely. Look for the right ingredients in a your “frog”: Character, humility, love, patience, kindness, willingness to learn, self sacrifice, understanding, and most importantly a love for God. There are more, this is simply an example list, but you get the gist.

You have the unique ability to transform a man’s life for good or for bad. It is time to take that power seriously. Don’t be in a rush, ladies. It is better to have no one than to be stuck with a frog for the rest of your life. But also remember that most men start out as frogs, and just need a little love, understanding, and support. Let’s extend more grace and begin addressing our own misconceptions, it may just lead to a prince.

Happy hunting…

BH&T

It’s Time for Spring Cleaning

I used to think that pride was the root of humanity’s problems. That somehow ego was the enemy of relationships. I am learning however, that it is indeed deeper than that. Pride was the downfall of satan. Shame is what he uses to keep us from becoming who we were created to be. It was not pride that made Eve eat the apple it was curiosity. Perhaps it was a lack of trust in God’s goodness, but not pride, Eve didn’t even know what pride was yet.

We all know what came after Adam and Eve ate that apple. Everything changed. The change started internally. The fabric of their souls was ripped from God’s and they knew what it meant to feel separated from the one they loved. And now in turn, we know that feeling as well. We know what it means to feel shame. And we see the outward manifestation of that inward darkness. It’s why we do everything we can to keep barriers between us and the ones that we claim to love. It’s why we want so desperately to be known and yet feel invisible so many days. It’s why we secretly cringe at the word intimacy.

With shame we believe that if we just keep certain parts of ourselves hidden, that we can attain that which we desire, intimacy. But shame will only bring hiding and hidden things remain in the dark, and darkness does not breed the intimacy we desire. Like all living and healthy things, our insides, our souls, need light. The light that comes from revealing the darkness and letting the healing grace from another wash away our shame. Ultimately the healing starts with confession to a loving God. But I believe that the process is completed when we trust the grace in another’s heart. In trusting others we allow God to physically manifest His love and forgiveness to us. We begin to see that God really is love, really is grace, really is forgiveness. When we allow others the chance to show us the proof of God’s grace we can begin to let go of our baggage and be free.

BH&T

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Baggage is a term that has been used a lot to describe the hurts, wounds, and fears that we have accumulated and learned over our lifetime. How much baggage we come with depends on our life circumstances. Some baggage is thrust upon us, and some is chosen. But all baggage can be minimized and left behind. How much we carry is our choice.

My sister and I recently helped a friend move. To me moving means a time to sort and clear out the clutter. To “purge.” A time to decide what is important and what is not. I never want someone to look at boxes and boxes of old dirty things that seemingly have no purpose and wonder why I am lugging them to yet another location. Unnecessary baggage, is what seemed to be everywhere during this moving experience with my sister’s friend. Literally half a truck full of boxes filled with dirty, old junk. Things that looked like they should have been given to the goodwill in the 90’s. Yet here it was causing more work, more time, more frustration.

It dawned on me carting those boxes around, that this is what our lives look like when we do not take the time to sort and discard. Instead of a backpack, or even a small Uhaul, we wind up with two or more Uhauls filled with junk that WE WANT to get rid of but just feel so overwhelmed by that we do nothing. When we choose to do nothing the weight and the junk pile on, more and more and more, heavier and heavier and heavier. This extra “junk” does not just weigh us down, but also the ones closest to us. Because we have to continually ask for help moving stuff we shouldn’t be moving. Sorting is hard work. Disposing sometimes even harder as it requires uncovering past hurts, regrets, and other painful things. But when we drag all of that STUFF into the light of day, the hours of time we spend initially, will allow us to live lighter, freer, happier, and truer lives. Lives lived in community with others. Truly known, truly loved.

I write this for you and I write this for myself. I do not want to live in the shadows anymore. Making decisions out of fear. Fear that my shame will be known, that something will come out in the light that will make me unlovable, undesirable. The truth is, we all have shame and baggage. It’s time we started helping one another cart that stuff to the dump. Calling it what it is, trash we do not need any more. When we recognize those hidden things it’s time to bring them to the light. Find a person of grace and ask for their help in “sorting.” People who have “spring cleaned” their own souls contain the grace to love others despite their junk. We don’t have to act like we or others around us are perfect anymore. Freedom comes in knowing none of us are perfect, and loving them, and ourselves, in spite of our imperfections.

It is time to live in the light. It is time to live in community. It is time to leave our love on for ourselves and others.

May we live in the light.