When I was a little girl my friends and I loved to put on plays for our friends and family. Well, it was more like one play, specifically – Cinderella. I’m not sure why we only acted out this one story. Maybe it was because it was our favorite, or maybe we only did this one play because we knew all the parts, so it was easy to switch from the character of the prince to Cinderella, or to an evil step sister or step mother. Whatever the reason we acted it out so many times it seemed like we did it for years, but it may have been just one summer. We all had so much fun, each of us getting a turn at the starring roll of Cinderella. Which may also be why we preformed it so many times. Each of us had our turn in the limelight.
I was embarrassed later on in life, since the story of Cinderella was so ingrained in me, when I heard the term Cinderella complex. Where it’s described as a woman who is independent, hardworking, beautiful and kind, and on some level of her being, feels that she still needs a man to come and rescue her from the conditions that she finds herself in.
My ego kicking in, thinking back to all the joyful times spent with my friends in play characterizing this role, that couldn’t be me. I didn’t want to think of myself with any kind of character flaw. I’d remembered the roles of the step sisters and step mother, and they had ingrained in me of who I didn’t want to be. I wanted to be the hero of my own life, nothing negative, but all positive. So on some level, however, I recognize that I did and still do, in fact, want to be like this princess.
I loved that Cinderella was so kind to everything and everyone. That she was beautiful, of service, caring, and compassionate. I loved the fact that her good deeds made her even more beautiful, and maybe, I sensed, because of all of that, the universe or through God, or some allowed force beyond what we can imagine, her selfless acts didn’t go unnoticed. The reward of which was that somehow she was found, and loved and cared for.
And if we’re honest with ourselves – who among us, male or female, doesn’t want that.