I loved the story of Cinderella when I was little. I could feel the grit and the dust of hardship and the slick slinkiness of ‘success’ when rescued by love. I understood one side of life was dark and one was light and happiness was only light.
Fast forward and tales have changed slightly with tastes. Now most romances are discarded as fairy tales and we are given a much more ‘real’ depiction of how it’s all to unravel. And there’s one tiny little strand that occurs that I think now is one of the most destructive.
In Cinderella, the protagonist was offered an opportunity and she took it and ran with it. She allowed the magic to happen and the story changed course. The tipping point these days has no such magic, no such opportunism. Nowadays, there is a tendency for the tipping point to be a point of near self-destruction. The more ‘real’ the film, the darker, more violent the slide down. And the rescue comes only from someone who is trying to ride it out with them, buffeted by the trials and tribulations, holding on by the last fingernail of love presented as hope, dragging a soul out of the darkness kicking and screaming. And even when you’ve been rescued, your shadow hunts.
It is seductive to think you can be a knight to another’s dragon. It’s magical to present someone with a white stead of escapism. But we are not born to save lost souls, to pluck them from oblivion and expect them to see the light. We’re maybe born to help those who seek guidance, who are ready to hear. And if they are not ready, we can only lead by example, not by wading in and screaming truths into a face with no ears nor eyes to what you present. There is no final tipping point at which you can play saviour unless the person wants to save themselves. Only you can learn to fight or fly your dragons.
The truth is, the magic is only within us, each individually. As friends, lovers, supporters, all you can do is create a space in which the magic may be noticed, the rest is down to them. It’s down to them to get into the carriage and change scene. It’s down to them to allow themselves to shine in new settings, to know how to put best foot forward. It’s not for us to write chapters for one another, just to show the way with our own beautifully challenging, uniquely magical stories.