From Sheri Bloom's Valentine's Day Blog

Want Love?

By Sheri Bloom

Hollywood attempts to sell it on the big screen; Shakespeare is famous for writing about it; clothing and makeup stores try to convince us that buying the right outfit, perfume or lipstick will bring it front and center into our lives: LOVE.

But love isn’t something that can be acquired via love songs or stories. And love doesn’t arrive simply because we are sporting a sexy pair of Manolo Blahniks. Sure, we may experience a quick adrenaline rush, but it is merely the Cubic Zirconia of love.  Between the media and marketing, we are regularly bombarded with this illusion of love, and deep down, beneath the Spanx and Botox we know this. It’s why we often experience an insatiable craving to be loved, truly loved and accepted for who we are at our core (and yes, that means without our skinny jeans yet with our bunions). We want to know someone is unconditionally there for us and this need cannot be met with a dozen roses, tickets to our favorite fill-in-the-blank, or even a stroll on the beach with someone we adore. Yes, the romantic gestures are appreciated, and even euphoric under the right conditions. But it’s not the stuff that lasts. No matter how great the courting, wooing, and lovemaking, in the end, we humans are always left wanting something more to fill an indescribable emptiness that even Hallmark can’t fill.

Why?

According to licensed marriage and family therapist, Suzanne Harrill, our ultimate source of true happiness and fulfillment “results from growing strong within and can never come from a partner. To truly live happily ever after, you must understand yourself and how to meet your own needs.” In other words, love needs to start and end with you. Contrary to what Hollywood tries to sell us, love does not mean waiting for a Knight in Shining Armor to rescue us.

Have you ever wondered what happened to our beautiful Cinderella after she married Prince Charming? Suzanne Harrill’s eye-opening book, Enlightening Cinderella: Beyond the Prince Charming Fantasy offers happily-ever-after seekers an opportunity to explore their own relationships by examining the iconic fairytale characters. The story unfolds ten years after our famous couple exchanges vows. They have two sweet children and an impeccably cared for castle and garden; Cinderella is a whiz at running both her estate and her family while the Prince enjoys preparing for the day he will be king. An outsider looking in might easily assume that Cinderella is living the life of her dreams. Yet, immediately we learn that our leading lady (There’s that Hollywood theme again.) is woefully sad in her decade long marriage.

Fortunately, Fairy Godmother is acutely aware of Cinderella’s emotional pain. Magically, as she did all those years ago, Fairy Godmother appears in the palace garden to offer wisdom, comfort and insight. And so we, the readers, are taken on a spiritual pilgrimage into the inner workings of intimate relationships. Under Suzanne Harrill’s eye-opening tutelage (AKA Fairy Godmother), we learn that Cinderella and her Prince aren’t much different than anyone else:

“Frankly I think you’d like to return to the grand ball. It was frantic and frightening in some ways, but it was certainly glamorous. Charming had you on a pedestal then and the relationship, if you can call it that, was pulsing with energy from all the infatuation and romance,” the Fairy Godmother says to Cinderella during one of their evening lessons.

            Our Cinderella still craves the romance of romance. While this is definitely understandable, it’s not realistic (or healthy) to expect the infatuation period to last. The Fairy Godmother goes on to explain that mature relationships occur when each person looks within for his/her source of happiness.

            Enlightening Cinderella is chock-full of razor-sharp insight. By using fairytale characters as templates, readers have an opportunity to discover eye-opening observations about themselves and their personal relationships:

Did you know that until Cinderella deals with her childhood (Remember that awful stepmother? And let’s not forget the pain involved in losing your mother at such a tender age.), she will continue to unknowingly act out her unresolved feelings with Prince Charming?

How can Cinderella expect Prince Charming to meet all of her needs if he can’t even meet his own (Apparently, Charming has unresolved smothering issues with his mother.)?

Will Cinderella and Prince Charming ever be able to honestly communicate without getting into an argument?

Why does Cinderella bend over backwards to please Charming?

Each session between Cindy and Fairy Godmother ends with a journal assignment. (i.e. “Do you have memories of experiences with Charming that still upset you? List the incidents for which you have difficulty forgiving your partner. What do you need in order to let go of these bad feelings?”) Doing the exercises is work but it also reaps epiphany-filled results. Some exercises are meant for you and your own Charming to do, (i.e. “List characteristics you think your partner likes and dislikes about you. Confirm your list by sharing it with your partner. Note similarities and differences between the two lists.)

If you are feeling a bit down, frustrated or downright angry in your marriage; if you are finding that the CZ of love regularly renders you dissatisfied then Enlightening Cinderella may be just what you need.

Enlightening Cinderella: Beyond the Prince Charming Fantasy can be purchased both on Amazon, Kindle and on Harrill’s inspiring website: www.InnerworksPublishing.com

 

Sheri Bloom is a freelance writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Some of her work may be seen at The Jewish-Herald Voice, Kids' Life Magazine and Cynic Magazine. A wife and mother with a non-fiction work recently picked up by a literary agent (Step on that Crack!), Bloom spends much of her time doing what most humans do: juggling life's priorities. To read more of her musings and for a daily dose of spiritual Vitamin D, visit her blog at www.gotblooms.org

 

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