This week I'm honored to have an extremely special guest. Cinderella has agreed to share with me more of her writings. I've dubbed her passages "Cinderella's Secret Blog." I'm impressed with her willingness to be so open and authentic. It's rare these days that we get to see such honesty. I hope you enjoy this first post from her.
March 11, 1811
I woke from a disturbing dream last night. One that had my heart racing and I could still see him in my dream. In my half-awake state, the old ache came back to haunt me. I dreamed that I was with Henri and we were about to meet up again after a long, long time. I saw his face in my dream even after all these years.
Friends told me that his face would fade in my dreams, and I thought it had, but last night I could see his handsome smile. I wanted to reach out and grab his hand, to feel how soft they were except in the spots where he had calluses from playing the lute.
In my dream, I saw him from afar and I was to meet him at a location at the end of a long journey. When I arrived, he had forgotten me and moved on to something else. The rejection stung and I longed to see him again and to ask him why he had left me, what had I done wrong, what could I do to fix the gap between us, but then a new thought came to me.
My friend Renée would be proud. I had this breakthrough that came to me as I sat up in bed and I desperately wanted to write it down:
“Stop looking for the sun's warmth from someone who can’t give it. You’ll never get what you want.”
The words spun around inside my head and I kept repeating them until I found my quill and some parchment. I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t.
Years have passed and I still can’t get Henri out of my head. I have tried and tried and tried. But I have realized something: Maybe I dreamed of him for a reason.
Maybe he represents a part of me that longs for something that I’ll never have?
My mother died when I was young and my father traveled the world as a merchant, only coming back a few times a year. For much of my life I’ve felt abandoned. I have been lost, alone and unloved.
When I think about Henri and why I fell for him, I realized something after my dream. Maybe I dreamed of him because I keep looking to the wrong person to try to save and rescue me. Maybe I keep repeating the same mistake by looking for love from the wrong people.
I thought more about this and started to write some more. I stared at the quote I had written down and started to rewrite it:
“Stop looking for love from someone who can’t give it.”
That sounded better, but I realized that it wasn’t so much about a particular person. I think Henri in my dream represented something bigger—something more general than that.
And, as the wheels in my head spun round and round an hour before sunrise, an idea came to me. I took the “wanting to be loved” and mashed it with the first thing I could think of: “a banana.” Yes, it’s the craziest and oddest thing that popped into my head, but it all began to make sense to me. So I wrote some more and came up with:
“When you look to a banana for love, you’ll only slip and fall.”
I liked that much better because it sounded similar to the “you can’t get blood from a stone” idiom that many use.
A banana could be…
- A person
When I replaced each of those words with “banana,” I realized then that I had hit on something.
The more that I try to find love, self-esteem and acceptance from an external thing, the less I would find it. I would simply slip and fall.
Not a bad idea for something that came to me in the middle of the night.
I often see many girls my age looking to marry into a rich family, thinking that if they only found the right husband that he would save them. But then they marry, and “husband” becomes “child.” If they only have children, then they will be complete inside.
The same is true of the women I see who work for a living. They focus only on their job, looking for comfort and acceptance in all the wrong places.
But that doesn’t help either. It just doesn’t.
Sometimes when I’m low, I wish I could throw myself at someone and just be lost in that "love." I can forget my own problems, but the more I go down that path, the more hurt and rejected I feel. It’s like I keep going to the same empty well to get a bucket of water and I keep coming up dry each time, wondering why I’m not getting any water.
There is only one way to solve the ache and hurt that I feel, but it takes time and work (which I admit that I often don’t want to do).
I sat at my desk last night and said out loud:
I am lonely
I am tired
I am hurting
I admitted how I felt, embraced it and then gave myself a hug. Is it foolish for a grown woman to do that? No.
Sometimes we all need to be reminded to love ourselves.
I pass on this secret to you. I pray that I’ll remember next time when I need it. And that is why I wrote this down: To help myself, but also to help you. It is okay to admit that you’re not perfect and that you sometimes feel weak. When I say and admit it, I make myself strong.