Posted on 7th September 2021 at 10:07
We can pinpoint the exact moment Snow White discovered she was unlovable. Discovering your step-mother wants you dead and your father is nowhere near to protect you - was a good indication.
Those two children cast out from home, only to scatter breadcrumbs towards a child killer's home - made of sweeties - discovered the same awful thing. And red riding hood, cast out without the ware withal to understand her grandmother was now a wolf that was about to devour her - she too, arrived at the only possible conclusion a child can arrive at. “I must be unlovable.”
Fairy tales have a way of making it all ok, and as if by magic - those cruel deeds are eradicated and Snow White, red riding hood and the gingerbread twins are all ok and we can presume they go on to lead fulfilled lives.
Yet real life is not the same. Daughters and Sons all over the world arrive at moments where the unthinkable “can’t” be true - my mother can’t be the bad one…and, therefore, the only sensible answer is to decide they are unlovable.
And then what?
How does one choose to grow and extend into adult life if you are fully in possession of the truth that you are unlovable? How able are you to choose healthy partners, or to allow yourself to be loved by them?
How possible is it to feed yourself in the right way or to even know you are worth good food if you are unlovable?
I often see them wander into my groups - the ones who have decided they are unlovable. They will either tuck themselves into corners and make little to no eye contact - or they will storm into a room, angry from the get go. They will ensure that you buy into their deception - they are unlovable and damn you if you attempt to tell them any different.
You might think it should be the other way around, that the unlovable will go in pursuit of love. Snow White will tell you that she found herself a tribe of men to hold her securely and safely - and in that way she could feel loved. That’s the surface tale at least…. though look beneath the tale.
Snow White arrives and instantly becomes the cleaner, the cook - she puts up with grumpy and sleepy - she is unlovable and she would never challenge that sort of behaviour.
Along comes a sweet old lady, a complete stranger to the woods, and Snow White eagerly takes one of her apples and eats it. Snow White would never question the ripeness or lack of poisons …... she is unlovable, she must just graciously take whatever is offered her.
What I’m describing, in a bizarrely logical way, is that for those of us born into worlds where the unthinkable is true - “that adults do and can mistreat children” we have to actively work to keep up the myth that we are unlovable. Why?
Because it is far less painful, in some bizarre way, to accept “that” as true, than to imagine that as children we were at the mercy of a broken, damaged, war-torn population of human beings.
A quick glance from the other side of the story, the pain of loving the unlovable, the amount of reassurance that goes nowhere… the countless gifts bestowed into hands that seem to never know how to say Thank you and will less know how to treasure the gift. The amount of arguments begun, endless hours of bartering texts. Yes - it is hard to love the unlovable……
It is necessary.
I passionately talk about the true nature of compassion and will continue to do so for a long time yet. I wrote a while ago about the compass in compassion, that arrow that points towards us as well as the other, a place that says - I will love you AND I will love me. Because when that statement is true, anything is possible.
I will love you, AND I will love me.
The last 2 years has reminded the unlovable that they are right. Abandoned by the world, told they are poisonous, told they might kill someone if they don’t follow the rules. Taken away from the consistent positive mirroring that reminds them every day that they are good enough - the unlovable are walking wounded, I know you see them in the mirror.
“Snow White you don’t have to do the dishes, you go find your throne. AND I will sit next to you, and at some point - we will go do the dishes together,” said grumpy when he realized he also was one of the unloved.
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