It is no mystery that fairy tales encourage our minds and souls to venture to faraway magical lands where dragons, nymphs, and elves dwell. Many adults, however, only come into contact with these mystical stories when reading them to their children before bedtime. Many adults are surprised to find that the value of fairy tales stretches far beyond childhood, and can be a guide and metaphor for the trials and challenges of life here in our modern world.
Consider the character of the Evil Queen. How many of us have an evil, controlling, powerful person in our lives who we often feel tricked by and fearful of? What about the good witch character—an unexpected friend with words of wisdom can be found in this world at times when we most need help. The list goes on and on: the handsome prince, the damsel in distress, the power-hungry king, the kind and helpful animal, the joker, the hero, the wounded child, the judge, the magician, the guide…
How, you might ask, does this apply to you? With a little investigating a great deal can be learned about oneself through this metaphor.
If you are willing to try an exercise, consider one the following journal entries:
1) Choose 5 significant relationships in your life (positive or negative relationships), and see if you can identify each person with a fairy tale character or archetype. Then create a story with yourself and these individuals as a fairy tale.
This can be a way to identify the dynamics of relationships, as well as give you the opportunity to write your own ending to this story. Take the reins here and allow your characters to follow the narrative of your choosing.
2) Choose a fairy tale character that you relate to. Take the opportunity to re-write the way this fairy tale traditionally ends to encompass your own needs and desires.
For example, if you identify with Snow White, perhaps when awakened by Prince Charming Snow White thanks him genuinely and continues on her way to find the best friend she lost many years ago. They then together travel the world and offer gifts of healing to animals in faraway lands…