Fairy tales end with the flourish: ‘happily ever after.’ And while that sounds like a nice way to live, most people I know are actually afraid of living ‘happily ever after.’
‘Happily ever after’ sounds like a boring existence because in the fairy tale, that’s where the story ends.
It’s everything before those final words that makes the story so interesting. So interesting in fact that the tale is worth repeating to every generation born since.
It can sound so boring to really live out ‘happily ever after, that you might actually believe that you are indeed avoiding the sentence of living a boring existence. The drama of your life has you believing that it’s better than anything else that you could possibly have or create.
You think this even as you (once again) painfully untangle yourself from a phone call with your mother at work so that you can actually do the job you’re getting paid for.
You think this even as you try to maintain your father’s approval by staying in a job you don’t like because he approves of your title and salary.
You think this even as you gossip or complain about others at work making yourself miserable because (secretly) what you really want is to do something else. Something that feels more meaningful.
What you have now, even though it doesn’t feel great is thought to be better than the aftermath of what it would mean to live a boring fairy tale life.
Even more than being happy, we really want and crave adventure in life – however we can get it. We want it so bad that we settle for repetitive drama.
And “bored happy” is purgatory – hanging about dead but not gone. Forever.
If you don’t ever get to be happy, then you’re also never bored.
Totally understandable. If you ask me.
And if that’s the way life worked, then I would completely be in agreement with you.
Except, I know that life works exactly how you think it works.
However you think it works, you are right.
So if you change the way that you think life is, how life is will change.
Right now though, you’re hoping that while you do what you’re doing that life will do the work of proving you wrong.
It’s time to realize that in reality, ‘happily ever after’ is the written version of a period – that’s right – a piece of punctuation at the end of a sentence.
All that means is that the known part of the story is over.
And when the known part of a story is over, the unknown part starts to make itself known.
A new beginning has to follow.
It’s a law. The law of living out your story to tell. And you are the author(ity) of that story.
So, if you were to live into and live out what follows your own ‘happily ever after,’ what you would see would surprise you rather than bore you as you fear.
What do you really want to make believe for real?
Because in reality – as in real living life, life doesn’t all of a sudden become pristine once you are free from distractions with people and things that keep you from knowing your own potential.
The real magic of using your own skills to make believe for real is this:
:: You get the challenges that you wanted the time and energy to have in your life.
:: You connect with people who you want to collaborate with and co-create the meaningful work that you want to be doing.
:: You grow and learn and evolve in ways that you never thought you could. Ways that you love you for.
:: You rise to the occasion and you love, love, love it. Integrity brings joy.
:: You become much, much gentler. You know this is great strength. And you are so, so strong.
:: You re-define a lot of words that you thought you knew because you understand them differently.
:: You appreciate everything. It all counts. It all matters.
:: You give permission to yourself and others.
:: You play your role consciously in what comes next in the story of your life. You co-author your life with life itself.
So, I ask you this: After “happily ever after,” what are you doing in the next chapter of your story?
p.s. My Spanish and Swedish adventures last month were uh-mazing. As I unravel my experiences I’m sure there will be nuggets to share. Please stay tuned. xo
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