I recently wrote an Ode to the Universe for Huffington Post that has gotten generated quite a few personal emails and FB posts. In it, I discussed the lessons the Universe taught me last year. Things like when the universe tests you and you fight it, that usually doesn't work out well for you. The reality is this: whatever lesson the universe is sending you, you need to hear it. You don’t have to want it or like it, but you’d better listen to it or you’ll keep getting that same lesson over and over again.
The Universe recently sent me another lesson, one that I didn’t ask for (or course, when do we ever ask the Universe/God/Goddess for a lesson?!), had no idea was coming, and didn’t think I needed to learn – again.
When I got divorced last Fall, it was the first time I had ever truly been on my own. I went from my father’s house to my husband’s house. Growing up a child of baby boomer parents, mine was a ‘traditional’ childhood – my Mom stayed home while my Dad took care of us financially. As I was the sole breadwinner for the last 13 years of my marriage, I knew I didn’t need a man to provide for me financially. That part was clear.
But I did still think I needed a man. For what, I’m not sure. I just knew that I suddenly became a pariah to my still-married female friends when I got divorced. They couldn’t believe I had left my husband. What would I do with myself? Wasn’t I lonely?
At some point last Fall, I decided they were right. I was lonely. So once again, I decided I needed a man. I wasn’t ‘looking’, mind you, but I was open to the possibilities. The Universe soon delivered one – right to my door step – an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a while. And you know what happened? I immediately fell back into my old patterns – the same patterns I had with my ex-husband. Codependency. Enabling. Putting my needs on the back burner for him. It all happened so fast it scared me and we both decided it wasn’t going to work out. I was still too raw, too needy, and trying to start a relationship too soon after my divorce. So I asked for friends – preferably female – and I got them in droves.
Yet there was still some part of me that felt I needed a man to ‘complete’ me somehow. At the end of the day, I was still lonely.
Soon after, I went to a wedding. I met a man there – a creepy in-your-face feel-my-biceps kind of man who couldn’t believe I declined his generous offer to spend the night with him. Lesson learned: when you ask the Universe for something, you need to be a little more specific about exactly what you want.
After that experience, I decided to swear off men. Didn’t need them, didn’t want them. Two hours later, I met another man. This time I was careful. I held back, didn’t let my previous patterns control me. And just when I was starting to warm up to the idea of having a man in my life again, he vanished. Poof, into the night.
And that’s when I finally got it. At 40-years-old I was still waiting for my Prince Charming. For my fairytale. For someone to save me.
But that’s not at all what I was getting. Guys with mommy issues? Check. Guys who want to be taken care of? Check. Self-obsessed? Check. Flaky? Check. Not one ‘prince-like’ quality among the lot of them.
You know why? There is no Prince Charming. He’s a fairy tale. He doesn’t exist. (And even in the fairy tales, he’s not all that useful. He didn’t show up until after Snow White had battled the evil Queen, until after Cinderella figured out on her how to be the belle of the ball.)
Here’s what the Universe has been trying to tell me all these months when I thought I ‘needed’ a man to somehow save or complete me: You’ve got to be your own Prince Charming. There’s no one that’s going to save you except yourself. And nothing you really need to be saved from that you didn’t attract to your life – consciously or not – in the first place. Take charge of your own life. Be the Goddess you are – fierce, loyal, protective, beautiful. You are whole as is, all you need to be and more. You want your Prince? Look in the mirror. You are the Prince in this fairy tale.
No idea where to start? Make a list of all of the qualities your fairy tale prince should have. Now get out there and embody those qualities yourself (and don't forget to buy your own tiara while you're at it!)! And if you need help achieving your ‘fairy tale’ minus Prince Charming, call on one of the maiden goddess: Athena, Artemis, Persephone.
You go, Goddess!