Monday, March 30, 2009

Are You Cursed???

Want to learn something about yourself? Read the following quick story and then identify the curse.

There once was a princess who grew up with a curse and she couldn't leave her room in her tower. Her parents had to move, and begged her to come, but she couldn't break the curse so she had to stay while they left. A prince rode up one day and said he heard how beautiful she was and wanted to marry her but she said she couldn't because she was cursed and couldn't leave. However, he came back repeatedly and day after day begged her to break the curse.

Now stop! Before you read any further---name the curse. What was the curse that kept her locked up in the tower?

Once you have named the curse, decide how the story will end. Will she overcome the curse in your story, or will she die alone in the tower?

Are you done? Then—read on!

There is no right or wrong answer, however, whatever curse you named should reveal something to you about yourself. I thought it was fear. She was afraid of the unknown and therefore not willing to venture out into it. My daughter’s friend said it was lack of trust.

I told the story to some friends and their answers were: she was ill, and she was actually ugly and didn’t want anyone to know. Some ended the story in a positive way, others in a negative.

The curse you chose is probably one of your own fears or insecurities. If you end the story in a positive way, you probably are an optimistic person. If you end it in a negative . . . well, you might want to work on that. :-)

My favorite answer came from my daughter Kristen. She asked:

“Who placed the curse on her and how did she know she couldn't leave?" She concluded the princess was just a silly girl who assumed she was cursed because her door was stuck and since she was afraid of heights she didn’t want to use the window. However, with the encouragement of the Prince's frequent visits she investigated her room more thoroughly and was able to find a trap door she had never seen before and explored her way out of the castle.

But she didn't marry the prince.

He gave her a ride to his castle where she fell in love with his brother who liked her for more than just her looks. And of course, they lived happily ever after.

I have been thinking a lot about Kristen’s answer. I wonder how many times we “curse” ourselves, when no curse actually exists except in our own minds.

We say things to ourselves like, “I am not creative therefore I can’t . . .”

“I am overweight, therefore I am not. . . "

“I didn’t graduate from college, therefore I can’t . . . "

"I am not good at memorizing, therefore I can't . . . "

“I didn’t grow up in the church, therefore I don’t . . ."

“I can’t have children, therefore I am not . . . "

I am reminded of the blind man who climbed Mt. Everest and a woman from Phoenix who lost both arms in a car accident. How many of us would assume we could not climb a mountain if we couldn’t see? How many of us would think we could no longer cook dinner if we didn’t have the use of our arms? And yet the man did climb and the woman learned to cook (and many other things) using her feet.

There have been many times in my life when I have limited myself by self-imposed curses. But I have decided that I am going to try and change that. Now instead of saying, “That isn’t me, I can’t do that” I am going to search to see if I can find a way, because I believe if I do, it will bring great . . . joy to my journey.

Editors note: I did not make up the story, it was part of counseling lesson from a student in social work.


Heidi Ashworth said...

This is a very inspiring story but I'm afraid the curse I came up with is the monthly kind that lasts forever b/c that is how I'm feeling right about now . . .

Becky said...

I thought the curse was her long, continuously growing hair (Rapunzel). And my imagined ending was she cut her hair and left with the prince.

You are so right about not limiting ourselves. I have been doing this lately in one specific regard. I have been trying to tell myself not to do that, but easier said than done... I will keep working on it!

Jill said...

This is lame, but I thought that the curse was just that some kind of invisible barrier was trapping here in there. Not creative, but getting stuck in one place is my greatest fear, so it was accurate

Neil and Meredith Larson said...

I thought the curse was being incontinent, and she solved her problem with depends. I hope that isn't a curse I am faced with! LOL

Momza said...

I thought the curse was all in her mind...nobody has the power to "Curse" us but ourselves.

Unique story though! Thanks!

grumpy said...

oh..i am pathetic.
i thought her curse was she was fat, {her family was thin and beautiful} she was so embarrassed to leave because of that. she just knew everyone would make fun of her. the prince finally convinced her
she was beautiful just the way she was. she eventually did come out.

and they lived happily ever after

Emma T said...

I thought the curse was she was an invalid and couldn't walk. I am not sure what that says about me.:-) I haven't given much thought to this topic before, but I agree we often hold ourselves back by self imposed curses. I do that all the time, although I hadn't realized that was what I was doing. Thanks for the insight.

Jenny said...

I can't tell you how much you inspire me. I love your positive outlook.

I thought she was afraid of change, which is weird because I love change and sometimes yearn for it. But I do tend to be judgmental and so probably what I learned about myself is to be a better listener and to have more empathy.

Thanks for the insight.

Terri said...

Well I agree totally with your friend Momza. No one has the power to curse you except yourself. If you really want something you can move mountains to get it. Everyday I look outside at the mountains and I remember how God says faith can move mountains but I never see any mountains moving, they are always there every morning. So I am thinking we don't exercise enough faith! Your story totally struck a cord with me! Thanks for it!

Joy For Your Journey said...

Terri--I will tell you what I told my friend Lisa. If someone had stood and watched day after day while the Grand Canyon was being carved they probably would also have thought nothing was happening. Sometimes progress takes a long time and we don't even notice it is happening until we are able to stand back and see it from a different perspective. So, those mountains might be moving after all, it is just so slow you don't notice it. :-)

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

I absolutely love this! I have so many family (sister, daughter) friends (dear dear friend) that I need to share this with, so I hope you don't mind.

Thank you for including it.


Alicia said...

This is brilliant! And very inspiring! Thank You!