Did you happen to see the latest rendition of Cinderella starring Lilly James? If not, I highly recommend it. I know it’s just a fairytale, but the messages it shares is golden. I must warn you – it’s not a musical so don’t expect the mice to break out in song.
Cinderella’s beloved mother suddenly takes ill and in her final moments with her daughter she utters the simple formula for happiness, “Be kind and have courage and all will be well.” Up to that point, being kind was second nature to Cinderella – it was a gift she inherited from her mother. But to be kind to people who were intentionally cruel would take courage and soon be put to the test.
You know the story – she endured. She turned the other cheek. She went to the Ball. The clock struck twelve.
With ash smeared face, straggly hair and raggedy dress, Cinderella gathered courage as she approached the prince to try on that legendary glass slipper. The narrator, her fairy godmother turns to the audience and asks, “Would who she is really be enough?” She had no magic to help her this time – she was on her own to shine. It was perhaps the greatest risk of all. “To be seen as you truly are.
Aren’t we all covered in ash? Don’t we all struggle with varying levels of doubts, insecurities and self worth? Do we question if we are good enough? Do we have the courage to take the risk of showing who we truly are? Do we acknowledge our infinite worth with gifts and talents that make us unique and genuine?
Recently a friend posted a photo of herself on Facebook, with permission I share; “This may seem like your ordinary gym mirror selfie. But to me it marks Day 1 of facing my fears. The gym. For me the gym is a scary place where I’m judged and embarrassed. But more than that, it’s a place that triggers me. It triggers what I’ve been suffering for years …..an eating disorder.
Going to the gym defeats me thinking I’m not getting where I want fast enough. It makes me think I’m not good enough. I hate seeing my reflection, or the body types I wish I was. But today is a fresh start. …..Today is Day 1 of learning to love myself.”
I am proud of my friend for her courage to be real and vulnerable.
Do we believe that if others knew our worst actions, our ugliest thoughts, our embarrassing secrets, and our weird habits that no one will like us?
Look in the mirror and repeat after me;
“You are more important than your mistakes – you are worthwhile, valuable, and useful.”
Thomas S. Monson spoke on having courage in the April 2014 LDS general conference, “Courage is needed—the courage to say no when we should, the courage to say yes when that is appropriate, the courage to do the right thing because it is right.”
The following April in 2015, Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke On Being Genuine. “…If Jesus Christ were to sit down with us and ask for an accounting of our stewardship, I am not sure He would focus much on programs and statistics. What the Savior would want to know is the condition of our heart. He would want to know how we love and minister to those in our care, how we show our love to our spouse and family, and how we lighten their daily load. And the Savior would want to know how you and I grow closer to Him and to our Heavenly Father.”
Beneath the smudges of ash, beyond the raggedy clothes – the glass slipper fits – because YOU are enough.