Everyday Miracles is a very personal column for readers who want to explore the deeper meaning of life.
Last night I watched Disney’s latest adaptation of Cinderella featuring real people, not animated characters, on the screen. Once in awhile I like to indulge in a Disney fairytale movie because the messages are always so simple and pure… and my soul was craving a good dose of sweetness.
You see, I’d gotten wrapped up again in that crazy mind state that has me moving too quickly toward anger, and dropping curse words like bread crumbs on a trail leaving a path of ugliness behind me. And the swearing was not just at the stressful situations in which I found myself; they were directed mostly at little ole me. “Gosh darnit, Genevieve! There you go again,” is the PG-13 version of the words barking inside my head.
Life happens and well… the door to bad old habits slowly creaked open drawing me in to its house of horrors. I know I shouldn’t step inside, but I do.
Thank goodness I take time out for meditation and bible study each day or else I wouldn’t have realized so soon that I was walking backwards instead of forward on my personal progress path. You’ve heard the expression, “You’re your own worst enemy.” Well, I wasn’t fighting with anyone but myself!
The sneaky old-habit of expecting perfection from myself was taking root in my subconscious mind like a flowering weed in my garden — with me totally unaware for a time. My perfectionist ways were expecting me to DO more, BE more, ACT better, BE nicer, WORK harder, BE prettier, BE skinnier… you know the drill.
Before I realized it, this weed had already spread its tiny seeds of doubt into my mind, making me feel I was less than, inadequate, not good enough… leading to a perception of being unloved when you get right down to the core of it.
Since I wasn’t being so kind to myself, I wasn’t being kind to the world around me.
Thank goodness I had the foresight in a moment of self-exhaustion to ask God for some help. “Lord, help me get back on course. Lead me to something, someone, some THING that will turn my compass back toward kindness, gentleness, and compassion.”
God answered my prayers last night when instead of feeling like joining my husband in his man cave to watch last week’s Gold Rush on the DVR, I was led to see if Amazon Prime had finally moved Cinderella from a purchase download to the rental list. Yay, it had! For $5.99 I could cozy up with my cocker and kitty on the couch and lose myself in fantasy land.
This adaptation of the classic fairy tale begins when Cinderella is just a child, back when her name was Ella. You’ll have to watch the movie to learn how she gets the name Cinderella. Her fairy tale life (excuse the pun) is disrupted when her mother is stricken with a disease and dies, but not before passing along these profound words of wisdom to her daughter.
“Have courage and be kind.”
Of course, you know the story. These wise words would be tested when Cinderella later encounters the wickedness of her stepmother and stepsisters. What resonated with me so much that it began transforming my heart back towards the spiritual state of grace and kindness is how Cinderella handles the unjust situations that befall her after her father dies and is now stuck living with her rapacious relatives.
When the wicked stepsisters screech at Cinderella that she’s too lowly and unlovely to attend the prince’s ball, the sweet girl just takes the verbal abuse without uttering a peep. That’s the part of the story that makes me mad and uncomfortable to the point that I don’t even want to watch the darn movie! Thank goodness I know it has a happy ending.
I loathe injustice. I especially detest when the one being mistreated sits there and takes it. But we know the story. Cinderella responds with kindness and never loses her courage in spite of her circumstances. She stays true to her mother’s sage advice.
What’s so fantastic about this adaptation of the story is that when Cinderella is leaving the home she shared with the wicked women for good, arm in arm with the handsome prince after her foot fit into the glass slipper, she peers back over her shoulder to her grimacing stepmother standing on the stairs and speaks these profound words. “I forgive you.”
For a moment, the brusqueness of my own heart was like a blinding headlight as I witnessed Cinderella’s utter goodness.
I moaned inside myself. “Can’t I BEEE Cinderella?”
The self-pity quickly subsided when I realized that yes, we can all be Cinderella! Kind. Courageous. Good and full of grace and forgiveness — for ourselves and for one another. But the way back to this peaceful path happens only when we peek inside at our own heart first and look honestly at our own behavior.
If I’d heard it once, I’d heard it several times this year. “Genevieve, you’re only human.” Why yes, I am! And we make mistakes. And we fail. And we fall. But God loves us in spite of our imperfections. He never stops loving us. In fact, it says in the bible, God’s love constrains us; controls us! God is love, and love can control us if we allow it.
So, if God loves bad me, why don’t I love myself sometimes?
Aha! My everyday miracle! Realizing I stopped loving myself. And realizing God never stopped loving me.
Simple. Yes. I know.
But a good reminder for when we’re feeling not quite right inside, or when life is a little off, or we’re getting exhausted at feeling exhausted. Take time out to sit, meditate, and pray. Force yourself to do this! Trust me. You will be rewarded with a new direction.
Start with these words: “Lord lead me back to a place of loving myself for all my imperfections. For all my faults. Teach me how to have grace, for myself, as well as for others. Move my heart towards gratitude, not attitude, toward life and situations around me. Show me your grace so I can show it to myself and others.”
Now, treat yourself to something special and go rent Cinderella!
I’d love to hear your experiences on this topic. Please share them with me in the comments below.
About the Author
Genevieve Schmitt is the founder of WomenRidersNow.com. She was raised in a strict Catholic household, but in college the journalist in her starting asking questions of organized religion. By age 30 she developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and since then works daily to surrender her stubborn will and vain ego to allow the Holy Spirit to guide her life. She now considers herself a non-denominational Christian. In the summer of 2014, with guidance from God, she started expressing her faith journey in this column, Genevieves Everyday Miracles. Feedback from WRN readers has been overwhelming positive proving that people crave so much more.
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14 thoughts on Genevieves Everyday Miracles: The Moment We Realize We Are Loved
Thank you so much for sharing!! Everyone’s responses are heart warming and so appreciated as reminders.You made me cry… not in a bad way.I understand.Blessings and love.
Thanks for another inspirational article, Genevieve. So often we know what we should be doing, and seeing it in writing helps the mind to realize the importance and need to be intentional.
Thank you for your article. Really enjoy reading them. I lost my sister in Feb. I have to stay focused on God’s love for me. God has given me comfort, sparing me of seeing my sister so sick, and all I really needed to do was listen. We can not do it alone. What an awesome God we serve. Keep writing and thank you.
Thank you for sharing your heart. This article is awesome. I have been struggling to love others for years, and it turns out that if you don’t love yourself, you’re going to have a very hard time loving others. How often we let the evil one have our joy and our peace. Thanks again. I look forward to reading your next installment.
Genevieve, I am truly moved by the beauty of your article. I teared up several times. First, when I just saw that the article was about Cinderella as I this time last year I lost a beloved cat named Cinderella (a skinny stray I adopted) who keeps reminding me that she is still around. Second, because just last week I said to some macho guy, “The bravest thing a person can do is be kind.” Kindness and grace are my two of favorite characteristics and I’ve always told my girlfriends I hope I earn these for my epitaph. I also loathe injustice. Could partly be that astrologically my moon is in Libra. I love the prayer and especially the words “Move my heart towards gratitude, not attitude…”. I need a little work in that area.I am so looking forward to indulging in Cinderella. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul so beautifully. It touched mine.
Thank you for this writing, and for sharing your journey Genevieve. It’s beautiful and real – and needed in a world of pressure to conform to the media’s ideals of happiness and perfection. I too have had experienced much more joy and ease when I can simply love and accept myself and all my lovely imperfections. It can be a struggle to follow my truth in the physical world, and I appreciate the reminders. Blessings!
Hi Steph,Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. What a glorious photo! The color… the light… you… captured so beautifully!
Thanks for the inspirational pep talk. As I get older (going on 60), I have come to realize how important the Lord is in my life. I don’t feel complete each day until I have thanked him for all that he has given me. I ask him to guide me and help me be the best person I can be today. I’ve had a plaque on my desk for the last 25 years that reads: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”I look at this often when I’m feeling off balance. It centers me and reminds me what is truly important.
Thanks so much Denise for sharing that quote. Very meaningful. A good reminder. All the best to you.
Wow. The timing of this article is uncanny. I just said to my husband on Sunday, “I’m just so angry all the time and I don’t know why.” The tears flow with little provocation and anything can set me off. I recently went off anti-depressants because I was tired of having no highs, which is the price for having fewer lows. I’m going to take your lead and pray more. I don’t pray as much as I used to and now I see that connection may be what’s missing.
Thanks for sharing Donna. All the best to you as you begin to pray more and sow those seeds.
Praise God for enabling you to share your heart! I felt this connection as in my own journey right now. I am struggling with how to act or react to and with certain friends. Grace is what I am trying to extend. My question is, what are my intentions? Only God can lead me to the answer as I earnestly seek Him! Blessings on you Genevieve! P.S. I have the same photo that I took on a bike ride to Daytona Beach!!
Wow Caroline! Thanks for sharing that wonderful photo.