Tales of Light and Dark

Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I have a huge fascination with anything fairytale related. What can I say, they pull me in, and never let me go, these marvelous stories. But the truth is, as much as I love the Disney rendition of these tales, and I do love me some Disney, I am more of a purist at heart.
I would much rather know that the little mermaid dies, broken, and unloved, than believe that somehow, she manages to get the prince and live happily ever after.
I prefer the full Snow White story, where the step mom tries to strangle and poison the foolish girl who keeps falling for the same old trick.
I simply love the story of The Six Swans, where, upon discovering that her evil stepmother has enchanted her brothers; the heroine/princess has to make great sacrifices (not speaking, or laughing for years until she is done weaving six sweaters made out of starwort) in order to save her six brothers. [For those who don’t know the story, it is worth looking up because it is so very lovely and tragic all at once]
In short, I love the fairytales the way they were meant to be told. Filled with darkness, hardship, heartbreak and loss. Call me crazy, but this darkness is my favorite part of all the original fairytales out there.
So what is it exactly that makes me like this seemingly creepy aspect of the fairytales?
Life. And, in more recent years, my yoga practice.
Seriously, if there is one thing my practice has taught me, is that life is filled with ups, downs, twists and turns, light and dark. And one can not exist with out the other.
 If I were to simply step on my mat and suddenly gain all the strength, calm, balance, breath control and focus that I needed to yoga; there would be no point on me even trying. But the fact that inside of me is the potential for an infinite amount of possibilities that can only be reached through hard work, dedication, awareness, and an unwavering faith that all is exactly as it should be moment to moment; that simple reality makes every second on my mat magical and so very worth it.
Even if those seconds burn like hell, or make me cry, or make me see things differently.
And that is what I like about the practice. That those moments when I want to quit, when I am losing faith and want to give up; those are the moments that make my practice shine, the moments that take my soul, body and mind to a whole new level.
And those are the moments in fairytales and in life that really change it all.
If all our life was smooth sailing, I bet we would be bored to death, and we would never get a chance to grow, a chance to change and improve and become amazing. We would simply be stuck forever.
But the fact that the darkness comes and puts us through the ringer, only allows our light to shine brighter when we give ourselves the opportunity to move through the muck, to be aware and not to cave in and despair.
So the next time you hear a true fairy tale being told, and you find yourself cringing in disgust or horror; or the next time you want to say, this is too dark, I’d rather stick to the sunny part of it all; stop and see the true value of the darkness in the tale.
Because it isn’t there to terrify you or your kids, it is not there to traumatize and scar you for life; it is there to help you grow and make you braver, gentler, more aware and more loving. It is there to create an infinite realm of light and beauty around you. So sit back, and listen to the tale the way it was meant to be told, and I promise, you will never see things the same way again.

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
― Winston S. Churchill