Happily Ever... NOW - Simply Woman

By on November 17, 2017
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By Alison Bristow

If ever there was a girl who believed in happy endings, that girl was me. How could I help it? Spoon-fed as I was, the Disney version of fairy tales before my taste buds had but any discretion. You know the ones I’m talking about – somewhere in a kingdom far, far away a woman’s life is falling apart and the only thing that will save her is a handsome prince. Did I mention this woman is very young, has flawless skin, a perfectly slender body, button nose, and voluptuous ruby red lips to die for?

She is often sensitive, caring, self-sacrificing; most likely in a caretaking role for her evil stepmother or a group of dwarfs. Did I mention she’s smart? In fact, usually what’s gotten her into trouble is being too smart or too beautiful, or too something for her own good. Upon falling from grace and in her time of need, the forest animals turn out to be a more reliable support system than the women in her community.

Upon escaping some vindictive matriarch out for her demise, we find her in a remote woodsy cabin making pies with the help of a flock of bluebirds while she waits to be rescued by a knight in shining armor; a true lady in waiting. (Side message – you need a fallback man to save you from all the nasty bitches who want to take you down!)

I’m happy to provide a living example of a woman who did not have to rely on the animal kingdom in her time of crisis. Most likely a good thing since my primary go-to’s in Southern California would have been coyotes and rattlesnakes. No, for me, it was real-life women— my biological sisters, my chosen sisters (now known as my pussy posse), and even a few women from the community at large who had my back during the throngs of my chaotic divorce.

But wait… it seems a lady in waiting isn’t enough for Disney’s depiction of a helpless woman. No, it takes a full-on coma to bring the point home, to take away any notion that this haphazard heroine has anything to do with her own fate. So finally, there she lays in her wrinkle-free dress, perfectly coiffed hair, blushing cheeks, a demur knowing smile across her perky lips, lost in a soporific dream state, completely off the hook for anything to do with the details of her life until HE arrives with one magic kiss and the key to her HAPPY ENDING.

***** INSERT LOUD NEEDLE-SCRATCHING-RECORD WAKE-UP CALL HERE ******

A woman, or person of any gender, with half a perspective and any experience, see’s so many things wrong with this scenario.

While still in the throes of my Disney delusions, upon learning that these renditions have no resemblance to the original depictions on which they are based, I was devastatingly heartbroken. And were it not for my Christian upbringing (and I might add, I use both the words “Christian” and “upbringing” extremely loosely) I would’ve wished for Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm to rot in hell.

But never fear, still in shock from my discovery, at this point in the mainstream dream, Hollywood, the brainwashing arm of entertainment took over the conditioning. A transition was made with about as much decorum as the current trend in commerce to shove Christmas down our throats before the Halloween candy is off the shelves. Check out our 2-for-1 pumpkin-Christmas tree special!

And one starry night, we find ourselves unwittingly dreamy-eyed, watching Tom Cruise say to Renee Zellweger three of the most damaging-to-human relationships words ever piped out to the masses, “you complete me.” Words he pulls off with such believable, heartfelt, sincerity to fool us all, most likely attributable to the “clear” state he has purchased from Scientology. “No, Tom! Take it back!” I cried out. But it was too late. Damage done. And we have just reinforced and perhaps perpetuated for another century, the widespread belief that we are halves, looking for another half to make us whole. And that a “happy ending” can arise out of an unhappy, needy, lonely now.

This belief tends to hit women more forcefully than men, as we are conditioned to think our worthiness is tied to being “partnerable” with and “choosable” by a man. Whereas men’s conditioning around worthiness is more linked to their accomplishments and worldly success.

I was recently propositioned by a man to make him my exclusive partner while he had multiple partners. When I declined his offer, he made remarks about a woman needing a man and said in so many words that I would always be on the heels of a man until I chose one and settled down.

“Oh brother,” I thought. “This is so old paradigm.”

The truth is women no longer need men to survive.

Relationships based on choice are so much sweeter than relationships based on need. And thanks to where we are in the evolutionary process, we have the luxury and I would say even the responsibility of choice over need. While this idea seems new to us, according to anthropologist and researcher, Helen Fisher, who studies the biology behind love, sex, and attraction, it is actually a return to a state experienced in the grasslands of Africa over a million years ago when women worked outside the home, experienced freedom of sexual expression, and gender equality in marriage.

I for one find it incredibly exciting to be on this turn of the cyclical human wheel! And while to know this, in theory, is one thing, to live it in the moment-by-moment nuances of relationships in daily life is another thing altogether.

Let’s face it, many of us had the relationships and marriages based on “need” model handed down to us by our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers.

This places us at a unique point in what I like to think of as paradigm straddling. We have to condition from one paradigm and a vision and inner inclination toward another, which often causes a state of an emotional tug-of-war between the two.

In a sense, we, the women of today, are paradigm busters and the real work is chipping away at the old model within ourselves. In subsequent articles, we will look at some skills essential to any woman who wants to take on this task full bore.

In the meantime, consider that being whole and unabashedly happy with yourself; doesn’t mean being isolated or uninterested in intimacy. Far from it! This state actually makes you more capable of real intimacy; the kind where you’re secure enough to connect with another person without imposing your agenda on them. Hey, I never said this was easy! Probably why so few do it. But if you’re reading this, I want you to be one of the few.

Join me in loving LOVE, loving men (or women if that’s your thing), loving the possibilities of a partnership while knowing the difference between love and codependence.

Join me in waking up to the fact that, despite our Snow White conditioning, we cannot sleepwalk our way into satisfying partnership or wait longingly until it shows up.

And if you believe in endings, consider that a happy one can only be born out of a happy NOW and choose to be as consistently happy in every NOW you have.

Let go of the habit of thinking of yourself as a lady in waiting and root out any choices that arise from that perspective.

Join me in consciously choosing to be a woman, a whole-souled woman, living life to the fullest right now.

Who needs a happy ending when you’re living a lifetime of happy nows!

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AlisonB-12Alison is a teacher of well-being and authenticity, a provoker and promoter of fun and facilitator of deep relaxation and restoration. She lives in Southern California where she runs trails, dances, and finds as many opportunities as possible to connect with animals and children.

http://alisonbristow.com/

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