Happy Endings
Written by
Rachel Jacobsen
February 2011
Written by
Rachel Jacobsen
February 2011

Have you ever wondered how for thousands of years people have been telling stories with the same meaning, and yet we still continue to be interested in them?  Like music for instance, how many songs exist about heartbreak or love?  Or the fairytale where a dark and evil person (or people) plot to ruin or take over the good person (or people), and in the end good prevails, as the valiant knight becomes king and earns the love of his life's hand in marriage.

How is it possible that these stories continue to attract us, and what does that reflect about an innate quality of the human race?  I found myself grossly attracted to the concept of story telling, more specifically stories of psychological exploration, or the philosophical journey to map the psychological terrain.  I became mesmerized by the thought that someone can put to the test the same psychological exercises as those before them and yield results that ended with a more universal world view, leaving you with an abundance of compassion for people, the world, and yourself... this was my fairytale.

It didn't take me too long before I realized that actually practicing these psychological exercises were a lot more difficult then my mentors made them out to be.  I felt like Frodo Baggins from Lord Of The Rings, I knew that only I could win this battle, no one else, which was empowering as much as it was terrifying.  The problem was that I had no idea what the battle was between, what was I supposed to be changing about myself?  All that my mentors gave me was the dangling carrot of compassion and the promise of a broader "worldview".  So down the yellow brick road, searching for compassion and wisdom, with the hope that it will unfold a wealth of knowledge.

Like a solider fighting in battle, I fought the good fight, battling situations that would turn anyone weak, but I refused to go over to the dark side, I'm Luke damn it, not Darth Vader!  I had to continue going down my path regardless of what great evil may come my way, I've followed the rabbit down the hole and I'm not stopping until I find it.  However, just like Alice in Wonderland, I had no idea what I was doing, exploring my mind, my actions, my reactions, was as foreign to me as Wonderland was to Alice.  So I too turned to those who were familiar with this new territory for guidance.

I found myself trying to navigate through the advise of others, only to be left disappointed at all of my seemingly human flaws and contradictions.  It began to seem as though I could never measure up, but I couldn't let that stop me, after all I've come this far, if all these other people could do it then so could I! At this point I had become so familiar with my flaws that I decided to start comparing them to my mentors.  I found it interesting that even the people I admired the most were just as flawed as I was, they were just more mature and comfortable with it (in most cases, not all).  That's when it hit me.

The battle is between my expectation of what I think I should be and what I am.  The stories that these teachers, mentors, and leaders tell, are trying to point to one specific relationship, which is that between you and who you are... all of you!  I was so busy looking for the valiant qualities in myself that I tried to avoid any quality to the contrary, and in turn became intensely immersed in my flaws and contradictions.  Consequently I could only see my "bad" characteristics as an anchor, not accepting them as a part of who I was, or as a part of what makes me unique.

Being a new student, such as myself, it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between when I am judging something in spite of the situation verses despite it.  I just clumped it all into one big heaping bad lump, and strove to be the opposite.  Needless to say attempting to not judge any situation was impossible to do, I found myself judging this, judging that, whether the judgement was a positive one or a pessimistic one.  I tried the quite thing for a while too, not saying anything at all, which only pissed me off, because I love socializing, and found that wasn't satisfying either.  I could strive to be a more positive judge, which sometimes comes off as negative, but that's the best I could come up with.

Bottom line was that there are some qualities about me that I have no interest in getting rid of, they suit me just fine.  They may and probably will change in the future but I no longer intend to worry myself over it any more.  As long as I am doing whatever it is that I do, without hurting anybody, then fuck it!  This is just who I am, right here, right now, I am different and unique, and I am finally okay with that.  I finally met the Wizard of Oz, I know it's all bullshit, and I am ready to back to Kansas!

My conclusion is that I don't know why stories that have carried the same meaning for thousands of years continue to influence people.  I think that can only be answered on an individual basis, so I found the reason why these stories intrigued me so much, which is the best that I can do.  Perhaps that's it, perhaps the whole point is that when we are going down the individual journey these stories become a home base for us.  We can look at our situation from the eyes of our favorite characters... what would your inner Dorothy, Luke, or Alice do (Darth Vader, or Queen of Hearts)?

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