The Lesson from Cinderella

From the beginning of the Disney movie “Cinderella”, Ella carries the truth that she is loved everywhere she goes. The support, joy and love that was bestowed upon her by her parents helps her believe that she was a princess and worthy of great love. Her mother and father demonstrate exemplary love for little Ella and the touching dance scene between Ella and her father show the truth within every little girl’s heart: the desire to be treasured. Her father knew Ella’s capacity for love, her beauty and worth, and that is why Ella knew her worth because she was taught to be kind and courageous from her parents.

Ella knows suffering at a young age with the loss of her parents but her pain turned into memory over time and it fueled her desire to fully love others. She remembered her promise to her mother to stay kind and courageous and Ella uses that promise to influence her future life choices. Even though she is an orphan, she does not dwell on the loss nor on her great loneliness and sorrow. She keeps herself productive and busy and her zest for life drew people (and animals) to her.  She quickly learns to seek beauty in the small mundane moments and the little joys. She attains the cruel nickname “Cinderella” by her mean stepsisters and stepmother. Names have power and Ella is not stone; she is greatly wounded by their cruelty but doesn’t allow them to steal her joy. She uses their insults and meanness to motivate herself to pursue a better life. Her stepmother is envious of Ella’s beauty and goodness and tries to make Ella’s life miserable. Even though her step mother treats her with terrible disregard, she learns the gift and freedom that forgiveness brings. She is set free from the bitterness and pain that was inflicted upon her by her stepmother and stepsisters. Forgiving someone who hurts you takes great courage and strong will. It doesn’t make you weaker but it frees you from the burden.

Ella teaches us that kindness and love are not bought but are free. She feels love and loss more deeply than any of the other characters. When Ella meets the prince, he is inspired by her goodness, sincerity and concern for others. He knows that her character and virtue is rare, we too must strive to be an anomaly against the crowd of apathy and relativism. Let your life’s work and witness attract others to you instead of your adornment and physical appearance. Cinderella evokes an ideal woman as she is more than her beauty, she is good and displays it through her kindness, patience and love for those who make her life miserable.

When Ella meets the prince, she doesn’t love him for his power and his occupation, but she loves him for his character and kindness. Love is given with no expectation of return and transcends the gushy feelings. The act of love becomes a choice of bearing one’s soul to another with the risk of being exposed as vulnerable or weak. When Ella meets her prince with disheveled hair and a dirty dress, the narrator says “The greatest risk is to be seen as we truly are”. How true! Let us think about this question: Who am I without my makeup, riches, business, wardrobe and façade? Let us aim for authenticity, ladies. Being perfect is not real but being beautifully flawed is as real as it gets. The prince searches all the land for Ella and when she tries on the glass slipper and it fits, he knows she’s the one he’s been waiting for. The prince and Ella better each others characters and are willing to suffer with each other and love each other with all that they have. They both experience loss and turn their pain into beauty. In this union, they reflect the love God has for us and His desire to be united with us in Heaven! Ella and the prince are represented as picture-perfect models of great love but you are also worthy and made for great love! Let a man pursue you and take you as you are, with earnest and noble intentions to guard your heart and lead you to holiness. Check out the movie, it’s beautifully done AND if you are a Downton Abbey fan, you will be happy to see some familiar faces.