Do Ashes Cover your Beauty?

My nieces were leaning on the edges of their seats, intrigued by the age-old story of Cinderella. My daughter was playing the role of the mistreated orphan who didn’t give up when life dealt her difficulties. Watching her performance through the eyes of the children had me reminiscing of the days when Tori’s  dream of being a princess wasn’t a performance in a play.

Little girls aren’t ashamed of their desires.

Deep within every female heart is a desire not only  to catch the eye of a prince, but to leave behind their meaningless, unappreciated lives and live an adventure.  Remember when you once thought you would  play an irreplaceable role in a most wonderful life in a far away place?

I remember my daughter’s first “princes dress.” She loved to twirl around to show her daddy how  full and beautiful it was on her. It made me panic.

I was afraid my little girl was becoming vain, so I did as most people who witness such behavior would: I talked her right off of her high and mighty horse and back into reality. Modesty is a golden virtue, right?  It’s our job to train our children in the way they should go, and the chances of my kid  becoming a princess is quite slim, so as a mom I thought it wise to protect her from life’s disappointments!

Surely that’s what Cinderella’s stepmother was thinking as well.

As we grow up, we reason that our desires are childish.

I love that my teen still freely enjoys “twirling” for an audience. She has a gift for acting and singing. When I was young, I was embarrassed by my love for the arts. I guess I was more like Cinderella that my daughter is.

“Cinderella, your are so SELFISH! Mend my dress!”

As her family demanded she worked for their dreams–while throwing insults at her’s–Cinderella was forgetting who she was designed to be. Like the filthy soot that covered her beautiful face, she allowed her burnt-out dreams–the cinders–to cover her identity. Her real name was Ella.

We cannot accomplish big dreams with squelched desires

We are all tempted to give up on our dreams. We also  have the option of pressing through life's oppositions  toward success. The way you respond to that second option is a big indicator of your Img.ID:

C: Get the education; do the work (The Classic)

N: Stay optimistic and loyal; don’t give up (The Natural)

D: Creatively make it happen (The Dramatic)

I:  Tenaciously hold your ground (The Ingénue)

R: Considerately continue on; quietly accomplishing (The Romantic)

G: Work hard; fight to get it done. Now. (The Gamine)

Click the letter to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.

Whether your dream is to  rule a nation or to have a happy family, you will only have the strength to accomplish it if you do not allow  the desire for it to burn out. Whichever way you or I respond to those who try to squelch our desires, we would all be wise to listen to the advice of the fairy god-mother, who says there are two morals to the story of Cinderella’s Glass Slipper:

  1. Be kinder and life will go well for you. Don’t act out of jealousy or be demanding like the stepsisters. You were dealt a certain hand; play with the cards you have. Forcing others to play your hand or to give your their’s is wrong. In the end, no one who cheats wins.
  2. If the shoe fits, wear it. Don’t cover your beauty with ashes. BE who you were designed to be.  A princess cannot lead well if she feels guilty for (or embarrassed by) her gifts, privileges and abilities.  Remember where you came from, or pride will  rob you of the joy of using your blessing to  bless others.

In the end, Cinderella figured out she was only beautiful when she became confident, so she washed off the ashes and put on her crown. Are you ready to do the same?

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.  -Luke 12:48b

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As an author and speaker, Catrina’s passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, Catrina now uses her profession, her own powerful stories and her training as a Biblical life-coach to reach the heart in a way that is relatable, encouraging and inspiring. Her message is balanced with both fashion and faith and is making a difference  in the lives of women and girls all over!  To be part of this movement, connect with her on FacebookTwitter PinterestLinked In, Goodreads  and consider having her speak at your next event. Visit http://catrinawelch.com for more information.

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