What Is Your Princess?
When working with someone new, one of the first questions that I often ask is, “What is your princess?” If you think about the fairy tale template, it’s pretty much the same from story to story. The prince sees a lovely maiden and wants to be with her, but there is a terrible obstacle. It could be a curse, a dragon, poverty, or a geographical impasse like a volcano. If the prince can’t overcome the obstacle, the princess is forever out of reach.
It’s important to know what your princess is when starting therapy because we all need something to keep in front of us that keeps us going. So, your princess has to be something compelling or else you may turn and walk away when the going gets tough. In some fairy tales, there is only one obstacle like a dragon. In epic adventures, there are many! You could fall into a deep pit, be attacked by flying monkeys, be chased by hyenas, get lost in a poppy field, and then become distracted by beautiful women and song before you reach the Big Boss fight and win the princess.
Nobody knows at the beginning of an adventure if it will be a quick and easy jaunt or a marathon. So, you better have a pretty compelling princess to dangle in front of you to keep you moving forward. Not sure what that could be? Here are some ideas:
- end the dysfunctional generational patterns that you were brought up in. This could be a legacy of abuse, addiction, poverty, victimhood, or anything that didn’t work for you.
- to be a healthy partner. If you’ve had a series of unhappy, toxic relationships, the common denominator is you. While you didn’t cause it, you contributed. So when you clean up your part, the future will be different.
- your children. Perhaps you haven’t been the greatest parent until now, but everyone can learn to do things differently. Let your children be the inspiration to learn.
- to live longer. If your problems make you sick, or shorten your life, changing your habits can give you more time.
- peace. If you’re life has less drama, it will also have more peace.
- pride. Self-esteem. When you function better, it’s easier to hold your head up high and feel good about yourself.
- avoid loss. While it’s usually better to go to something than away from something, when you’ve had painful losses in the past, not wanting to repeat that experience can be a powerful princess.
It’s not easy to change your life, but it’s possible. Remembering why you set off on the journey in the first place can help you to stay on the path. So, what’s your princess?