Apr 9, 2018 by


 Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Palace Steps

The universe is speaking to me again. YouTube has been showing me clips of the musical “Into The Woods” (like the clip Listen). The clip that presented itself squarely in front of me was of Cinderella running away from Prince Charming as she runs down the stairs of the palace.

What I’ve always wondered is: “Why is Cinderella running away?” She goes through so many trials and tribulations to get to the ball, to meet the prince, to embrace the prince’s heart but then runs away once he completely turns towards her. Cinderella ends up running away from the one thing that she desperately¬†wants and has spent so much effort to embrace. So the question that comes to my mind is

Why do we run away from the things we so desire?

The Real Question

That’s an interesting question, and not limited to Cinderella, or princesses, or women or men. It’s a human trait: running away when we feel that we don’t deserve the handsome Prince, the lovely Princess, or the beautiful life. And not only do we run away from what most would fill our hearts, but at times we run towards the exact opposite and manifest what we are most afraid of. Seems that is a most human trait. Something that is part of our fragile humanity. Something that is part of us, and not part of what we are running away from, or running towards. Seems that is an unconscious acting out of our wounds, an expression of past trauma that clouds our decisions. Something that as the imperfect perfection of being human we could look at and make a different choice.

In the song, the lyrics are

All right, what do you want?
Have to make a decision
Why not stay and be caught?
Should I give that a thought
What would be his response?


As she sits with her shoes stuck to the palace steps, Cinderella has a moment to think and we get to witness her internal turmoil and humanity. She asks herself “what do you want?” At that moment even she recognizes the conflict of running away from what she holds most dear. That is the moment of awareness, the gap between what is happening and what she can accept in her heart. Then she hits the crux of the problem by singing

But then what if he knew who I am
When I know that I’m not
What he thinks that he wants?

Her own internal struggle with who she thinks she is, and that she believes she is not enough. Of course, that’s not what the prince believes. He is running after her. Not running after what he thinks she is, the dress, the shoes, the outer shell, but following her inner spirit. Her inner spirit has captivated him. Her true nature that she hides to everyone but has unveiled to him, even though she’s not sure why. But the voices in her head, the voices that were born from prior circumstances, scream so loud that she’s not enough they muffle everything else.

That’s the moment of crisis. The moment when recognizing the noise in our heads is just that … noise … and will lead to unconscious choices. The trick is seeing the truth for truth and realizing EVERYTHING ELSE IS JUST NOISE. The voices in our heads are just that, voices of the past.

What do you want?

Cinderella wonders what she truly wants. And is really trying to answer, what COULD she want, what is she ALLOWED to want, what could she HANDLE if she truly desired. She recognizes two paths, to run away or to run towards, by singing

Where you’re safe out of sight
and yourself
But where everything is wrong

Or where everything’s right
But you know that you’ll never belong

That’s the interesting lyric. The understanding of going back where she stays hidden or turning towards something so out of her realm that it’s scary, actually truly terrifying. It’s such a diametric pull that it tears her apart and she doesn’t know what to do. So she leaves the prince a clue, her shoe.

So here’s my question: “How can we quiet the noises in our heads and choose paths that serve us?” What voices are in your head right now? Those voices write stories that are not true. Those voices are the noise that let us spin. The voices of past circumstances, past beliefs, past traumas. The past is the past is the past. Today is a new day and we have the chance to run away and hide or leave a clue and let our desires chase us and come to fruition, no matter how frightening the path is running away from ourselves will always leave us stuck on the palace steps. So what clue will you decide to leave?

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale

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