Beauty and the Beast

Photo by Cederic X on Unsplash

The other night I curled up in a big chair under a cozy blanket and flipped through TV channels, catching glimpses of car chases and explosions and deranged killers running from police. Ahhh… what passes for entertainment.

Then gratefully I found a channel with Disney’s charming Beauty and the Beast.

I smiled and wondered, “Who doesn’t hope that the their story will end with a magical kiss that turns a beast into a handsome prince.” Suddenly my mind screeched to a stop, and a voice hollered, “Wait a minute!”

How many of us have believed in that fairy tale and learned the hard way that it doesn’t work.

When Belle first meets the Beast he frightens her. He is rude, secretive and brooding. Her intuition tells her he’s not such a good guy, but she stays with him anyway. It’s hard to blame her, because like so many of us, she was taught to be nice and look for the best in people but never learned how to do that without getting into an unhealthy relationship. Belle also thinks she has no option but to stay with him, and does not understand there is always another option.

It’s true that life had been hard for the “Beast.” After all, he was cursed, but he chose not to get over it. We have all had issues in our lives that felt like a “curse,” yet we have taken time to grieve and made efforts to move forward in our lives the best we can and hopefully discovered gifts as a result of those efforts.

I sense that when Belle kissed the Beast he transformed in her eyes only, becoming the man she had hoped he would be, the man she wanted to him to be. She may chose to support the Beast with her love, but the inner work of transformation is his alone, just as it is for Belle and for each of us.

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