She had an evil stepmother and wicked stepsisters alright.
And she was kind and humble and oppressed.
But she wasn’t exceptionally pretty or anything.
She was just plain. And wild.
Early on in her life, she realized that she didn’t fit in.
She loved being outdoors, enjoying the beauty of nature.
She could spend hours listening to the voices of the creek and all of its creatures.
It was during these quiet moments in nature that she could sense her body beaming with a subtle flow of energy. Her body was like an ocean with distant waves touching the shores of her surroundings. There was no distinct boundary between it and everything else. Rather, gentle ripples moving backward and forward, merging and fading, in a limitless dance of fluttering extremities.
One day, Mrs. Evil Stepmother caught a glimpse of Cinderella out in the meadow, exploring her own body.
Cinderella was so engulfed by the tingling sensations, that she continued touching herself in places that felt exceptionally wonderful. And she did not notice her stepmother approaching her with a disgusted look on her face.
Mrs. Evil Stepmother was so completely revolted by the notion of Cinderella having a good time, and moreover, having a good time by doing something so obscene and profane that it must be the work of the devil.
Mrs. Evil Stepmother was standing right above her when Cinderella finally noticed. Cinderella was still completely blissed out when her stepmother yelled with all her might: “Stop touching these repulsive parts of your body, you revolting little brat!”, and she yanked her by the ear, leading her home while continuing to curse her and tell her she will surely be going to hell for touching her sinful parts.
Well, that was it for Cinderella.
At first, she feared her stepmother’s wrath, and that was the reason she avoided touching herself. But it wasn’t too long before she started believing what her stepmother said. A few months later, Cinderella developed a loathing for those parts of her body that had made her feel so good — surely only the devil could have such a cunning plan to make her feel that amount of pleasure.
Cinderella devoted herself to the housework that her stepmother forced her to do. She was doing the cooking, the cleaning, the sewing, the mending, the fixing. Everything to forget about how pleasureful it felt to enjoy her own body.
As the years went by, the memory of how wonderful it felt had all but left her mind.
She was still the kind, loving, forgiving, humble person that she always had been. She was still wild at heart.
She just didn’t remember it.
Then, there was the ball.
This part of the story you probably already know.
The prince summoned all the available women in his kingdom to a party like no other. He wanted to find his soulmate.
Cinderella didn’t want to go.
She thought no one could ever love her. And definitely not a prince. So she made plans to scrub the kitchen floor that evening.
See, her confidence in herself was left in that meadow so many years ago. There was no point going to a party where she’d be ridiculed, she thought.
But after Mrs. Evil Stepmother and her daughters left, the fairy godmother paid Cinderella a visit.
She cast her magic spell and gave Cinderella a shiny dress, delicate glass slippers, and she turned the pumpkin into a carriage.
But more than that.
She gave Cinderella her confidence back.
All of a sudden, Cinderella knew she was a magnificent wild being that had no limits. Joy and calmness overtook her heart. And she felt utterly free.
She decided to take the opportunity and go to that party.
Not because she wanted to meet prince charming — she couldn’t care less about some snob in fancy clothes.
She just knew that the magic spell would vanish within a few hours, and she decided to go and have a ball.
When she arrived at the dance hall, all eyes were upon her.
Everyone always looks at the one who is fashionably late.
But after that first glance, they all continued with what they were doing. After all, no one knew her, and, to be honest, she didn’t fit in.
Yes, her clothes were pretty cool, but she seemed a bit uncomfortable. She was definitely not as pretty as some of the other ladies in the room.
Everyone continued with what they were doing, except for one person.
For some reason which logic cannot explain, he kept staring at her. He wasn’t sure why.
Perhaps it was something in the way she moved.
Perhaps it was the freedom reflected in her eyes that reminded him of something he only vaguely remembered from long ago.
He saw her reaching for her feet, removing her glass slippers, and hiding them in the gallery. And he noticed how her steps became lighter as she was walking barefoot across the room.
Something pulled him toward her direction and he had no way of stopping himself.
Time stood still as he advanced toward her. Finally, he was close enough to ask her to dance with him. He bowed majestically and raised his arm. Without any words, Cinderella laid her arm on top of his.
Then, they started dancing.
While they were dancing, the world disappeared.
The boundary between their two bodies was irrelevant.
They didn’t know where one stopped and the other began.
No one understood why the prince was so mesmerized by this odd barefoot woman. But everyone could tell that they were enchanted.
They didn’t say a word to each other the entire night.
At the first sound of that clock, Cinderella lost her confidence.
Panicked, she ran outside and disappeared.
By the time the prince came to his senses and ran after her, she was gone.
But he remembered the glass slippers and he swiftly went to the gallery to find them.
The moment he took them in his hands, the clock reached its 12th strike, and the magic was gone altogether. The glass slippers turned back into the old scraggy slipperettes they once used to be.
And the prince was baffled.
The legend says that the prince decided to search for that mysterious woman, and that he needed that glass slipper to find her.
That’s just crap, if you ask anyone who actually knows what happened.
The prince did search for her, but he did not need any slipper.
He just went from house to house in his kingdom.
He trusted that when he saw her, he would recognize that wild calmness that he had felt that night when he laid his eyes upon her.
And that’s pretty much what happened.
He searched every house in his kingdom.
And when he was welcomed by Mrs. Evil Stepmother and her daughters, and insisted to meet every woman in that house, they gladly called Cinderella to join them. They didn’t have the faintest clue that she’d been to the ball and they were happy to have another opportunity to make fun of her.
When she arrived at the living room, where the prince was waiting, she didn’t really want him to see her. See, her confidence was back to the lowest of lows, and she didn’t want him to recognize her.
But he did.
It took him a few seconds to be completely sure that this was the same woman that he had danced with. He could see that her confidence was gone. But that didn’t deter him.
“I want to get to know you better”, he said.
“I know you are not the magic that you appeared to be when we first met, and now that the magic is gone, we will have some work to do to together in order to find your authentic self. But look, since you captivated me back then, I have a feeling it will be good for us to support each other on this journey. I have a feeling that we can learn to grow together, side by side, triggering each other for better and for worse.”
What can anyone say when they hear words of wisdom like that?
I get a bit teary every time I hear this story.
Cinderella just walked out that door next to this prince charming of hers.
And they did not live happily ever after.
Instead, they lived.
They laughed, they cried, they annoyed each other, sometimes they felt like strangling the other, but they also spent many happy moments together. And they learned how to make the best of their life together, how to give each other space when needed and how to come closer together after every discord.
And so it was.
This story was originally published on the Make Love Revolution blog.