I love fairy tales. They are full of adventure and romance- and escape from the real world. But are they? Who's to say that those tales are so very different from what each of us lives. I have come to realize that the only difference between our stories and theirs is length. You can finish a fairy tale in a couple of minutes or, if its really detailed, a couple of hours. But our stories, well, they span a lifetime. We begin our stories at birth. We each have been given this "life as a precious gift of 'once upon a time,' complete with our own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love."
"once upon a time promises something: a story of adventure and romance, a story of princesses and princes. It may include tales of courage, hope, and everlasting love. In many of these stories, nice overcomes mean and good overcomes evil. But perhaps most of all, I love it when we turn to the last page and our eyes reach the final lines and we see the enchanting words 'And they lived happily ever after.' Isn't that what we all desire: to be the heroes and heroines of our own stories: to triumph over adversity; to experience life in all its beauty; and, in the end, to live happily ever after?"
Well...isn't it? I know I've asked myself many times in my life, "do I end up happy?" "is there really a happily ever after?" For some you have probably already answered no. Life is hard. Life is full of sadness and disappointment...you cannot live happily ever after.
But again, I submit that we can. Think about your favorite fairy tale. "In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she may be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity" Is that not what each of us do on a daily basis? We face hard things and we overcome challenges in our path. sure, good doesn't immediately overcome bad, nice doesn't always conquer mean but it will in the end. Again, its an issue of time...our stories take longer to wrap up. But we become strong from the obstacles we overcome and we grow from the challenges we face. For each hero and heroine, "sandwiched between their 'once upon a time' and 'happily ever after' they all had to experience great adversity."
I think sometimes we let our fairy tales become tragedies because we fail to see the adventure in our own story. We are so busy wishing for someone Else's 'happily ever after' that we fail to enjoy the path leading us to our own 'happily ever after'. "how we react to adversity and temptation is a critical factor in whether or not you arrive at your own happily ever after." I hope to be able to share with you real stories or real people who began their 'once upon a time' not so long ago...some of which are still on their road to 'happily ever after' in hopes that each one of us will recognize our own real life fairy tales. Yes life is hard sometimes, but that's what makes a story interesting. "It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life's story will develop" Our actions and reactions will answer the question.."do I end up happy?" You alone can determine how your story will end...
YOUR 'Once upon a time' is NOW....
(All quotes taken from "your happily ever after" By Dieter F. Uchtodorf published by Deseret Book 2011)