WARNING: Tharr be spoilers ahead! Proceed at ye own perrril!
Today on the blog, I wanted to talk about the show “Once Upon a Time”. Unless you’ve been avoiding TV lately, chances are you’ve at least heard about the show. Hopefully you’ve watched it. Sure it has its critics, but this show delights me to NO END! I adore every inch of it–even it’s cheesier bits. This show does something that I love. Know what it is? It compares the drab, lesser self to the glorious self. What do I mean by this? Think about the show in its first season: we have these glorious, flawed-but-strong characters in the Enchanted Forest; In “our world”, we have characters that painfully pale and fail in comparison to the individuals they were in the “fairy tale world”. Sure, some of these characters actually change for the better on our side, but for the most part, the theme of the first season, to me, was all about awakening the glorious, sleeper within and discovering one’s true nature.
As a Christian, this theme is very important to me. I’ve always delighted in stories that show the pain and dichotomy often expressed by living a dual life in one physical body. Most people are working towards becoming their “best self”. In the trials and daily living of life, we often find ourselves ashamed, frustrated, or irritated by the things we do. “We’re better than this!” we often think. And you know what? We are. We were made to be our glorious selves, but our mistakes, sinful tendencies, and bad decisions often make us “lesser selves” than what we can truly be.
Now, as a Christian, I believe there must be a transformation from the old man into the new by God’s redeeming love and grace. You may not particularly believe that, but we can at least agree that many of us could behave a with a great deal more courage if we truly believed there was a glorious self “sleeping” inside of us! Think about Snow White in “Once Upon a Time”! I found myself so frustrated with her “our world self” because I knew how glorious, strong, vibrant, and fearless she was in the “fairy tale world”. I kept saying throughout the first season, “Come on, Snow! Wake up! Wake up!”
Something about that theme calls to my heart so strongly. The idea that our true selves are sleeping and we are just breezing through life half-living it. A wise man once said, “The glory of God is man fully alive”. Again, even if you’re not a Christian, how is that NOT a great sounding condition? Being “fully alive”? Sure in the second season of the show, everyone wakes up and remembers their glorious selves, but an interesting twist is that they also remember who they were in “our world”. They remember how painful it was to be a David Nolan vs. a Prince Charming, but like Charming said in episode 2 of the second season, “we are both”. We are a jumble of pain and glory all rolled into one person.
This theme of the “glorious self” is something that I try to weave into my novels. Forgiveness, second-chances, grace, and mercy are a HUGE deal to me. I try to show that to my characters in different situations. As well…I love the idea that there is a “glorious self” sleeping inside of so many people. If they could just wake up…if they could just remember who they were meant to be, and can still be…perhaps we’d have a much better world around us. I love that “Once Upon a Time” tackles this hugely important theme and does such a thrilling job of it.
If you’ve not seen the show, don’t throw hammers at me for the spoilers. I did warn ye (see pirate speak at the very top of the page…) That being said, GO OUT RIGHT NOW AND WATCH IT!!!! The entire first season is on Netflix instant right now. You won’t regret it. I hope it will tug at your heart like it did mine. I hope it reminds you that there is a glorious self inside you…it may have just fallen asleep. Go and wake it up. 😉
Have a great Tuesday.