One of the earliest pieces I ever remember writing was entitled “The Princess and The Unicorn”. It haunted me for years as I tried to dissect the story for the meaning of the melancholy princess and her sole source of happiness. Who would have dreamt the popularity of unicorns would have made such a great resurgence? As I encounter people defining unicorns in life almost daily, I’ve come to discern the hidden secrets held within my juvenile fairy tale.
The princess seemingly was in a great state of depression. Sadly, she was unable to find happiness even in her very own kingdom. One day, however, she was walking in her garden and came upon a unicorn (of course she did)! From then on she found great pleasure and happiness spending time with her very own unicorn.
Of course I left all the details out or it would be the perfect filler for “Once Upon A Time…And they lived Happily Ever After!
But what did it all mean? After all these years, I recognized what the princess never did. First of all, she was totally oblivious to her own identity. If she would only recognize that she was truly a princess, royalty no less, then she would understand what was actually available to her. Probably more than she could ask or imagine was at her beck and call to take away any fears or cares that were causing her sadness. If it was social interaction, surely more than a few of her neighbors would be overjoyed to spend time in her company. (After all, she befriended a unicorn.) Don’t we so often fall into the same trap? We forget that we live in the most wonderful country in the world. We trivialize (or worse complain about) all of our blessings and assets. We have more conveniences and technology than most of the world. Knowledge itself is at our fingertips. And friends? When is the last time you went out of your way to approach someone instead of waiting for them to come to you?
Secondly, she discovered the unicorn in her garden. So often the things we are looking for to make us happy are in our own “backyard”. Look around you with a more mindful eye. How often do we walk past people and opportunities that would bring us and others pleasure on a daily basis? Stop focusing inward and start looking out for ways to make a difference in your family, church or community. That will definitely bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face. (Or at least mine.)
And lastly, what was the elusive unicorn? If you ask today it is the impossible or unattainable, but I disagree. It could be my In-Law’s 65 year marriage, now that’s a Unicorn! Or, that amazing person you never thought you’d find. It could be the last gentleman holding open the door. It could be actually making money doing what you love to do! It may be a dream or a person or a destination. Whatever it is, it is attainable. But, you can’t sit around waiting on it forever. You have to take action. You have to take the first step towards the garden. And one day you will look up and realize it wasn’t impossible OR unattainable, unicorns may be real after all!