Do you have Cinderella Step Sister Syndrome (C.S.S.S.)? “What in the world is that?” you ask. It is the attempt to live someone else’s dream that doesn’t fit who we are, such as Cinderella’s stepsisters did in Grimm’s famous fairy tale. In the original story of Cinderella, written by Grimm, the stepsisters did physical harm to their feet by cutting off toes and heels to attempt to wear the glass slipper designed for Cinderella. Many times, our effort to live someone else’s dream can cause physical, emotional and, spiritual harm to us, but because we are living out a dream, we don’t see the cost to us, but we certainly will feel it. Sometimes when we are not living our best life, we find ourselves daydreaming of what life could be like if things were different or trying to shove our feet in shoes that we cannot walk in. Alas, neither of these options produce little more than frustration in our life. In my line of work, I meet many people who are living the lives that others have created for them instead of writing their story. Many people still live the lives their parents set up in work, finances, and relationships. They have assimilated the beliefs of their parents into how they live, and in turn, they live someone else’s life; a life that of their parent’s design. Be it parents, teachers, pastors, partners or friends who influence the choices that you make; you need to have a clear image of who you are so that you start making decisions that will move you toward your passion. Once you have located your passion, you will find it easier to make choices because you will understand what options or people to embrace and what choices not to embrace. Your truth about yourself will bring your peace and energy and will cause you to set boundaries for anyone or anything that negative encroaches on that which you hold dear. The Cinderella Stepsister Syndrome recovery challenge is to find your passion in life and move toward it because it is when we move toward who we were created to be in life that we start finding our fulfillment. The psalmist David understood this about God and was able to recover from many challenges in life because he understood this concept of God. Today, I challenge you to search the internet for passion finder assessments that will help point you in the right direction (my personal favorites are the DISC Career assessment, COPSystem, and the Destiny Finder profile), and to search out people who see the same things in you that the assessments provide. We need people in our lives who will embrace us for who we have been called to be, not who they need us to be for their purposes. I often relate this to my life when I think about the mentors in my life who had supported my passions even when they did not benefit from those passions. I know that I would still be living the life somebody else had created for me and being confused and powerless, had someone not stepped forward and said to me, “ I see who you are in this area and you need to do much more of it!” Cinderella’s stepsisters never received what they wanted out of life because they were living the life their mother had created for them. It’s time to create a life that brings you passion, not one that crushes your dreams because you live for others.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.