How are you related to your picture?

Now that you know what it’s like to be the character, you can step out of the picture and reflect on what you have experienced.

This process is familiar to people who record their dreams. You have the dream, and then you write it down, and once you have done so, you can consider what the dream means to you.

In fairy tales, as in dreams, all the characters are expressing parts of the human psyche that are recognizable and interesting to us. So let’s consider how the character you’re looking at is related to you.

ASK yourself: How am I connected to this character? What part of ME is the character? Just write freely and let the connections be revealed to you.

For example,

How am I connected to Jack? What part of me is Jack?

Jack is an aspect of me that is full of wonder and imagination. His mother doesn’t have any time for wonder, and neither does the butcher.

I can hear Jack’s mother saying, “You’ve got your head in the clouds, Jack. Why don’t you ever come down to earth?” She thinks he’s useless. He disappoints her. His love of nature and his imaginative inclinations just take away from the work he’s supposed to be doing on the farm.

As I’m writing my reflections down and speaking about this picture with others, it begins to dawn on me that Jack expresses a part of me that has felt diminished and put down by another part of me that has no time for wonder and imagination. Like Jack’s mother, this aspect of me is just busy trying to survive.

“You’ll never get any work studying fairy tales. Why don’t you go out and make some money? We need to put food on the table!”

As I observe these two parts of myself being played out in the story, I find myself reflecting on how little support Jack gets. There’s nobody in his life who believes in him. So I’m prompted to ask, “Where I do I stand?”

Do I stand with Jack’s mother, who is putting him down all the time? Or do I stand with Jack?

And what I realize is: “Hey! I stand with Jack. I’m on his side!”

That’s a powerful shift.