Ask Abbie: Focus on positive emotions within your heart

Published 9:35 am Saturday, December 14, 2013

Question: I have been accepted to a college that is about three hours away. Even though it teaches the subject I want to study I have decided to stay at home and to go to the local community college. Everybody keeps asking me why I’m not going away. I am too embarrassed to tell them it’s because I don’t want to leave my mom. She’s the only person I can talk to about anything. I need her. What do you think I should do?

–A Confused Daughter

Answer: Every morning, the Evil Queen asks the Magic Mirror the question, “Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?” The mirror always replies, “My Queen, you are the fairest in the land.” The Queen is pleased with that because the magic mirror never lies. However, when Snow White reaches the age of seven, she becomes as beautiful as the day and even more beautiful than the Queen. At that point the Queen once again asks her mirror who is the fairest in the land. This time it responds: “My Queen, you are the fairest here so true, but Snow White is a thousand times more beautiful than you.”

Tomorrow morning you are to play the role of the Evil Queen character in the classic fairy tale “Snow White.” Unlike the Evil Queen, however, you will not have to find a mirror with magical ability; any ordinary mirror will suffice. Before you have a chance to ask it your question, listen. It has something to tell you. That something is, “Good morning, Snow White.”

It does not require magic for any mirror or for any person you come into contact with to see the beauty of your heart. You wear it visibly. It reflects the love and devotion your mother has put into raising you to become a woman of exemplary character. Such beauty is rare and should, whenever identified, be given the adequate respect and appreciation of an unsolicited Snow White greeting.

A truly admirable heart tends to be extremely sensitive to the emotions of its owner as well as to the emotions of others, especially when difficult situations are involved. Consider this characteristic as its “poisoned apple.” If the heart bites into the sensitivity by focusing on the associated negative emotions within it and within the hearts of others around it, it will cause the heart to grow weary and drift into a “sleeping death.” If, however, the heart focuses on the associated positive emotions within it and within the hearts of others around it, the spell will be reversed and it will be filled with life. It is common for the poisoned apple to make its temptations very apparent whenever a sensitive heart has to choose between family and career, school or any other major endeavor.

Whenever one of these dilemmas arises, rather than bite into the negativity and become discouraged, the heart should focus on the positive by weighing the costs and benefits for each available option. Apply this approach to your situation by comparing the costs and benefits of staying at home to those of moving away. Be sure to write down only facts in order to avoid opinion and to remain objective. Compare the lists and evaluate the results in conjunction with the following additional information.

Your mother may need you in the future, but assuming that she’s capable of caring for herself now, it may be time for you to spread your wings and soar. If you are not yet strong enough or confident enough to fly solo without putting your safety in danger, now may be the time to stay close to the nest and to build your strength for a successful future takeoff. Know that based upon the loving nature of your heart, whatever decision you make will be the best one you know to make. As a result, I believe you will avoid the poisoned apple and will gain an overwhelming sense of life, satisfaction and peace.

As you proceed forward, never allow anything, including college, a relationship, a person, or a specific event, to force your heart into hiding. Keep it visible so one day when you are ready to hand it down to your child, just as your mother handed her heart down to you, it will be available for you to do so. You will receive the irreplaceable pride of a mother whose child will hear, “Good morning, Snow White,” whenever she looks in a mirror. Imagine how proud your mother must feel of you, her “Snow White.”

ABBIE LONG is a Franklin native and advice columnist for The Tidewater News. Submit your questions to