The Meaning of Goals

Hey Guys!

It’s week two of the Oncer Explorations. We made it, hazzah! (Spoilers through Season 2 of Once Upon a Time.)

I’ve had many goals in my life. Graduate college, own a house, have long hair, get a job, write a book, raise a cat, cook a meal, make this blog, and so many more. Sometimes, I feel like all I’m doing is reaching for the next goal on my list. Can I ever accomplish it all? Do I want to?

Regina’s Won

In the time of the First Dark Curse Regina has won. She has successfully accomplished all her goals. Snow and Charming are separated, everyone who populated the enchanted forest now has their memories removed and are replaced with weak-willed personalities, and Regina reigns queen, or mayor, over them all.

In the episode Welcome to Storybrooke in Season 2, the residents of Storybrook are in a loop, like Groundhogs Day, where every day is Regina Mills’ perfect day. She wakes up with a chiseled man in her bed and walks through the town enjoying everyone else’s misery before running into Snow White, now living as the non-confrontational Mary Margret.

Mary Margret: Oh, Madam Mayor, I’m so sorry.
Regina: You should be. Watch where you’re going next time.
Mary Margret: Mm-hmm. (Head down, scurries away)

Regina relishes the exchange as she confidently walks away, thoroughly enjoying the product of her hard work.

After less than a week of this repetition Regina becomes board with everything going her way. So, much so that on day six, when she has her daily run in with Snow, it doesn’t make her as happy as it did before.

Mary Margret: Oh, Mayor Mills, I’m so sorry. (Head bowed)
Regina: I ran into you. Why are you apologizing?
Mary Margret: No, I should have been looking where I was going.
Regina: You’re not even going to fight back?
Mary Margret: Fight back? Why would I do that? (Scurries away)

A Hole in her Heart

Regina doesn’t know why she’s unhappy, only that she is. There is now a hole in her heart due to casting the dark curse. This hole, as explained by the story, creates a lack of love. So, she fills this missing part her life by adopting a baby, Henry, and through him she finds love in her life again.

However, I’d like to present another possible effect of this hole, what if it’s not necessarily a lack of love, but a lack of ambition that is missing from Regina’s life? (For now, let’s keep the discussion in Season 2. The story line of the hole in Regina’s heart threads all the way from Season 1 – 6.)

For years, and I mean years, Regina’s only goal was getting revenge on Snow White for causing the death of her first love, Daniel. Regina worked day and night to achieve her goal. She sent assassins, captured Charming as bait, poisoned Snow, even went undercover herself to try to kill Snow White.

And now she has everything she’s ever wanted. There are no goals left to achieve, nothing left to do, no desire, no drive. . . just nothing.

When she adopts Henry, things change instantly. Having a child gives her not only love, but ambition, a purpose. She has a goal once more. That of raising a happy, healthy baby boy. Without Henry, without a goal or purpose, her life had become meaningless, stagnate.

Enjoy the Journey

I believe we need goals to make our lives meaningful. But I also believe we need to enjoy the journey of achieving our goals, because if not what’s left? We will always have another goal, there will always be something more to accomplish. And thank God for that!

Sometimes, I think we get caught up focusing our energy always reaching for the next goal, and the next, and then the one after that. When enjoying the reaching, the work, is so important, because there will never be a last goal. We will always have more challenges, more things to learn. Even if we’re trapped in a world of stagnation like Regina, just like her, we’ll find a way to make a new goal, so why not enjoy the ride?

With all this in mind, what are some goals that you’re reaching for currently? What are some goals that you breezed through maybe a little too quickly and wish you could have explored longer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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