This past Sunday night, the Academy Awards awarded Disney’s “Frozen” an Oscar for Best Animated Movie of the Year and for Best Original Song (“Let It Go” — I’ve loved Idina Menzel’s voice ever since I saw her in “Wicked” on my 50th birthday!).
This happened just in time for the third snowstorm of the year here in Maryland, and for the temperature to plunge this morning down to 2 degrees F. So today seems like a very appropriate time to talk about the movie.
Based loosely on the story of the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, “Frozen” is an amazing fable with lessons not just for girls but for us “grown-up” women as well.
In “Frozen,” a young princess named Elsa has the magical but very dangerous power to freeze things by touch, or even by waving her hands. Her parents, the king and queen, seek to protect her and the kingdom by keeping her locked behind the palace gates, instructing her to wear gloves at all times and always stay in control of herself. But as she comes of age, the secret leaks out anyway, and Elsa decides she must live the way she’s meant to live, using her powers to the fullest, even if it means living alone in the ice castle she has created on a mountain. In the end, she learns she can both have her powers and connection, becoming a beloved queen.
Too many of us women reach adulthood feeling that our greatest powers within are “frozen.” We keep the “gloves” on – we only show part of what we can do. We keep it good, we keep it “nice,” we only go halfway, afraid that if we actually trust all the life and creativity within us and dare to use it, we will bring the world’s wrath down upon us and maybe even destroy the very “kingdom” of relationship that we have built.
It is significant then, that in order for her to allow her creative powers to grow and flourish, Elsa must reach a point where her need to be her true self becomes so strong that for a time she doesn’t care what other people think. This is a difficult, but perhaps necessary, step. One day you reach a place where your inner voice becomes so irrepressible you no longer can go on living halfway, and you decide that you must be yourself even if the consequences include estrangement from those whose love and approval you have depended upon. This is when you discover you have all the inner resources you need.
But after this stage is passed through, the lesson is that love really is the answer. Through love – love of self and love of the people you care about most — you can be fully powerful, fully alive, fully yourself – and fully connected. You can have it all.
Is there something that you have denied all of your life – some gift or talent that you have compromised in order to be “acceptable”? Have you simply chosen to be less than who you are – less forceful, less honest, less passionate – in order to keep the peace and not risk other people’s rejection or disapproval? What would you do right now – what would you pursue, what would you attempt to create – if you didn’t care what other people thought of it?
In “Frozen,” it wasn’t the love of some handsome prince that saves the day, but the love of a younger sister. It’s the love of your self – the impetuous “younger sister” side of yourself – that shows you that you are worthy of living from every passionate aspect of you, and that your fears of exile are ice castles of your own imagination. You do not have to leave any part of you frozen.
These are some thoughts to think about as we (hopefully!) begin to head into the thawing days of Spring. My deepest wish for you is that 2014 is the year you truly “unfreeze” all parts of your self and live from all the creative power inside you – and find everything you are looking for. .