The movie, frozen, is so rich with challenges about parenthood and growing up. The parents of this movie had a deep desire to love and care for their children, but their actions and choices ended up leaving the girls unprepared for the challenges of adulthood.
For many children the childhood fantasy of growing up in a castle, as a prince or princess would be seen as a dream come true. The reality was that their castle was a prison, which proves that we can’t judge someone’s’ life from the outside. What can look beautiful and amazing on the outside could be a shell hiding many painful things. Elsa and Anna lived empty and hidden for the whole of their childhood and as a result Elsa in particular grew up feeling mostly shame and fear. She was taught she must hide her feelings and not let others in. Still today, I believe that many people/children learn this skill in order to survive. As Elsa breaks free of this shame and fear, she leaves a wake of ICE destruction in her path and everyone she meets is negatively affected. But, although destructive and sad, there is triumph here, as Elsa and Anna, for the first time begin their real journeys of finding out who they are and why they are on this earth. It is such a shame that this journey begins in such a tragic way, but often we will not change unless we are forced to.
“The very first sign of a potential hero’s journey is that he or she must leave home, the familiar, which is something that may not always occur to someone in the first half of life ( In fact, many people have not left home by their thirties today, and most never leave the families at all)
(pg 21, R. Rohr, Falling Upward, 2011)
It is only when Elsa leaves the castle and ventures out to run away from the the problems she has created, that she begins to truly grow and live. Her world is opened up and the screen become s much larger and she does too.
So, as a parent I am inspired to think about providing a stable, safe and strong environment that my children will learn to fly and be all they can be without having to be destructive and get so lost in the process.
I have to be honest, in this quest as a parent, in wanting them to fly; I never really wanted thought about them actually flying AWAY! Selfishly, I want them to stay. Cause if they are happy, they will stay...RIGHT. If we do it right as parents they will want to stay around. I’m thinking if we create a warm loving family environment, a castle that has it all, unlike the princess' situation, then our children will be well adjusted and strong.
So you can imagine the rub for me recently, as my eldest, is turning 17, started saying that he can’t wait to leave home, travel and live his own life. I must say, there’s a small part of me that says “Yay, my husband and I can’t wait to have the house to ourselves” but then the major part of me says “why, are you so desperate to leave us.... you better not go to far away.... and what if you make bad decisions..... I am so scared you will end up in a situation that I might not be able to help you out of” ....because of course it is all about me...right.
But I had to stop myself and my crazy thinking. I must release my kids and let them become the hero in their own story. I ask myself who is the real Hero in the FROZEN movie? Is it not Anna, the one who leaves the castle not to run away and find herself, but to go on an adventure to find her beloved sister, as she could never believe that Elsa is as evil as everyone thinks. Isn’t she the one that risks, that falls and gets back up, that puts herself out there, that makes mistake and learns from them, that sacrifices because of her deep love and finds lasting friendships along the way. What a hero’s journey.
So, I must reposition my thinking and remember that whether your children leave, to find themselves or simply to find adventure, the important thing is that they do Leave....for only then do we help our kids become the Hero in their own story,