There are many reasons to like (or dislike) Frozen and beyond the reasons why I like it personally, the main reason for me is (and the reason why I started my blog post this way), is that it portrays quite realistically what a life looks like that is dominated by fear.
When Elsa accidentally hit her sister Anna with her power and their parents take them to the trolls, the chief troll warns Elsa “Fear will be your enemy”. So the logical thing to do next is for Elsa to confidently learn how to use her powers appropriately but does that happen? No, what happens instead is that Elsa being already scared by what happened becomes scared of using her powers at all, becomes scared of being fully herself.
Her parents who have no idea what they’re doing, because unlike Elsa they are completely ordinary (apart from being king and queen), think it’s the best for Elsa to be separated from the outside world until she has learned to control her powers. “Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let it show” is the way in which controlling is interpreted, which means to hide the struggle and to pretend that everything is fine.
Elsa builds a strategy to survive in her environment based on the fear of others getting to know about her powers and the fear of hurting others. This means that every decision she makes is based not on the wonderful possibilities her powers open up to her but based on the fear of what could go wrong.
Making decisions on the fear of what could go wrong, does that sound familiar? Have you ever done that? I certainly have! I worry all the time and most of my life I have been afraid of things. And I’m not talking spiders here, but things like failure and loneliness.
The fear of failure has then led me to believe that the safest way to avoid failure, and all that entails, is to avoid doing anything that might fail, which basically means I stopped living. I have stopped doing things I enjoyed because others were better than me and I would never be as good as them, which for me personally meant that I had failed.
Being rather slow has also increased my fear of failure, not being able to compete with others and therefore again failing. But there are things in life that might fail but that I can’t escape, things that aren’t avoidable. My strategy for dealing with them? Doing them as quietly as possible, so no one notices when I fail. I can’t fall any lower in my own opinion anyway but I possibly can prevent other people from noticing how incapable I am at doing life.
Of course the problem with this that I quite like to be honest and a person of integrity, but pretending not to be a failure when I so clearly am means I already have failed again, doesn’t it? And so the spiral of failing and my fear of failure continues. It’s a self-defying system really.
Being an introvert you think I might really enjoy being on my own, which in a way is true, but being lonely is just “stupid”. Having had the experience I had and knowing that I’m unusual, to say the least (weird might be a more appropriate word), I have developed a reasonably-sized fear of annoying others and therefore being lonely.
Again I have developed a great strategy of dealing with this problem: I won’t be lonely if I don’t annoy (or irritate) others, I’m not annoying if I keep away from others. Being lonely to avoid being lonely. Genius isn’t it? The only slight problem with this is that by keeping away from people in order to not annoy them I don’t know how to interact and am therefore more likely to be annoying (and therefore lonely) when I try to make contact with other humans because I have been on my own for too long.
But just as Frozen has its happy ending, I have mine just less Disney (that said I really wouldn’t mind having my own tiara). In one of my other all time favourite films (again apologies to any non-Disney fans and men), “The princess diaries”, the protagonist Mia gets given the advice by her father that “courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that there is something else more important than fear”.
Within this is the root of my personal happy ending, because I am not free from fear (which is why I decided to write the two previous paragraphs in present tense, although they much more mirror a even more fearful me than I am now) but what I have recognized for myself is that there is something more important than fear and this pretty well summed up in the verse I got for my dedication:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
If I truly want to call myself a Christian, a child of God, then there can’t be any room for fear in my life. I know this is easier said than done but fortunately the verse above doesn’t say “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, do it out of your own strength and don’t you dare fail at this.” It promises that God will be wherever we go and that his presence with us is the reason why we should not be afraid! And this isn’t the only example where the command to not be afraid is accompanied by the promise of God’s help.
Here are my personal top three verses (in no particular order) to remind me that I have a reason not to fear:
- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
- “The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philipians 4:6-7
My battle with fear is far from being over but realising earlier this year how much I have missed because of fear, I am now more determined than ever to let go of my fears and live a life with NO MORE FEAR.