So last week I started a series of blogs on the movie Frozen. This movie is an obsession in our house, so I am constantly faced with all the powerful therapeutic lessons.
Last week I covered Princess Anna’s abandonment issues and this week I’m diving into Princess Elsa, the older sister. Enjoy the read as you might relate to her struggles more than you think!
Princess Elsa’s Shame Issues
Elsa has a secret.
She has powers where she can make things freeze, make it snow, and make ice in an instant. When Elsa has strong emotion, her powers rage out of control.
Because of this Elsa doesn’t fit. She is different. People won’t “get” her. They might be scared of her because of these powers.
So how does Elsa cope? She hides. She calls herself “The Queen” of a kingdom of isolation.
As a young girl her parents try to “help” her become normal so she can fit in. They say:
“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal don’t feel, don’t let them know (from the song ‘Let it Go’)”
That is a TON of pressure on anyone, let alone a little girl who is so ashamed of herself. She wants to change. She strives for perfection.
She is only seen as a ‘good girl’ if she is successful at holding in her feelings and showing the world she can be normal…but she isn’t like everyone else. And she couldn’t keep it in. They found out.
Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly and shame researcher, would say that Elsa thinks of being vulnerable and open about her issue as a weakness. And that she equates “feeling as failing and emotion as a liability”.
Elsa lives in fear of being found out and seen for who she really is. The pain of rejection from others is so scary that she doesn’t allow herself to get close to anyone- so no one has the chance to reject her.
But look how she sabotages herself by living in fear….she creates her own worst fear to be a reality by rejecting others before they have a chance to reject her. She sees herself as flawed and assumes she brings no value to anyone, so she shouldn’t be near anyone.
Such a lonely world, huh?
Does your shame tell you lies like Elsa’s did?
Maybe your shame says, “You’re not good enough, so don’t try” or “You are too stupid to figure that out”. Maybe your shame attacks in this way: “No one cares. You are worthless.” or “You are such a failure. You will never be able to do it.”
Ouch…those phrases sound awful! Shame’s sucker punches are painful.
Has your shame caused depression and isolation in your life? Are you living in fear of being truly known and seen? What if someone finds out your secret? Will they still love you?
Being vulnerable is scary…but it is the only way to be free of your shame and the fear that consumes you. It is the only way to kill the insecurities that haunt you. Isolation and emotional walls fuel shame issues.
Elsa eventually finds freedom in letting it all go. She puts the past in the past. She breaks up with her fear and embraces her true self. She doesn’t care anymore what people say. She is finally free!
Do you need to break free from the hold your shame has on your life?
Check in next week as I cover some more great lessons from Disney’s Frozen! This movie is FULL of some awesome stuff!