“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
A few weeks ago I finally watched the movie Frozen. I say finally because people have been telling me to watch it for ages and I never made the time. So one Thursday, after waking up a bit later in the morning to a grey and cloudy day, I decided that I won't do anything productive and watch Frozen.
And all I can say is, “How did I not watch it sooner?!”
It was brilliant, funny, beautiful, with strong characters and a wonderful moral. Though I studied media and film and should probably analyse the film techniques, music and angles, I want to talk about something else.
I want to share my perspective and take away from the story, because this relates back to our dreams, gifts and life purpose.
For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Frozen is about a young princess who has the gift of turning whatever she touches into ice. Using only her thoughts, she can create snowstorms that flash with force and fury, stone-hard ice-rinks to skate on and sculptures of beauty. Her name is Elsa and she has a younger sister, Anna (she has my name and in the movie they pronounce it properly!! It’s all so exciting).
The movie starts when Anna, unable to fall asleep one night, coaxes Elsa into playing with the ice and snow that Elsa can create. After some persuasion, Elsa gets up and the two young girls share an icy adventure in the castle ballroom hall. But it’s all fun and games until Elsa panics and in doing so, hurts her sister with an ice strike to her head. Elsa’s parents wake up and they pick up Anna and Elsa and rush them off to see the trolls (who are simply adorable, wise woodland creatures). Grandpoppy troll advises Elsa’s parents that her gift is only going to get stronger as she grows older. He says it’s fortunate that Anna was hit in the head and not the heart because presently, she can be cured easily by erasing the memory of the incident and erasing Anna’s knowledge of Elsa’s gift.
Following this incident, Elsa’s parents decide to isolated her without telling Anna why. For years on end, Anna visits Elsa’s room and asks her to come out to play. One day the girl's parents go away and die in a terrible storm, leaving them orphaned. But Elsa continues to keep yourself locked away and Anna eventually gives up asking her to come out.
It wasn’t until the summer day when the castle gates are opened for Elsa’s coronation, that everyone learns about her gift (for those who haven’t seen the movie, I won’t reveal how this happens). And in her fear and anger, being called a witch and sorceress and chased by the royal congress, Elsa flees her castle and in doing so, spreads winter in her wake.
At this point, we’re about a third way into the story, and this is where I want to stop so not to spoil the rest of the plot to anyone who still wants to watch it.
We are all like Elsa, each of us has a gift that we are born with and something we are naturally talented at. Sometimes the gift is so profound, that it may be bigger than the person and beyond the comprehension of our parents, guardians or teachers. And because no one understands the beauty, power, mystery and possibility of the gift, it is feared and locked away. It is hidden from people so that it may never see the light of day. History is riddled with such stories. One example is of the re-known author, Paulo Coelho. When he was young, he wanted to be a writer. His parents laughed at the notion, expecting him to grow out of it and become focused on a ‘real’ job. But the older he grew, his skill and gift for the written word only grew stronger and stronger. His parents, frustrated at this, decided that there was something crazy with him and admitted him into a mental asylum. But now, Paulo Coelho is one of the world’s best-selling and loved authors with millions copies of his books sold and translated into many languages.
It’s easy to be scared of something that is beyond the perimeters of our understanding, however, as is highlighted in the movie, Frozen, the fear and denial of the gift can have adverse effects on everyone involved, especially those who are closest to the person.
The moment Elsa embraces her gift and recognises how to use it properly, she can finally share it openly with everyone to enjoy. Though locking her up in her bedroom is probably all her parents knew how to do at that time, it would have saved them and their daughters a lot of heartache if everything was discussed in the open and with an attempt to understand the power of the gift, instead of quelling it.
The lesson we can learn from Frozen is to embrace our gifts and help our children practice and nurture their gifts in a safe environment, so that when their skill grows, they understand it wisely and are sufficiently equipped and empowered to use it for the good fight, as Paulo Coelho says in his book The Pilgrimage.
And if you don’t think you have a special gift, take some time to meditate on your childhood. What did you spend hours daydreaming about? How did it make you feel? And what are you naturally good at?
There are many other ways you can discover your gifts. As a start, I would recommend reading Sir Ken Robinson’s book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. If you want more resources, please feel free to contact me through the website or comment below.
Remember, you are already gifted. You simply need to unwrap it from the packaging and share it with everyone you meet.
The world can’t wait to see your present.
And neither can I.