The other day I was witness to two very young girls flying around the beach, arms out like birds, singing over and over again at the top of their voices; “Let it go! Let it go!” They seemed to me to embody so much joy that I stood rooted, captivated, and just watched those tiny souls race the breeze.
“Wow” I thought, “Now there’s a lesson.
I’ve been contemplating those lyrics from the song in the Disney film, Frozen, ever since, and what that lesson might be. According to Mr. Google, this academy award winning song has had an astonishing 160,000,000 views so that’s a lot of lessons, as varied as each person who hears the song.
For the wee girls flying along on the beach it seemed to me to be a declaration of empowerment and freedom – the song itself repeats over and over “I’m free!” and indeed they were at that precious moment. What a way to start their lives.
And yet, and yet… I’ve just watched a YouTube piece of a little Ukrainian girl in a bomb shelter, filled with families, singing this song in her language. The crowd was silenced, rooted and captivated. They burst into applause when she was done. What a way to start her life; their lives.
Others who know the lyrics might identify with another line in the song: “I’m never going back, the past is in the past.” Letting go of something in the past, if it clouds the present with anger, sorrow or regret, can bring great freedom to the present moment if it is released. To be our self is ceasing to identify with content, that is whatever we perceive, experience, do, think or feel now, or in the past. That’s stuff. That’s content. That’s not who we are.
Another lesson from the song is in the lines, “No right, no wrong no rules for me, I’m Free!” those words would surely have struck a note in my teens, but now the lyrics make me nervous when I consider the world situation, particularly in Ukraine. In our recent world history, rejection of established norms, that is relativism – and finding liberation in it was a key element in Nazism. Relativism, according to the dictionary, is the doctrine that knowledge, truth and morality exist in relation to culture, society or historical context, and are not absolute. Belief in relativism and the anti-establishment attitudes was also key to the beliefs of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin.
Elsa, the princess who caused eternal winter in her kingdom with her inability to control her powers, sings, “Let it go, Turn away and slam the door. I don’t care what they’re going to say, Let the storm rage on” and follows with “It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through. No right, no wrong, no rules for me.”
Yikes. These words, this situation, sure hits home these days.
Three little girls; a sandy beach, a bomb shelter, singing “Let it go!” What wisdom comes from our youth when we pause and consider what it is we’ve become, and what it is we can or should let go.