Continuing the journey through the Disney Princesses….we take a walk (swim) with Ariel, or The Little Mermaid. Is the handsome prince really worth the cost of our own voice? HHHMMM I think not!
I’m just going to say right off the bat….Ariel is a twit! I mean really, giving away her prize possession, her voice (get ready for the metaphor!) for the possibility that the prince might fall in love with her. Come on already! Where was women’s lib when Disney ventured down this path???!!!! So, I guess when it comes to Disney Princesses, the story of the Little Mermaid has a reverse message? I know she gets the prince in the end….and frankly, I cannot recall how this feat takes place as I’m still reeling from the fact that she gave away her voice to do it.
Ok…so in case you aren’t familiar with the story. Ariel, the Little Mermaid, is the daughter of the sea king (Tritan?). She is bored to tears with sea life. She becomes enamored with humans through her exploration of shipwrecks and longs to walk among men. One fateful day during a terrible storm she rescues one of these humans and falls madly in love with him. She deposits him safely ashore then hurries back to the sea so she will not die. Then Ariel strikes a bargain with the evil sea witch, Ursula, where she bargains her voice (her prize possession, for she is known for her beautiful singing voice) for legs. The deal is, she gets to keep her legs and Ursula will return her voice should Ariel convince the prince to fall in love with her (and I think he has to kiss her). Should Ariel fail in her quest, she would lose her human legs, be without her voice forever and will be cast back into the sea. (In the original Hans Christian Anderson version, if the Little Mermaid should fail in her quest, she would become seafoam, and be neither human nor mermaid).
Here’s the YouTube clip from the scene where Ariel gives her voice to Ursula. (hint: this should scare you!): http://www.youtube.com/user/AbbieSinger91#p/a/u/2/Fjn3VAerXk0
So, am I to understand this correctly, is Disney really trying to tell us that in order to have love, we must give away our voice???!!! Just for the sake of impact – ask yourself the question again – In order to have love, must we give away our voice? Listen carefully……..did you feel it? I thought so. There is a tiny place within that constricts in pain at the thought of this question….but more importantly…..I think it constricts because on some level either we believe this to be true….or we have in the past. So….here is the painful self reflection:
- How many times have you denied your own truth or flat out given away your voice hoping that it would earn you the love (honor, respect) of another?
- Where have you suppressed your deepest truths (gifts, passions, desires, needs, wants) out of the fear that you might be rejected for sharing your truths?
- Where have you set aside your own needs, desires, hopes, because you did not want to make waves, because someone else’s needs were more important than yours, because you were afraid to share your needs?
So, maybe Disney isn’t telling us that we have to give away our voices to be loved, but is simply observing a sad and unfortunate state of conditioning. Sadly, many of us have been conditioned to believe that we need to hide or suppress our truths and our gifts. We have been conditioned to believe that we have to put on a different face than our own in order to be loved. We have been conditioned to believe that our job is to meet everyone else’s needs before we can worry about our own…or even worse, that our needs don’t matter, that our truths are invalid or that our gifts are unimportant. LIES LIES LIES
So, this is what I am here to tell you. (I’m putting my cheerleader hat on here) NEVER give away your voice. NEVER suppress your truth. NEVER dishonor your own needs, passions, desires, dreams. NEVER NEVER NEVER do this out of some crazy idea that you have to do this in order to be loved, honored, respected, valued, affirmed, etc. Your truth is your most sacred gift. Your voice is your most beautiful tool. Name it. Claim it. Honor it. Cultivate and nurture it. AND…..freely and openly express it in the world. This is what God made you for! The truth that God gave to you is the way that the Divine seeks to more fully reveal love, compassion, joy, beauty, mercy, peace, ecstasy and wonder in the world.
And if that little cheerleading moment wasn’t enough….watch the movie, The Hours with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianna Moore to see the consquence of suppressing our truth.
And a final note….I do need to let Disney off the hook just a bit….they did pen one magnificent ditty for their version of The Little Mermaid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBa9QlzEWA4
Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth