It's shocking how many monologues I've been starting lately with the phrase, "See, this reminds me of Elsa." Because isn't Elsa so relatable?
This is what I mean. Spoilers for those of you who somehow have managed to avoid seeing this precious film.
Elsa has ice powers.Watch it. You will laugh, you will cry, it will move you. Promise.
Elsa and Anna play with her ice powers as children, and it's all fun and games until Anna gets hit in the head and the doctor who heals her foresees something terrible happening as a result of Elsa's powers.
Elsa and her parents misinterpret the doctor's warnings and decide the best thing is for Elsa to put on gloves and hide out in her room to keep from hurting anyone.
But at Elsa's coronation she loses control and the ice explodes all over the party.
Everyone is (understandably) freaked out, and Elsa runs away.
She sings "Let It Go", celebrating the fact that now she can let her ice powers run wild without having to worry about hurting anyone.
But that freedom is bittersweet because Anna comes to find her, and in the process ends up getting a dart of ice to the heart.
In the end, love of her sister drives her homeward, where the bad guy tries to do her in and Anna sacrifices herself to save Elsa and true love heals both frozen hearts.
Hopefully the subtext here is pretty obvious. Elsa is afraid. She's afraid of a part of herself she can't control. She's afraid of her capacity to hurt other people. She isolates to avoid that fear, and when she runs away from everyone she thinks she's found freedom. And while she finally experiences the joy of being who she is, people still get hurt because she never learned to control her power. The happy ending finally comes when love trumps fear and Elsa gets her powers under control.
Love casts out fear. I was going to get that tattooed on my chest, had the design and the parlor picked out and everything, until I realized I was too afraid of needles to go through with it. But it's a principle I would feel comfortable having permanently etched into my skin because I think I need the daily reminder: there is no fear in love.
Unfortunately, fear is perpetually present in my life. Fallen world. Sinful girl. There's a laundry list of fears floating around in my head right now, temporary and long-term, superficial and existential, stomach-fluttering and heart-sickening. It is what it is. I can't necessarily snap my fingers and be done with it, but I can dwell on love. There is a safety net. There are strong arms. There is a love with a depth and a width and a height and a length I cannot fathom. And that love is shown to me each day. When I am set on love the fear is less crippling.
The other lesson here is to control what you can control. Fear leads to its own kind of defeatism. I trend towards laziness and I find it leagues easier to throw my hands up in the air and admit, "I'm screwed up and there's nothing I can do about it." And that's dangerous grounds because it leads to isolation. And then sometimes your greatest fears can come true. (Elsa locked herself in her room because she was afraid of hurting Anna again, and guess what, she ended up hurting Anna again. Life, amirite?)
But we're not helpless in the face of our demons. Fear doesn't win, love does. For Elsa, the love of her sister enabled her to get her ice powers under control. No longer afraid of what she could do, she harnessed them so Olaf could experience summertime in one piece. We have not only the precious love of the people who care about us, but the divine love of our God and the partnership of the Holy Spirit, who is with us reminding us that we are righteous in the eyes of the Lord and that we have a promise to one day be whole.
You may be sick of hearing little girls belting out "Let It Go" on the streets, but dayum, it's a catchy song. We are not called the carry the guilt for the mistakes we've made; we are free and can rejoice that no burdens weigh on our shoulders any longer.