As I watch Frozen with my daughter for the 1,363,498th time, I always think about all the lessons, major and minor that are taught. Yes, there’s the “Let It Go” movement, of being our true selves and being vulnerable, or else we face ice-olation ( haha, I tried ). And the lesson of not rushing into love. But one that I find especially compelling is the relationship between the two. While Elsa isn’t Anna’s mother, after their parents die, she is closer to a mentor/parent relationship with Anna than anyone else. Since Elsa doesn’t reveal her true self to Anna, she isn’t open to her love and relationship. This causes Anna to feel so empty and alone, that she fixates on finding her one true love in one night. We all look down on Anna for being desperate and naive, but really the problem is rooted in Elsa’s withdrawal.
As parents, we may be afraid to share our past or our true selves, passions, struggles, emotions, and all with our children, but it’s not protecting them. Children are much more aware and smart than adults give them credit for. In keeping our children cut off from our true selves, we also cut their true selves off from us. Without having an authentic, vulnerable relationship with our children, we can’t reach them to teach, guide, and counsel them through life. Even though we might not have physical barriers like the four walls of Elsa’s room protecting us, the damage of concealing and not letting our past and emotions show is just the same.