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LEARNING THE LESSONS IN "LET IT GO"
Adapted from the works of
Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
There is probably not a person with access to a radio, TV, or the internet who hasn't heard the hit song "Let It Go" from the Disney movie Frozen. More than a year since its release, the song is still everywhere. It's an inspiring anthem. From the sad beginning to the soaring crescendo to the triumphant end mixed with Idina Menzel's astonishing voice make it a truly moving song. Yet, the words and the message they impart, are what have touched a chord in so many people.
"Let It Go" is a song about being true to yourself. But just as importantly, it is a song about giving up trying to control all the details. It is main character Elsa's declaration of freedom. Elsa was so fearful of her own power that she spent her whole life managing herself and her interactions with others. She was constantly frightened and miserable. When she sings "Let It Go" she gives up her fears and her need to control, and she embraces her true self.
Sounds as if it could have come right out of one of Susan's books!
Susan often wrote about the importance of letting go. Letting go of fear, of control, expectations, and so many other things. When we let go we are free to flow with life. When we let go we are:
- Cutting the cord that keeps us a prisoner;
- Not hanging on so tight to the way it's "supposed" to be;
- Trusting that all is well...that life is happening perfectly;
- Seeing the possibility of love and growth that exists in all experiences - good or bad;
- Recognizing that the ebb and flow of life can be faced from a place of harmony instead of struggle.
Wouldn't that be a better way to live than to hold on so tightly to things that make us miserable?
How many of us try to micro-manage not only ourselves but everything around us? When has that ever made anyone's life happier? According to Susan, the desperate need to control things stems from deep-seated fear and feelings of helplessness. When we try to dictate the way things happen, we are only bucking against the flow of life. When we live in a place of powerlessness, we can't help but be fearful.
Yet when we let go - of fear, of control, of desperation, of helplessness - we find that we have so much power inside.
To know that you can make a difference in this world means that you are not helpless, that you are a meaningful force in the world.
The ability to get in touch with our inner selves is what makes the song, "Let It Go" so poignant. Who among us doesn't want to be free to be themselves, to enjoy their own sense of power, to be a force within the world?
In End the Struggle and Dance With Life, Susan referred to an anonymous quote, "An old woman, when asked why she was always cheerful, replied: 'Well, I wear this world just as a loose garment.'" Susan loved this idea and went on to flesh out the idea.
What a lovely image... wearing this world just as a loose garment. Yes, that's the way we all want to wear life. Most of us, however, wear it like a girdle... tight, hard, rigid, uncomfortable and constricting. Oh, how we long to take off that girdle and breathe deeply and freely! Oh, how we long to let go of all those things that keep us immersed in struggle instead of flying above the clouds!
By wearing the world as a loose garment, we are not trying to live up to the expectations that we force upon ourselves or that others try to impose on us. We are at one with ourselves, our personalities, and how we fit into the Universe.
It's really no wonder that the lyrics of "Let It Go" are beloved by so many. It puts words to how we would all like to be in our lives. Its message of personal empowerment is timeless:
"And the fears that once controlled me / Can't get to me at all."
Susan couldn't have said it better herself.
Copyright © 2015 Susan Jeffers, LLC All rights reserved.
Adapted from Susan's writing in End the Struggle and Dance with Life.
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