If there has ever been a song that makes me feel like a big kid, it is Let It Go! I will admit to everyone reading this that I sing this song at the top of my lungs at home, in the car, and slightly less forcefully in parking lots, drive thrus, and department stores. ~smile~ Like millions of parents in America, I’m sure I will get sick of it eventually – but it has not happened yet! Something about Let it Go makes me feel like I can conquer the world! I just adore inspirational songs. ~smile~
Many of us can relate to Elsa, which might be why her freedom cry is so popular with kids and adults. Did you ever feel like you had to act a certain way to be loved and accepted? Did you ever fear that one wrong move would make everyone turn their backs on you? Have you mastered the fine art of being perfect in public and not so perfect in private? If so, you would certainly not be alone!
Don’t Let Them In. Don’t Let Them See. Be the Good Girl, You Always Have To Be…
Though I was far from perfect, there was a part of me which was never satisfied with myself. I made good grades, but I didn’t work hard enough in school. I had friends, but I wasn’t friendly enough. I could sing, but almost never well enough to satisfy my standards. Perhaps it’s my only-child hyper-perfectionism, or maybe I picked up on cues as a kid which led me to believe I needed to be better… always better. I know no one in my family expected me to be flawless, but I wanted everyone to be happy with me at all times – a battle I still fight.
When I was about eight-years-old, I remember Mom telling me to wash the ring out of the tub at night when I finished my bath (a horrible and disgusting chore that proves showers are the way to go!). No matter how much I scrubbed, I could never get the ring to completely disappear. It taunted me! That stupid shower tub ring! My nemesis! I’m pretty sure I cried about it at least once. ~smile~
Then there was that awful statement adults would tell me when they wanted me to feel less stressed. Maybe you’ve heard it too? “Just do your best.” What?! My best?! In my mind, I could always do better. So, if I should “do my best” on a paper, then I would have to work on it until my dying breath. “Just do your best” did not relieve my stress in the least.
Then the teen years came. I desperately wanted adults to respect me and consider me “a good girl,” but I did not always want to be a good girl – so I wore two faces. Deep down, I wanted to be good all the time, but I just wasn’t. I guess I was human. I guess I was fallen. I suppose I had a sin nature just like everyone else. Yet, the idea of having my dad, grandma, and adults in my church know I was bad was frightening. My identity (at least I thought) was “Heather, that good girl who is mature for her age.” But I was not so good, and I certainly was not so mature.
Conceal. Don’t Feel. Don’t Let Them Know…
My heart went out to Elsa and everyone else who has lived their lives stuffing their feelings inside. As much as I felt an expectation to be “good,” I rarely pushed down my emotions. My insides must be shallow because when I get overwhelmed, sad, happy, or inspired, the tears just flow. I have to feel or I’ll explode. When I encounter people who do stuff their feelings, I want to hug them and whisper, “Let it go…”
As much as my parents didn’t like my tears, I don’t ever remember them forbidding me to show emotion. Mom may have occasionally said “Ok, Heather… enough” if I was wailing uncontrollably (which may or may not have been uncommon ~smile~); but, if I needed to cry, I always felt free to do so. I’m not sure what I would have done if crying had not been an option. I probably would have screamed a lot. Thrown tantrums. Broken lamps and other household items. Driven fast and taken chances. It would not have been pretty, that’s for sure.
There are a lot of “Elsa”s in the world. Maybe they can’t freeze the summer, but they do feel required to conceal their emotions – or to ignore them completely. What happened to Elsa after her coronation is a great visual of what happens to people when they stuff their feelings down for too long. They explode. Elsa had worked so hard for most of her life at being absolutely perfect (and we won’t even talk about the idiotic way her parents handled the situation), and no one can live like that forever.
With just a little provocation, Elsa snapped and about fifteen years of pent up feelings came bursting forth in the form of sharp ice crystals. We can try to conceal and not feel pain, but we weren’t created that way. We feel. It’s what we do.
To all the “Elsa”s out there – I’m so sorry you have been expected to hold back your true self from the world, and I would encourage you to start tearing down the walls around your heart before they explode. Disney movies make it look easier than it is, but I hope you will start to let it all go.
Let it Go. Let it Go. And I’ll Rise Like the Break of Dawn. Let it Go. Let it Go. That Perfect Girl is Gone…
So what? What if they discover you’re not perfect? What if you mess up? That won’t make anyone who loves you stop loving you. If the people in your life require you to be up to par at all times, you may need to seek out some new friends.
Before you commit to someone in marriage, you should have a deep and serious talk with yourself. Do some digging. Are you holding onto any lies? Part hurts? Unrealistic expectations? If so, it is time to let them go. Your marriage will be healthier if you get healthy.
Point out the lies you believe. Replace those lies with the truth, and repeat the truth to yourself every day until you believe it wholeheartedly.
Need to forgive someone? Let go of your bitterness. It is only hurting you and those you love. Your unforgiveness is not punishing the perpetrator. Ask God to help you let it go, and then let it go completely.
Are you still beating yourself up for not being “good enough.” Let go of those exhausting expectations. You will never be good enough. I will never be good enough. That is why we need a Savior! ~smile~
If you are struggling to let go of the pain from your past, feel free to connect with us and let us know. Eric and I will be happy to pray for you as you start the journey to healing. You don’t have to walk alone.
What do you need to let go before you walk down the aisle?