What can Maleficent, Love & Play teach us?
I was on my to Cancun last week for the first vacation that my husband and I have taken alone in 6 years. One thing I know for sure, and preach often, is the importance of rest and repair. Sometimes it is hard to practice, especially if you are used to working and your healthy ego is fueled by a sense of success and accomplishment.
I surrendered to play as I watched the movie Maleficent with my husband (who has no trouble with play). Now I feel renewed energy to write, something that I love to do, but don’t always give myself permission to dedicate the time and discipline to do. I so loved the messages from this movie!
First message, from Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), “Don’t believe the fairytales and everything everyone tells you.” I agree, as written in a previous blogpost titled, Rethink Everything. There are always two sides to every story. This is why one of my favorite Broadway shows is still Wicked; I have seen it in three different cities. We are neither good nor bad, we are both. When we get stuck in one belief, in one dogma, at best, we feel there is a battle or internal struggle to overcome; at worst, we end in war where everyone loses.
As I said in my book, “What you focus on is what you get” which is why we will always lose the war. This is true for the war on cancer and the war on drugs, as proven by rising rates despite the billions we pour into the effort. When we demonize ourselves, and our enemies we only increase the conflict. Love heals cancers, addictions and broken hearts.
How do we best heal ourselves? We recognize that we are neither good, nor evil, we are both. We are human, each of us have the capacity for great good as well as great evil. If World War II taught us anything, it should have taught us this. When we deny these feelings in ourselves, we deny our humanity.
When we deny the capacity for both imperfection and evil within us all, in order to support this false belief, we must demonize others. We are then blinded by our “position” by our dogma. Also, when we see others as evil or wrong, it creates suffering.
Instead, if we view others as neither good nor bad, we can surrender the need to change them, and fall back on the only thing we have control over, which is our own free will.
We can choose to love or we can choose to hate. We can choose greatness or we can chose evil. When you choose to take personal responsibility for your thoughts and our actions, only then can you realize how you create your own reality. When you let go of the need for perfection, you will begin to practice compassion for yourself, and you can surrender the need to control others. This allows you the freedom to focus on your self, the only person you can possibly change. Listen to your body, to your discomfort and view dis-ease as a messenger, not good or bad, but as a logical consequence of the need for a course correction. This is how to turn fear into curiosity. This is when and how you determine where it is that you want to go. This can be fun and empowering.
King Stefan’s greed (fear of not having enough) caused him to wound Maleficent. Malefiicent’s hurt, anger, and rage caused her to cast the spell on Aurora. She did not believe in true love, as her heart had been broken, neither did King Stefan, which is why she cast the spell that could only be broken by “true love’s kiss”.
What no one counted on was the power of love. Neither the King nor Maleficent knew how the love of an innocent child could warm and mend even the worst wounds of the heart.
When we care for a child, like our beloved pets, we model unconditional, trusting love. Maleficent discovered how a child could love her even when she didn’t love herself. We also witness the power of play and laughter to warm the heart and the spirit. The ability to chose to see the best in others and to act in faith, to do the right thing and believe that when we break down our walls the universe will provide what we need. This includes both the painful lessons that tell us where we don’t want to go and the joy that ensues from following your heart.
Yes, Aurora was right. It is time to question everything and then rewrite the script towards love (of self) and empowerment!