It’s no secret that the Little Mermaid has been my favorite movie since I was, oh, 12 years old! And after watching it for the 28th time over the weekend, I decided a blog post about what is obviously the best Disney movie ever produced was considerably overdue! So without further ado, behold…
9 Things I’ve Learned from the Little Mermaid
- Know the difference between being courageous and mindlessly headstrong. I admire the Little Mermaid’s fearless pursuit of adventure. Maybe that’s why I have been enchanted by this movie since I was a tween. I get this mermaid’s longing for adventure. But it repeatedly puts her in danger when she checks her brain at the door. And not just her, but her best bud Flounder! It’s admirably courageous to swallow your fear when life presents you with a path unknown, and you walk down it anyway. But it’s sheer stupidity to put yourself in the path of danger in the name of adventure. Know the difference!
- Don’t feel bad if you fall for the dude who would risk it all for his dog (or horse or pet whatever). This one requires little elaboration. Prince Eric put his life on the line for his dog Max, and faced fire and the danger of a hurricane. Ariel watched this drama unfold, and when Eric was drowning, she carried him back up to dry land. If you get the chance, carry the dude who cares about his pup when he’s going under. That’s the kind of man worth sticking your neck out for, and supporting, and bolstering up when life gets him down. Just sayin!
- Ya know that scene where Ariel is crying her heart out in her treasure cove after her father, King Triton, disciplines her, and destroys all the treasures she’s collected from the human world?! Yeah, that was me for the past 2.5 years. My marriage, my job, my life as a runner… lying in hopeless pieces in my treasure cove. Sometimes our Heavenly Father (Am I the only one who envisions King Triton when I picture God?!) strips away what we treasure for our own good. Translation: He removes what we WANT to make room for what we NEED. So the question is, do we hold on?! Or do we trust Him enough to wipe our tears away and MOVE on!
- Celebrate your season under the sea! In so many ways dreams that seemed miles above me are now my reality. But other dreams? They are ten thousand leagues away. I am so grateful for the “Sebastians” in my life (you know who you are!) who remind me to celebrate this season. Will I be single forever? Who the hell knows?! But while I am, I think I will sing… and maybe even go out dancing!
- So you’ve figured out what matters to you, what you’re after. And you want to live it… NOW! Don’t rush God. Don’t take the shortcut! Trust His timing in everything. You may face these doors that you have been kicking at, desperately hoping they will open. And catch yourself confessing that you would do anything for them to open, just a crack! Look at how that played out for Ariel… In her haste to obtain what her heart longed for, she put her friendships in danger, compromised her relationship with her Father, and traded in the most invaluable gift bestowed upon her… Her voice!
- Don’t trade in your song for feet! The SeaWitch preys upon the Litte Mermaid’s desperate heart, luring her to a place where she is willing to sacrifice who she IS! “It won’t cost much… Just your voice!” Ariel trades in the one thing that made Prince Eric fall in love with her to begin with. Her voice! Never trade in who you are for a dude or a dream or… anything! At the end of the day, it is your song that defines you. And anyone who is meant to be in your life? Well, the gospel truth is this: They love your voice, your song, who you are, NOT your ability to run fast on your human legs… or run at all!
- Let go to make room for more! Like Ariel, I have caught myself saying that I would give anything to be able to run. To live out of the water I feel I have been drowning in for too long. To walk on drier land. To have a body that will carry me through a marathon again. To love completely again, with an unbroken heart. But would I give anything? Honestly, no. Maybe I will never race again. Maybe my days of marathons and triathlons are behind me. Maybe I will be single for the rest of my life. I am ready to face that… To make room for being healthy and strong. Being me. Being my own best friend. And to make room for new adventures that I can never know if I don’t LET GO of a life that was just breaking me.
- Comb your hair with the fork. Or don’t comb your hair at all (Lord know
s I don’t)! Just be in love with life. Take the reigns already! And be fascinated with everything, because today has never happened before!
- When you do get off track, and your impatience to become who you KNOW you were meant to be, and have everything your heart dreams of, no matter how earnest your efforts to ignore its pleas… When you rush in, and sacrifice your song rather than wait for the right season, all is not lost. King Triton took Ariel’s punishment because of his unconditional love for his daughter, restored her song, and transformed her mistakes and heartache into something beautiful. If I’ve learned anything from obsessively bingeing on the Little Mermaid, you bet this is it! I’ve screwed it all up. I’ve rushed in. I’ve broken my own heart. But every day God restores another part of me I gave up on, dreams I lost, and most of all… my song!