Reel Life: Frozen and the Quest for a Happy Medium

Frozen

Release Date: 2013

Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel

IMDB Synopsis: Anna, a fearless optimist, sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven -to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. From the outside Anna’s sister, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret-she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It’s a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can’t stop. She fears she’s becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her.

Frozen 2

Words can’t describe how much I loved this movie…so much so that I immediately went out and bought the soundtrack! I would venture to place Frozen with the great Disney animated films of days gone by. It was moving and whimsical and unexpected.

For me, this movie was all about Happy Mediums. The topic of Happy Mediums has been a big one in my life as of late, considering that, according to my best friend, I don’t have one. She’s right. I am of the hot or cold mentality. I am all in or all out, and I definitely agree with Jane Austen when she said, “I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

I am definitely an Anna: open-hearted and trusting to a fault, quick to love and even quicker to pour out my feelings and thoughts to anyone who will listen. I have also known many an Elsa: individuals wounded by life who refuse to let anyone near and spend most of their days hiding their true self. You know these people too. These are the souls who, even when they are with people, are never “with” people. They never allow themselves to be really seen or really known, past what information is safe to divulge.

Now, here is the truth that smacked me upside the head: both of these ways of living are dangerous. We have the tendency (ok, maybe I have the tendency) to believe that being an Anna is better than being an Elsa. Anna lives life with an open heart. She feels everything so deeply, and these feelings lead her actions. However, she chooses to let the wrong people into her heart, and her feelings lead her to make some foolish choices. In opposition, Elsa refuses to let people into her fortress of solitude (Literally. I am not being clever. She builds an ice fortress). She is so afraid of what people will do when they see the real her that she shuts out the very person who sincerely wants to love her: her sister.

This is where that Happy Medium comes in. There must be a balance between complete openness and complete isolation. Only when this balance is found could Elsa and Anna find a solution to the problem which threatened their kingdom and their lives.

The same is true for us. In this fallen world, there are unsafe people, and there are unsafe places. They do exist, and they should not have access to inner workings of our hearts and minds (Major note to self!). However, thanks to the grace of God, there are also safe people and safe places. These are the tested, tried, and true, and they should get to see us for who we are. Despite the risk, we have to allow those who love us the chance to really love us.

Could we get by on our own? Absolutely! But, who wants to spend the entirety of their life just getting by? Not me, I want to live abundantly! C.S. Lewis said it himself, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

We were not meant to do this thing called life alone, but how we do this thing called life with other people, well, that makes all the difference between surviving and thriving.

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