After my last blog, I decided to post one that was a little more light hearted.
My husband and I went to see "The Good Dinosaur" last minute, and it was worth it. I sat during the moving thinking about how I wanted to write this blog. Usually, I do not invest this much into a movie to go into such thought, but is was well written. Pixar did an excellent job with this movie for it to be this thought provoking for me - I would most definitely recommend it. It felt similar to "Inside Out" in that the overarching message left a lasting impression.
I don't want to ruin the movie, because I would encourage everyone to go see it and I don't want to tell you the whole story to take away from that experience. However, I do want to bring up a few things that I loved about it, that felt very true to "real life".
Near the beginning of the movie, a father figure says to his son (who is very hesitant and fearful of life), "Sometimes you have to get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side." Once the child was able to summon up the courage to face his fear, beauty surrounded him. He then used this experience as a reference for future situations in the movie. All it takes is to be courageous and face our fears once. Then the rest of the times come easier. This is not to say that they are EASY, but easier than the first time. This quote spoken by the dad stuck with me, because the quote rang so true of life. So many people let fear rule their lives. It often keeps them from enjoying experiences in the moment and they might even avoid certain experiences due to the power that fear has over them. Some have gone as far as becoming absolutely isolated in their fear. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions that one can feel, because it can be absolutely debilitating. Fear can strike it's ugly head in so many different ways throughout life, but if you take the power away from the fear and empower yourself, it is beautiful. So many people have become so debilitated that they do not feel that there is a way out, they come to accept that they will deal with these fears forever. It will ultimately cripple them. I believe that life gives us obstacles and we can either completely let them block us, or we can hurdle them and grow through the experience. If you believe in yourself and you are devoted to working through the obstacle of fear, you will truly come out of the process a different person.
The other thing that I love about this quote is that kids look to their parents to determine what they should be afraid of or what situations are safe in life. As if there isn't enough pressure on you as a parent already. I get it, it can be overwhelming. But as a parent, you have so much power (positive power), which should not be taken lightly. You have a HUGE impact on your children. You help your kid(s) establish their self-esteem from day one and can encourage your kid(s) to be fearless - to face any obstacle that comes at them. Yes, they will still have fears, but if you instill in them that they are strong enough to face anything - THEY CAN! It empowers them. Words are powerful and kids absolutely soak up the words that flow from their parents mouths. You are their idol. You are perfect. To bring focus to my favorite part of this quote. When someone can work through their fear - it is beautiful! It brings so much peace and refreshment.
This movie is obviously created for kids, but it is an amazing reminder for adults as well. What I love about movies like this is the fact that kids can watch it and learn so much from it. They often take the lessons that they learn from a movie and apply it to their own life. It is a lightbulb that goes off for them and they are inspired. When you give a kid a challenge, they often run with it. This movie is continually bringing challenges, but the character faces them head on and grows to become strong and grow confident in his ability to do anything - even if it feels scary or brings about sad emotions. This shows kids that sometimes it is worth it to face our fears, because they may not be as scary as we imagined. They are capable of trying things that may feel uncomfortable at first, but after trying it, they realize that they did it. The joy that comes from a child when they completed something that they thought they couldn't do is PRICELESS.
The final thing that I loved about this movie is the bond that occurs between two of the characters. They have both experienced a loss, which ultimately brings them together in a way that might not have occurred otherwise. Loss is often a tremendous hurdle to face alone. This movie emphasized the idea that we as people often want/need others to relate to. It is often easiest to relate to others whom have shared in similar experiences as you. We as humans NEED others. We desire for friends who will stand by our side in difficult situations that feel impossible to handle on our own. We want to know that when a huge storm comes, that our friend is not just going to abandon us. The friendship throughout this movie demonstrates an undying loyalty, which is a friendship that many envy. It is a friendship that all wish for. It is beautiful.
I love that Pixar is not only producing movies for entertainment, but also to teach kids (and adults) about life and the challenges that we face. They show that even through these challenges, you can overcome. There is so much negativity in our world today, that we can choose to soak up the little things, and appreciate that there isn't a hurdle too big for us to handle.
So what messages can we take from this movie? Well, maybe you grew up in fear, maybe it was a trauma that caused the fear that you experience. Whatever it may be that caused the fear within you. Do you feel like there is no way out of it, is it absolutely crippling you? I have good news! There is a way out. It will take work, but YOU CAN DO IT! There are people that want to love and support you through it! Grasp on to that support and embrace the experience, so that you can be free! It is BEAUTIFUL.
What fear(s) are you letting stand in your way?
I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Brittany Wingfield, M.S.