Lessons from Maleficent

I wrote this for another blog and thought I’d share it on this one. I hope it encourages someone to do whatever it takes to get their “wings” back so they can fly to higher heights!

 

This week, I saw the new Disney movie, Maleficent.

It is a great movie to see and then discuss bitterness, revenge, continuous ongoing conflict, and forgiveness, afterwards, with your family.

***SPOILER ALERT***

If you have not seen Maleficent, and are going to go see it, you’ll want to come back to read this post after doing so! 🙂

Alrighty…got that out of the way…

So…

If you have ever seen Sleeping Beauty, then you grew up believing that Maleficent was a real witch…an evil character that just had it out for the king and queen for no good reason.

She was merely having a bad day and decided to stir the pot of hatefulness on the day the king and queen celebrated Princess Aurora’s birth.

But…with this new updated version of the movie, we clearly empathize and begin to understand why Maleficent was so incredibly angry. She was hurt and devastated by the king a few years earlier.

Conflict and gossip can be like that…people tell us what they think about other people, and they sometimes do so without telling us what “clipped” the other person’s “wings”.

Everybody has a set of “wings.”

Our “wings” can be lost through grief or loss. Wings come in many forms…it can be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a treasured relationship or relationship interference by another person, or it may be the loss of prized or treasured possessions, goals, dreams, career/job/money, family harmony, etc…it can be anything that meant the world to a person.

That gets me to the point of this post:

When we see that Maleficent was wronged…and oh, she was truly wronged…we see she begins to tremendously darken her once amazingly beautiful and kind heart.

How many times has that happened to us during times of grief or loss? When we lost someone, or something, we tremendously loved and valued, we were tempted to harden our hearts?

It is all too easy to become bitter, or at the very least, slightly jealous of other peoples good that they have remaining in their lives.

If you want to have the contents of your heart revealed, just get on Facebook. You seem to see everything you lost. If you lost your health, it seems that everybody has boundless energy and is having a grand ol’ time when all you want to do is hide your physical pain from the world. If your loss is the death of a loved one, or a painful relationship with a family member, it seems like everybody gets along incredibly well with their entire family…and they seem to do it on an AWESOME vacation. If your loss is a career or finances, it can seem that everybody is so in love with their job and makes lots and lots of money. If your loss was a precious child or a miscarriage, you see gobs of pictures of people playing with their kids and enjoying them to the fullest. You get the idea…whatever the loss, it will stand out on a social media site.

Back to Maleficent…

Maleficent’s heart was incredibly darkened and hardened…until she allowed love and light back into her heart.

And so it is with grief. We all have a choice. We can allow our grief to put us in a state of feeling longterm negativity all of the time…or we can search for any opportunity we can to allow love and light back into our hearts.

We can choose to be bitter and focus only on all we have lost, or we can choose to work on resolving our bitterness and purposely choose to see everything and everyone we have remaining in our lives.

Maleficent was absolutely broken in the movie…so heartbroken that she bitterly spoke a curse on baby Princess Aurora due to deep bitterness and pain…and Maleficent truly regretted it later on.

We, too, will end up regretting being bitter…we also can deeply regret not finding life again to truly live it, too.

We can choose to avoid or mistreat people due to our deep pain, or we can cherish the remaining people in our life with everything we have.

This can be challenging to do…but it is worth it!

Whatever we focus on, that is what we will see and perceive…

If we focus on our loss, we will live a life of loss. If we focus on “life”…our lives will become much better…and we will live life fuller than ever expected.

 

It takes training our hearts and minds to focus on who and what we still do have…and that is exactly what eventually brings us back to life.

Maleficent’s heart was softened by her deep love of Aurora by experiencing life again through Aurora’s child-like wonder.

We also can make a decision to love and love life once again.

Yes, through grief recovery, life truly begins to take on a whole new meaning…and finding a “new normal” is NOT fun…it can be the most excruciatingly painful and hardest thing you will ever have to learn to do. Anyone who has had their “wings” clipped by grief or loss truly understands how tough life can be, but each person CAN end up loving and living life so much more than they presently do.

It takes time, and renewing the hope in our hearts, but it finally can happen.

We may not ever be able to get our original “wings” back, but we can ask God to create brand new ones…and with those new wings, we can learn to fly higher than we thought possible and then powerfully help others to fly, too, as we share with them how we learned to fly again through our darkest days.

 

©2014 by Kim Niles of Grief Bites. All rights reserved. 

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