Over this last weekend my parents treated the whole family to Disney’s Tangled. After checking times and deciding which theater we were going to Johnny and I made our way with kids in tow to meet my parents at our local mall on Sunday. Truthfully it has been a while since we have all been to the movies so I was very excited about this little adventure of ours. You know how it goes… the giant movie posters lined up in a row, the smell of popcorn and the excitement of grabbing the best seats in the house makes going to the movies a real adventure for most of us.
So with our tickets, popcorn and drinks in hand we found our seats and waited for the lights to go down so we could be transported to a land far, far away.
Alright you are tangled up in Tangled right? You are asking yourself, with two boys, seriously, a princess movie? Well truthfully it’s not so bad allowing the men in your life a movie from time to time where the hero trips over his own feet, learns a little humility, some loyalty and finds sacrifice is worth the cost of finding your dreams along the way.
Honestly this was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Yes we could have been watching a shoot’em up, chase them around the block, knock’em out blockbuster, but why? Our little fairytale was just our speed in a day we were driving in the slow lane. As we watched the story unfold we were all laughing, giggling, and awing, though I was the only one crying at the end as I always do. Just one look in my boys direction and I got the “MOM” look and a tissue handed to me.
I have this knack for getting lost in movies. I get wrapped up in the emotion because no matter what the situation is I am able to apply it to my own life. I can see the parallel, the twist and the reflection in my own world. I can see how each and every story has something to teach me in my own life. So when the big scene came with the lanterns I was blown away.
I love this scene because it reminds me of all the lives touched by cancer, whether as survivor or as loved ones lost to us. The lights for me represented much more than a beautiful scene or a touching moment. No for me those beautiful lanterns called out to my heart, spoke to my soul, and shed light on the journey we take together as we work to overcome the beast. Each lantern was symbolic of hope. With each one lit and set free a journey was etched out across the sky, a loved one remembered, a hope which echoed throughout the night, lighting the darkness and a blazing a trail just for her, leading Rapunzel home. All this was for her, to guide her, to call to her and to ensure she knew she was not alone or forgotten… she just didn’t know it yet.
What about the rest of the story? Well as it unfolds we find our Princess, lost, scared, but she was still strong. She was told she could not rise to meet the challenges of the outside world and yet here she was walking around with a frying pan no less tackling the ups and downs of a world she had only glimpsed through a window. In her escape from the tower this princess had ceased the day, taken the night by storm, fought her guilt and grabbed hold of her own destiny. She didn’t know she was a lost princess, but she knew she was destined for greatness. She knew those lights in the night sky, appearing only one night a year, on her birthday, had a purpose and she was determined to find out what.
You’re asking how this movie can possibly apply to my life well this is how:
We all get tangled up in our own lives don’t we? We plan to go here, to do this, to save a little money for a rainy day or to pick up the phone and call a loved one… one day. But life gets in the way. We get caught up in the day to day living of life and before we know it we are locked away in a tower cooking, cleaning, reading and working while our hair (life in other words) keeps growing further and further out of control.
This poor, poor princess even after she escapes she still gets tangled up in trouble. Yet determined and while still dragging her 20 feet of hair behind her she continues to find hope and strength while overcoming the obstacles in front of her. The point is she doesn’t give up, she endures.
Life is a bit like Rapunzel's hair if you really think about it. We can swing ourselves from one branch of life to another or even help heal others with our tangled mess just like Rapunzel does after she has broken out of the tower. We can even get help wrapping it up; add decorations to disguise our tangled chaos as Rapunzel does later in the film but in the end doing all those things still does not take care of the real problem: a tangled up , out of control, chaotic mess!
Finally a moment comes which grabs us by our hair literally and we are faced with an impossible decision. We are forced to either give something away we love, to sacrifice what we think we need or continue on the path we are on. Cancer is a lot like this situation… take charge of it or let it take charge of you! Be drug off to serve the beast and suffer her wrath or allow your hair to be cut off in order to free yourself from the beast and her chains.
This is the real story, the back story if you like... filled with sacrifice, love and determination. So you ask my friend why Tangled? Well there is always more to a book than her cover is there not? So I would say to you the real lesson my boys took away with them from the theater Sunday was this very thing: hope endures.
So I ask you now my friend what about you? What will you do with your life, with the tangled knots keeping you from reaching the floating lights on the horizon? Maybe it’s time to see those old fairy tales and children’s stories through a whole new set of eyes.