Brave: Becoming Your Own Hero
Brave is by far one of the most underrated animated movies out there. Brave is iconic as Merida, the famed princess becomes her own hero. She rejects the idea of being rescued by a prince, seeking instead her own path. Hats off to girl power! I particularly love it though, because it unequivocally proves that redheads have more fun!
I love the movie Brave for many reasons, but what I love most is how Merida becomes the hero of her own story. She becomes the main actor in her life instead of passively walking through her existence, becoming subject to chance. Women are constantly perceived as damsels in distress; fragile, weak & helpless creatures who need to be saved. Instead of leaving her future in fate’s hands, Merida steps up & charters her own course, reminding us to fight for what we want instead of settling for what is expected by others.
This leads to a rather hilarious twist of events where she turns her mother into a bear. Seriously, if you haven’t watched this movie, you need to! The moral of the story is if your mom won’t let you have your way, turn her into a bear! On a serious note, this movie addresses the age-old adage, “Your parents know best.” Queen Elinor, Merida’s mother, values tradition, family values & maintaining your heritage. Merida, on the other hand, is a headstrong teenager fighting to find herself & blaze her own trail. As we watch them clash, we find a beautiful analogy in their compromise; namely that as we start new journeys & seek to find ourselves, we shouldn’t forget the values, traditions, heritage & culture that molded us. Too often we get swept away by the currents of the latest trends or fads in a bid to fit in. In so doing, we lose our sense of self & true identity.
This blends into a more profound systemic problem, namely the fight between parents & their children in becoming who they want to be. Merida is a fun-loving tomboy who has no wish of becoming a queen let alone married. Yet her mother feels this path is best; it is her destiny. Too often we have parents who wish to live vicariously through us, & too often we comply because we want to make them proud. In so doing, we deny ourselves & live hollowed-out lives that aren’t fulfilling. Do our parents want what is best for us? Yes. Do they always know what our heart-song is? No. The lesson? Fight for the things that set your heart on fire. live your truth & don’t be ashamed to break the mold & charter a new course.
The last, most important lesson I’ve learned from Brave is that you are responsible for you. You are not responsible for the trauma, conflicts, or issues you experienced in your childhood, but you are not a victim. As the saying goes, we cannot stop blackbirds from flying in the sky, but we can stop them from building nests in our hearts. Own your trauma, conflict & issues with the aim to re-engineer yourself into a better version of you. We all have come with baggage, but should we choose to struggle with it all our lives, the fault is our own. Those who inflicted these wounds are at fault but should we choose to carry the toxic remnants & ashes of our past, so are we. Unpacking our baggage takes painstaking effort but it’s worth it, as the end result is an authentic life build on life lessons formed from past trauma.
All it takes is for us to be Brave, find our voice & live our truth. This has been the musing of a whimsical mind. Until next time, ciao!