Identity is a pretty big deal. Businesses large and small focus on their “brand”, the mark that identifies them. People all over seek out tests humorously and seriously to help them discover who they are and who they were created to be. I think that discovering who you truly are and what you were created to do is one of the most critical things that each of us can do. I believe that when we each are operating in our truest identity, not only are we more fulfilled, but so is the world around us.
I recently watched Disney’s Moana for the first time. I know, I know… I’m not known for keeping up with new releases. I also watched Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast. I’ve read some of the blogs about both, and I find it interesting that what you see depends a great deal on what you’re looking for, what you’re going through, or what you’ve been through. What struck me most in both of these films was the consequences of both Moana and the Beast stepping into their true identity.
Interestingly, Moana came out a year ago, as did my second book written with my friends and collaborators, Seneca and Del. Accessing Your Spiritual Inheritance shares experiences that we’ve all had in gaining access to what our ancestors failed to claim, refused to claim, or were unable to claim for whatever reason. We are currently working on what we think will be Book 2.
I’ve become increasingly convinced that working towards freedom, dealing with our baggage, and all that I help people do isn’t just for us. That’s true in relationships: if I don’t react to you out of woundedness, then I am far less likely to wound you in turn. It’s true in work settings: if I am able to participate and produce at my highest capacity and abilities, then the entire work environment/business/system is able to function better increasing profits, customer service, etc.
With that as my background thought process, then it may not surprise you that when I saw Moana, I could see how she grew into her individual identity, of course. She encouraged Maui that he was Maui with or without his hook or the accolades of men. She recognized and reminded Te Fiti of who she really was inside the monster of Te Ka and restores her heart, thus saving her people and her island from the blight. but what struck me was that by accepting and operating in her identity she not only set herself and these other characters free, but she set her entire island free.
Moana learns that her ancestors were voyagers and it was through fear that sailing ceased. Fear kept all those on the island from going outside of the reef. They forgot who they were. It’s not that they had a bad life, it just wasn’t the life they were created to live. When Moana accepts the call of the sea and discovers herself, she returns and shows her people how to sail, returning them to their inheritance of fearless way finders. Her freedom set her entire people group free.
Beauty and the Beast has a similar message, though outside of a familial or ancestral setting. I’m sure you’re familiar with the storyline: the cruel prince is turned into a beast until he can learn to love and be loved in return. But, not only was he imprisoned, his entire castle staff was as well. And, when the beast remembers who he is and learns to love and is loved in returned, his entire castle is set free as well. Again, one person coming into their true identity sets a large number of other people free as well.
I’m convinced that this is true of us as well. Being or becoming all we were created to be and doing all we were created to do is of critical importance for our community at large. Not only for us as individuals, and not even just for our families and bloodlines, but for the world as a whole. The Bible talks about God creating us to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). Paul tells us that creation itself awaits our grasping of our identities as the sons and daughters of God so that it can be freed from the tyranny of sin (Romans 8:19-20). That’s a pretty awesome charge.
I’m convinced that it is the ultimate adventure.
Pushing beyond what we’ve always thought.
Unveiling who we were meant to be.
Releasing that freedom to others in our wake.
No animal sidekick required!