Growing up, we all watched disney movies and dreamt of being princesses and princes. Girls dream of having a perfect body and being independent like Ariel, or having the majestic personality of Cinderella. Personally, I always dreamt of having the booming poise and personality of a king like Ariel's dad, King Triton.
But there were the evil characters that always wanted to rob, steal from and destroy both our favorite characters, too. Ursula was a "destroyer of souls". Jafar always tried to take out Aladdin by putting stumbling blocks in his way. Scar used deception to convince young Simba that he was responsible for his father's death, in an effort to get him alone so that he can kill him and take his throne.
But as children, we don't grow up admiring the evil characters in Disney movies. Why? Because the innocence, vulnerability, and freedom of childhood are embedded into the design of how we were created to experience this life. They're part of the internal mechanism that draws us toward our genuine life - a life of freedom. From the day we are born, we don't model ourselves after the evil of the world. Those characters are always the ugly, powerless, and dying ones. We are drawn to the beauty, the crown and the life.
Your Crown Comes with A Fight
Aladdin is a street rat that has a dirty pet monkey, and Jasmine is "not allowed to marry anyone other than a prince." But Aladdin still overcomes injustices and setbacks in order win Princess Jasmine's hand and become a prince. He didn't have to qualify for her love - she loved him regardless of his status or looks. And he didn't second guess that either - after all he used her love as motivation to fight. But, he did have to develop perseverance by overcoming circumstance before he got the crown. Sure, he had 3 wishes from the genie that helped him, but those wishes didn't happen overnight. He encountered setbacks that tried to take him out. But with the persistence of love in his heart, Aladdin fought the good fight until the end and eventually got his crown.
Princesses go through the same character development. They only attain the crown of love and beauty after navigating the discomfort of change. Their prince is never as they think he will be. He shows up in different forms in every disney movie - a street rat here, a pilgrim there. Just like the unexpected twists and turns of life - we never get what we think we should have. But what we need always finds us. The crown of true love also depends on their ability to grow in independence. Love takes risks. Pocahontas risked her father's disapproval - she listened to her heart and chased love. Ariel chased the forbidden love of a human being over the comfortable life of her grotto. But their courage to pursue a different kind of love - real love - was their crown of flowers.
Victory is a Choice
The paradox of the crown is that, it's freely given, but we have choose to wear it. We have all been crowned in royalty. Victory is actually a state of mind. We all choose reactions and attitudes daily which create the reality in front of us. You are either a victim of circumstance or a victor over condition. Aladdin chose tenacity and persistence over defeat and failure. Love was already his crown, and he used it to fight for Princess Jasmine. Ariel chose the discomfort of leaving her grotto and fishy friends for a love that was forbidden. Faith was the crown, and she displayed it in victorious dignity.
Like Thieves in the Night
Have you ever noticed that most of the evil characters in disney movies are usually lofty representations of evil? Ursula is this far-away sea witch who has to send minions to work on Ariel. Scar, the evil younger brother of King Mufasa in The Lion King, is an already-defeated lion that uses deception and sneaky coercive tactics that cause young Simba to second guess a kingdom that was already his. In the same way, we already own and possess victory in this life. The only work we have to do is realize the royalty that we already are. It's a constant shift in perspective and attitude. We either make the choice to call today a "win", or we allow an already powerless and fictional enemy to rob us of our happiness and life.
The character development of the thief is subtle but so often effective. It sounds like: "he's doing better than I am" and "she's looks hotter than I do". It's a click away into "Find a sex partner now!". It's "they'll never find out". It's that anger that boils into resentment. It's the lust for more and the attitude of never enough. I could pearsonally write my own disney movie with a new, evil iniquity character every day. We all have a story, and we all experience different tribulations. And surely we realize the corruption and destruction that we are capable of - it's merely a choice away. But remember, it's realizing our victory that helps us a choose the freedom of a kingdom life over the shackles of an exiled self.
Your life is supposed to end "Happily Ever After" but it starts with today's choices. Choose to write a blockbuster fairytale.