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Want To Sing With The Kids?  

First You'll Have To Learn To "Let It Go." 


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I left Kansas City metro area early the morning of June 28, 2014 sitting alone in the cab of a 26 foot U-Haul truck. Behind me, in the bed of the truck, was our stuff.  


I towed a trailer with our second car on it. Behind that was another 26 foot U-Haul truck driven by a dear friend of mine who volunteered to make the trip with us.



Behind my friend was more stuff in the bed of his truck. Behind all of that was my wife Pam driving our car along with the wife of my friend, our two dogs, Wiggles and Gracie and more stuff. Receding into the background behind this caravan was the city I had lived in, worked in, raised my family and made friends in for 47 years.


Fast forward two months: we are in our new downsized home in the Hilton Head, South Carolina area. All the boxes are emptied and gone. We are learning where to buy things, including food. We've found the dump and the thrift shops where we got rid of even more stuff that wouldn't fit into our new place.


Over the years of raising our five daughters, we vacationed in Hilton Head, creating an archive of fun, family memories at the beach. With that as history, no sooner had we landed in South Carolina but our adult daughters began visiting with our grand kids, walking them down memory lanes.


"Oh, look over there," a daughter, now mother, says to one of our granddaughters. "That's where we would go on bicycles when we were kids!" Or, "This is the very same beach I played on when I was your age. Only then there were not so many people."


Gregg Russell is one of those memories. He's been giving nightly summer concerts in Harbor Town under the same, old, sagging oak tree for 38 years. He still sings some of the same songs, uses a familiar format and cracks some of the same jokes for the kids of parents who once listened to Russell as kids themselves.


Here I am, sitting in Hilton Head heavy humidity, listening, again, to the now aging Gregg Russell with my adult children and grand kids. As always, he encourages children to come up with him and sing a song of their request. Russell says that each year a dominant song emerges from the children's requests. Many of them know all the words of the "song of the year" and can sing it on their own.


Last year the kids' favorite song was Katie Perry's "Fireworks." This year, a five -year-old blond haired girl from Ohio sang by herself all eight verses of Queen Elsa's soliloquy, "Let It Go" from the movie "Frozen."  


That caught my curiosity. What is it about this song of letting something go that resonates with the psyche of young kids?


Maybe you know the lyrics. I had to look them up. Neither did I know the story of the movie "Frozen." Disney has again crafted a coming-of-age ballad detailing especially the struggle young women face. Young Queen Elsa

Queen Elsa
Disney's Queen Elsa

is all alone on a snowy wind swept mountain top. She sings of her struggles to conform, "be the good girl you always have to be, conceal, don't feel, don't let them know..."


But then she says, ".... well now they know. Let it go, let it go. Can't hold it back any more, let it go, let it go." Queen Elsa is becoming one with her inner powers and making those manifest. As a result of Elsa's inner changes, the movie shows outer changes, as well. Elsa has become a magical ice sculptress.


"Let it go" is not a new concept. From AA slogans, "Let go and let God," to titles of books from the '60s such as " Love Is Letting Go of Fear," we know as a species, at least intuitively, that we have to let go of something before we can move to the next. It's the essence of transition, growth, progress and development.


As a society, we had to let go of the horse and buggy before the automobile would come into mainstream usage. Each individual person must let go their own blocks, such as fear, inhibition, bad habits or goofy mythical thinking to allow their full potential to emerge. In Queen Elsa's case, her letting go also let new powers and changes out. That is usually the case.


The challenge is to know what to let go, what to let out, what to retain or contain and how to do that. Doing anything I please, the way I please in the name of "Letting It Go" so I can be who I am is not wise. Neither is it wise to be overly inhibited and contained.


We all want to be all we were/are meant to be. No one wants their children to suppress their potential. At the same time, good judgment is required, at times even restraint, to maintain what we call civilization and decency.


Let go of the bad stuff (i.e. prejudice, bigotry, narcissism and rudeness) so good may happen. Let go of fear, hate and shame so peace of mind can come. Let go of what blocks your creativity. Take some risks and minimize your deathbed list of regrets of things you didn't do or try to do.


Let go of worry so trust may prevail. Let go of resentments so your freedom may grow. Let go of a few dollars, go see "Frozen" (with kids if you have them) so that you can keep up with the next generation and sing along with them.


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Until next time, here's to taking good care of yourself first so that, secondly, you can take good care of others.
"New Rules: Love Is Not Enough"

Paul W. Anderson, PhD
"Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions."
                                -Gerald G. Jampolsky, Love Is Letting Go of Fear


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