Let it go…or not (an open letter to my almost-teenage daughter)

Dear Daughter,

I love that you love the movie Frozen and its Grammy-winning (if somewhat overexposed) theme song, Let it Go. You know it backwards and forwards and at least 10 different parodied versions of it.  Giving thanks that you have a voice made for singing those belt-y musical theater type songs…otherwise, we might have to talk.

When I was in my twenties, there was a character on television named Ally McBeal on a show by the same name. Ally and I were the same age. Her birthday was always a big deal to her, and it was on the same week as mine every season. We even turned 30 on the same day. Ally always had a theme song that she heard in her head whenever she was having a bad day or needed some encouragement.  As much as I like Let it Go and as well as you sing it, I hope it won’t become your theme song.

Yes, it’s a great song to remind girls that they don’t need to let others dictate who they should be or how they should act, but you don’t really need that song. You are more comfortable with yourself then anyone I know.  I don’t want Let it Go to be your theme song because ultimately, it doesn’t ring true.

Elsa’s letting go created a big mess that running away didn’t solve–for her or for anyone in her kingdom. She’s kidding herself when she sings, “the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.” You don’t get rid of your fears by running from them, you conquer them by facing them–which, of course, she eventually has to do.  She may never be going back to the girl who learned to “conceal, don’t feel,” but she does have to go back. And a life of “no right, no wrong, no rules for me,” is destined to end in disaster.

Whatever storms rage in your life (and there will be some doozies), know that you have a God, a family, a core of good friends and a church who love and support you, just the way you are, through whatever you may face. Use the gifts you have wherever you find yourself, and you will do amazing things.

Like Ally, you will probably adopt many theme songs over the course of your life.  If I got to choose one, I would offer up Fun.’s Carry On as an alternative to Let it Go.  “May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground,” not running away from your fears, but always headed for the next adventure.



–Rev. Anne Russ

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