Disney’s latest animated feature, Raya and the Last Dragon, is another beautifully crafted movie with a powerful and timely message. Not only does it illustrate the importance of unity, but it also celebrates diversity within the Asian community. The creators of this film could not have known it would be released at a time when so many of our sisters and brothers of Asian descent are experiencing hate and prejudice. I choose to believe the Universe (and maybe a dragon or two) had a hand in the timing of its release to bring some joy, hope, and light to a dark and challenging time.
The story follows a young girl named Raya who witnesses the chaos and destruction that happens when five different lands stop trusting each other and separate. She is accompanied on her journey by the “last dragon” (voiced by the hilarious Awkwafina) who tries to teach her that the only way to achieve her goals and unite the lands is to open her heart and start trusting again. Having suffered a great loss because of a betrayal, Raya has a difficult time doing this. I’m guessing most of us can relate to that, especially in these uncertain and divisive times. I won’t give away the ending, but it is definitely a testament to the magical power of trust and unity.
I am not proud to admit I did a poor job of opening my heart the day after I watched that movie with our out-of-town guests. While waiting in line to purchase tickets to the train that travels through Hermann Park, we were “serenaded” by a small group of women and men singing a less than inspiring version of Amazing Grace. They were not quite in tune or in harmony. After the song, two of the men stood on a large rock preaching their ideas about Jesus, sin, and salvation to the captive audience waiting in line for tickets. Their language and message felt infused with fear, making it out of tune with my heart, just like the off-key version of Amazing Grace. It was very uncomfortable and I found myself wishing they would just stop talking. I wasn’t standing on a rock trying to convince everyone to study A Course in Miracles, so why was it okay for them to spout their beliefs?
I don’t know why I allowed them to ruin my experience of an otherwise enjoyable day. Perhaps I was just tired, but in that moment, I simply was not able to shift my perception. I found the whole experience to be very irritating. About twenty minutes later, they finally stopped preaching, we got our tickets, had a lovely train ride, and went about our day.
The next morning I was still thinking about that situation and what I could have done differently. What would Love do? I imagined myself approaching the men and sharing how their actions were probably repelling people more than attracting them. I could have suggested they sit on the rock and pray silently while extending love to everyone at the park. Perhaps instead of handing out their printed propaganda to everyone that walked by they could give it only to those that approached them for more information. Then Love showed me a bigger truth.
Instead of closing my heart with judgment and wishing they acted differently, I could have silently extended love to them. Thank goodness I have learned that it’s never too late to make a different choice, so I imagined love surrounding all of the people that irritated me that day in the park. As I result, I felt better. Had I been with a dragon voiced by Awkwafina, I think she would have been pleased.
Are there people in your life with a special knack for irritating you? Perhaps they share some of your DNA or live or work with you. I would be honored to be your trustworthy dragon and help you experience more peace in your life with a series of Life Coaching sessions or with a one-on-one Family Constellations Session. For more information or to book a session, please look around my website or send me an email.
Until next time, may you find a trustworthy companion that helps you keep your heart open and love flowing.
Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation.
A Course in Miracles ~ T-17.VII.4:1