Encanto is our story!

Jan 28 / Jessica Joseph
Healing generational trauma and all the various toxic family archetypes of: The Abuser, The Golden Child, The Scapegoat, The Peacemaker, The Black Sheep, etc. were all well-represented in this Disney Movie and there is a lot of brilliant discourse around generational trauma. In addition to all of those takeaways, the biggest one for me was about Succession.

Mirabel is Abuela's successor. She is the new Keeper of the Candle for a new era. Abuela's work is long done. She did what was needed for HER TIME, in order for the family and community to survive. But her time is now over. A new time was coming when the isolated Encanta was going to open up when the mountains cracked open allowing new people in and allowing those within that "chrysalis" to fly free as butterflies. (By the way Sebastian Yatra's, “Dos Oruguitas" (two little caterpillars) is one of the most beautiful songs ever! Tears!) CHANGE IS INEVITABLE! It needs to be welcomed and well-directed not fought against and suppressed.

"What exactly are you trying to conserve and why?" should always be the question when the thing being conserved is clearly not working for everyone's health, happiness, and human rights.

Having the Madrigals as these revered heroes to worship was not working for everyone's health, happiness, and human rights.

Each person in that community needed to start pulling their own weight and embodying those gifts too. This is exactly what Mirabel does. She in her own way makes flowers bloom, moves mountains, heals people, adjusts moods, listens intently, identifies with everyone and she also has foresight. She has all the gifts expressed in HER UNIQUE WAY. She is there to teach people to be the miracle instead of worshiping other humans as the miracle (and thus burdening them with unrealistic expectations that prevent them from being human.)

Mirabel was actually SOLVING the problem of the magic dying by breathing new life into the family; helping them dismantle all the imprisoning constructs they built around themselves and showing how the magic can be embodied by MORE PEOPLE in DIFFERENT WAYS. Abuela cannot solve the problem because in these immortal words “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein”

Abuela simply lacks the capacity to solve the problem because she is still that devastated, desperate, traumatized widow, trying hard to "earn the magic" (her words) that her Pedro's sacrifice created. She does not understand grace. Even worse, she initially does not see that Mirabel is fixing the cracks and the candle is glowing brighter than ever when she interrupts Isabel and Mirabel's sisterly reconciliation. All she sees is the mess and imperfection Isabel made. All she sees is TRADITION being threatened.

It is only when she understands that her TRADITIONS arose in response to her trauma, and fear of letting a community down that she grasps why it is no longer a strong enough foundation for the future. She has to understand this to understand that her era is over and it is time for Mirabel's era. She has to concede at the end that Mirabel was the solution all along sent to her. Mirabel was the successor. Mirabel takes center stage in rebuilding the family and becomes the new matriarch and keeper of the candle.

Leaders of the future?

My question is, do our parents, teachers, leaders, especially here in the Caribbean know when it is time to take a step back and let a new generation handle things?

It seems the more traumatized a society is and the more generational trauma it has the more obstinate its older generations are in clinging on to power and "old ways" that got them through desperate times. GenX in our region has just BARELY started to penetrate decision-making positions because we were kept waiting by Boomers who refused to let go of the reins. We often had to make all kinds of compromises of our humanity for the Boomers to hand over those reins...way too late. Already Millennials are waiting in the wings and ideally, they should already be in these managerial and decision-making positions while GenXers take more of a mentorship role. Zoomers are coming of age with NO ROLES to occupy in society.

I think our West African ancestral culture, East Indian culture, Asian culture, Middle Eastern culture all of which give a lot of unquestioned deference to elders as de facto leaders were sent into a dysfunctional overdrive by imposed British colonial culture of rewarding "seniority" with appointments to more power. It has been a huge setback for us.

While I must acknowledge that some elders do indeed keep evolving and enlightening themselves to be timelessly relevant no matter the era (and I know some of them and hope to be one of them) we just have so many dinosaurs with outdated ideas, baseless and impractical traditions clogging up the system, preventing any new life or growth or ideas here in our Caribbean region. We have a serious problem of overrepresentation of too many old men and old women compromised by those old men.

They have been the ones shaping our society and keep applying the same old failed methods over and over and over for everything from economics to education to human relationships. They have so cowed the youth that many just fall in line to get approval and appointments. They cut their dreads. They wear impractical temperate climate clothes in hot, humid tropical weather. They keep their head down and don't object to bigoted or ignorant stuff because they need to eat.

Other young people pull a Bruno. Drop out and sideline themselves because they don't feel they have any positive role to play in a system not made for them.

Some are trying to emulate Mirabel and heal the rift and take their place whether or not the older generation and gatekeepers like it or not and keep on fighting till they can get them to wake up. I am just hoping the Mirabels among us do not give up and keep at it. Much work to be done!

Taken from https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=3026564604262834&set=a.1384672711785373

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