68: The Beast of Protection

Have you seen Beauty and the Beast?

The classic Disney animation, not the live action.

I’m sure the storyline is the same, but I’m partial to the animated version.

If yes, then you’re going to dig this post. If not – what are you doing with your life?! Go watch it ASAP. It’s beautiful. And there will be plenty of spoilers in this post.

A lot of people love to talk down on the Beast. But I don’t think he’s nearly as bad as people make him out to be. As we find out in the end of the movie, he’s a loving, amazing prince. But frankly, even when he’s the Beast, he’s really not all that bad.

Before you come after me with pitchforks, hear me out.

Thee movie starts out with the opening seen of a witch knocking on a random castle. The young royal, Prince Adam, opens the door and the witch asks for shelter in exchange for a rose. Adam turned her away in disgust. He was rude, disrespectful, and unnecessarily cruel.

The witch then transforms into a beautiful fairy and then curses the prince and his entire castle because of his bad attitude. It was then that he transformed into the Beast.

There’s so much to pick apart here but the thing that stands out to me the most is that Prince Adam was 11 years old when this happened. He was a child.

This witch cursed an entire castle because of the actions of a rude child.

I absolutely love kids and I have a munchkin of my own. But most kids aren’t exactly polite, especially to creepy strangers that show up at the front door on a stormy night.

Let’s also consider a few more things: Adam’s parents are never mentioned throughout the story. This leads me to believe that he was alone without his parents to guide him. He was probably raised by the servants and because of his royal status, he wasn’t disciplined or taught how to treat people. Based on the witch saying he was going to stay a beast until someone loved him solidifies this for me. If his parents were around to love him, he wouldn’t have remained a beast.

So are we really all that surprised that he was rude to a creepy stranger?

I’m more surprised that a witch cursed a child and basically said “you’re basically a beast and no one will ever love you, so I’m going to make you look like one.” How freaking harsh is that?!

But this can speak volumes into our lives as well.

Think about the creation of the Beast. A massive traumatic event happened (the witch turning him into a beast while also cursing his entire castle) that not only changed his physical state but made him hate himself and the world around him. Now, even as a 20 year old man, he’s lashing out the only way he knows how – with anger and aggression. No one guided him throughout his childhood, especially now as the Beast.

He kept everyone at a distance, they all feared him. He would rather live in self hatred than to get hurt again. He gave up all hope.

Take this moment to look back on your life.

Think about what you’ve been through, everything that built up to the big traumatic event.

Personally, it was the abusive relationship cycle I was stuck in. Every relationship tore me down even more and pushed me even closer to the Beast.

I lashed out at those closest to me. I resisted creating friendships. Any time I felt the least bit threatened, the Beast appeared to keep me safe.

But even before those relationships, the Beast was learning what it thought love was. Healthy, true love without chaos was never modeled to me. I thought love was always going to be painful, which confused the Beast inside me even more. If this is what love was in these abusive relationships, why was I so uncomfortable?

Pull out a journal and begin to write down your Beast-transformation story.

Think about what created your personal Beast. Not as self-judgement, but as a way to make sense of it.

Just like I broke down the Beast’s story and I made sense of his behavior, break down your own story. The more aware you become, the more you can work through, the more freedom you’ll find.

Even if it’s not something you think is “big” or “important,” write it down. You may find that you have multiple “little things” that turned into “the big thing.”

Let yourself begin to process your life and provide yourself grace and forgiveness. Realize that the reason the Beast lashes out is because he’s trying so hard to keep you safe.

Let’s talk about guilt for a second. If you don’t think that the Beast held guilt for what happened to the castle because of his actions, you need to go watch the movie again. Plus he thinks he’s a horrible person because he doesn’t take into account the fact that he was a child.

He carries the guilt of many on his shoulders and it’s killing him. He never had the chance to grow up and change his actions. So he’s reacting the only way he knows how.

Not only did he need to learn how to grow up, but he had to learn how to find his humanity.

What is something that happened to you? What wasn’t your fault and you still hold huge amounts of guilt for?

For me, I carried a lot of guilt for the abusive relationship I was in. I felt like his actions were my fault and that if I would’ve been different, he wouldn’t have done those things. I clearly was at fault and need to carry that guilt.

Belle is the person that encouraged that humanity out of the Beast. How? She gave him hope. She showed him what kindness and determination looked like. She showed him what was possible.

Belle showed up when no one else would. The Beast watched her stand up for her father, stand up for herself. She refused to settle for less than she deserved even in her captivity. Belle forced the Beast to become the version of himself that she knew he could be.

That doesn’t mean you need to go and seek out the person that’s going to change your life. The only thing you need to do is find the nearest mirror.

You can be the Belle to your Beast.

We all have the Beast of protection and we all have the Belle.

The Beast roars and screams and intimidates. Belle is that quiet voice in the back of your head that says “give it a chance.”

We’ve all experienced traumatic events that provoke the Beast. But we all have that voice of Belle, the voice of hope.

Hope is that feeling in your gut that knows that this isn’t everything, that there’s more out there for you. You haven’t given up yet – that voice of hope is why. That voice of hope is the voice of courage, the voice of bravery, the voice of a hero.

That’s why its so important to look back at the creation of your Beast. Whether the creation of the Beast began when you were a child, teenager, or adult, you can’t begin to heal until you acknowledge why it’s there in the first place.

The Beast is holding you back from more than you recognize.

He’s holding you back from that amazing job opportunity. He’s holding you back from going after your fitness goals because it’s better to stay overweight and protect yourself. He’s telling you it’s so much safer to hate the world than to risk having your heartbroken.

Somewhere we made the decision, even if it was subconscious, that it was better to be the Beast than to get hurt.

The Beast tells you that you’re not good enough; he tells you all the reasons why you can’t, all in the name of keeping you safe.

Towards the end of the movie, Belle’s father is sick. Because she’s so worried about him, the Beast lets her go.

It caused him great amounts of pain. He truly believed that she wouldn’t come back and he let her go anyway. Because he learned what it meant to love someone. He had the glimmer of hope in his heart to keep him believing.

Maybe it’s time to have that conversation with your Beast.

You can tell him that he did his job, he’s kept you safe. But it’s time to let you go. It’s time to move forward toward an amazing, scary, beautiful life.

Look down at your journal and have an honest conversation with yourself. Where are you seeing the Beast pop up? Begin to give your Beast the hope he needs to let you go. He needs to know that while it’s safer to keep you locked in the castle, you’re missing out on a beautiful life if he doesn’t open the door.

There’s more to life than hiding and hoping that one day the right person will come and save you.

Boo, the person you’re waiting for is in the mirror.

If the Beast of protection is running your life, there’s no shame or judgement in that. But it’s time that you let him know that you’re capable of a lot more than he thinks you are.

Look your Beast in the face and let him know how grateful you are for what he’s done for you. Thank him for keeping you safe. Let him know that you’re not abandoning him, but you want to experience the amazing life outside of the castle walls.

Life is absolutely beautiful. But we’re never going to experience it if we never leave the castle. We’re never going to experience the life that we so desire if we are constantly hiding behind anything, and everything to keep us from going after our dreams. We can scream and yell and push everyone else away. We can shut down and we can hide.

But there is nothing to stop that voice in the back of your head that says “Don’t I deserve more?”

Take a deep breath and allow yourself to sit down and face the Beast. He’s not going to let go right away. It’s going to take time. There’s no rush on this.

The more you choose to live life, the more freedom you’ll find.

This is not a time for judgement. This is a time for reflection and understanding.

We beat ourselves up because the Beast is there. We beat up on the Beast himself. We act like we’re less then because we struggle. You’re human. You’re choosing to go after your best life. That’s worth celebrating.

Validate how the Beast feels and recognize where he’s coming from. It’s much easier to reach out when his heart has softened.

You’re doing amazing things and I’m so incredibly proud of you.

If you are ready to face your Beast and begin to move forward on your recovery journey, check out the Worthy of Recovery Printable Journal. This journal was created for survivors to guide you on your journey. In less than 15 minutes a day, you’ll journal your way to freedom. Complete with over 45 affirmation cards and a mini course to help you, this is THE journal for you. Click here to grab yours!

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