The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Life Lessons from The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings: Must See Movies

*Reposted from December 29, 2013, with a new video added to the bottom~

I was finally able to squeeze “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” into my schedule.  Those who know me, know that I LOVE everything about The Lord of the Rings trilogy & The Hobbit movies and books (btw I ‘ear-read’ most books- which means I listen to them on audio, usually while driving).  

What you probably don’t know is why I love these adventures.
These are perfect tales of the Hero’s Journey.  As a therapist, one of my favorite things to do is coach others on their own Hero’s Journey and these movies & books are great examples of the lessons we all need to learn. 

Here are a few of those lessons: 

~~We should focus on a person’s strength not weaknesses. Hobbits (be it Frodo, Sam, or Bilbo) may be small but they are cleaver, courageous, and know the value of friendship.

~~We should value mentors and become a mentor to others.  Gandalf is a perfect mentor.  He can see the strength and potential in Bilbo and Frodo.  Gandalf not only tells them that he believes in them but also pushes them out of their comfort-zones so they can reach their potentials.  By having a strong mentor like Gandalf, both Bilbo and Frodo begin to have faith in themselves.  Everyone deserves to have a mentor in their life so go out there and be a mentor to someone; it makes the world a better place. 
~~Too much of something isn’t good for you.  Dwarves are obsessed with gold (& jewels) and King Thror is so obsessed that he ends up losing his whole kingdom (& thousands of people) because another obsessed creature, the Dragon Smaug.  These are examples of how an obsession causes negative events: Gollum and his precious; Thorin’s desire for the Arkenstone Gem over the lives of others; and Saruman and his quest for power.

~~Being vulnerable makes you strong, not weak.  When we believe that helping others causes us to be vulnerable we not only lose support but we also lose trust.  The Elves didn’t want to risk losing some of their own kind to help the Dwarves so later the dwarves refused to support and help the Elves.  Sam doesn’t want to be vulnerable to Gollum but without his help Sam and Frodo would not have been able to complete their adventure.  This does not mean that you blindly trust others.  Keep your guard up but allow yourself to be vulnerable once in a while so you can become successful.  Don’t be so full of yourself and think you can do it all alone. 
~~It is the experiences we have in life that build our self-esteem and our confidence.  When we overcome an obstacle, hurdle, or quest we change and become stronger.  Sometimes the most difficult challenges are the most rewarding in the end.  There are so many examples of how the characters (Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pip, Bard, the Dwarves…) become better and more self-assured after each challenge.  We need to remember these examples when were are in the middle of one of our own battles because it is often hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but there will be a light if we keep moving forward. 
~~The way to obtain success when in the mist of chaos is by having tenacity, girt, and perseverance.  Giving up and quitting will not allow you to conquer your demons whatever they may be.  Again, there are countless examples of how each character used tenacity, grit, and perseverance to achieve goals and become successful. 

I use this story (and many others) in my life to help me stay motivated on my own Hero’s Journey.  When times get tough, I seek inspiration and guidance in quotes.  Here’s one of my favorites from each film:

Tell me, when did we let evil become stronger than us?” ~ Tauriel (The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug) 
Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love.”  ~Gandalf (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) 
 “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” ~ Galadriel (LOTR – Fellowship of the Ring) 
That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.” ~ Sam (LOTR- The Two Towers) 
This day does not belong to one man but to all. Let us together rebuild this world that we may share in the days of peace.” ~ Aragorn (LOTR – the Return of the King)

**Yes, I had to add Viggo!

I know that each movie is long but trust me they are worth watching.  Here’s the trailer of the most recent Hobbit:
(the direct link if you do not or cannot see the video here)

**Update- here's the most recent movie trailer: 

(The direct link if you do not or cannot see the video here)

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