Do you remember the part in the book “Peter Pan” where Tinkerbell’s fairy light fades along with her life? She whispers to Peter that she thinks she would get better if children believed in fairies. “Do you believe in fairies?,” Peter asks the kids of Neverland. “Say quick that you believe. If you believe, clap your hands!” Boys and girls start clapping and Tinkerbell is saved!
This scene comes to mind because I think we’re all a little like Tinkerbell in that we need people who believe in us. Our self-worth forged and strengthened through other people’s eyes. The people we love are the best and brightest example of this. They see us. They clap for our kindness, quirks, humor, smarts, and unique splendor. They are the applause that helps conjure our power.
That’s one of the reasons it’s so hard when they die. Not only do we lose a loved one, we also lose our cheering section, our kindest reflection, and therefore some belief in our power and beauty. Do you know what I mean? It happened to me when my mom died. My mom thought I was the bee’s knees. I was lucky in that regard. In my mother’s eyes I was beautiful, thoughtful, and kind. These characteristics strengthened in her presence from the power of her belief. When she died, I was left wondering whether some of my beauty died with her.
And maybe some of it did, at least for a while. But, in lieu of our loved one’s support and love, I think we have to take up the clapping for ourselves. Yup, we’re going to have the audacity to clap with all our might. We’re going to clap because we’ve lost the people who believed in us most. We’re going to clap because we need all the help we can get. We’re going to clap because the TinkerBell Effect works on real people too . In this way, we pick ourselves up off the floor and once again fly. I BELIEVE IN YOU!