Friday, February 13, 2009

A Valentine's Lesson in The Phantom of the Opera

I had not planned to write anything about the Phantom of the Opera for Valentine’s Day, but let’s face it - when the story calls to me, I can’t resist.

One day a year on February 14th, the world is focused on one word – love. Every human being alive, from the day we are born, craves for it in one form or another. Whether it’s the love of a friend, sibling, parent, or mate, we want it. Why? It is love that nourishes our soul and keeps us whole. Just like our human bodies cannot live without food and water, so our soul cannot live without experiencing love, in some form, in order to be healthy. We use the term “love starved” and rightly so. Without it, we shrivel up to nothing but skin and bones emotionally, like our bodies would in response to the lack of food and water.

I cannot help but think of Erik’s words as penned by Leroux. These few words ring in my soul constantly when I ponder the message in the Phantom of the Opera.

“All I wanted was to be loved for myself."

It’s what our soul cries for – unconditional love. It’s that place where we can take our mask off, reveal the ugliest part of who we are, and still find acceptance and love in spite of it all.

Why can’t we give that gift to others? Why do we wish to change people rather than loving them for who they are? What is it that motivates us as humans to crave love so desperately, but we find it so difficult to give in return? Had the Phantom lived in the 21st century, would we have given him the love and acceptance he cried for or taken him to a plastic surgeon instead?

This Valentine’s day, remember Erik and the cry of his heart and give love to those who cry for the same acceptance. Perhaps you'll find it in return.

Your obedient servant,

The Phantom’s Student

Order Lessons From the Phantom of the Opera in Paperback Here

1 comment:

Orandon Marie said...

Hello! And thank you for your blog!

Sometimes I think unrequited love has something to do with people only hearing what they want to hear, and not actually listening. There is a difference!

When we listen to the person we love, we are plugged-in. We can see into their eyes and hearts and feel and resonate with the message being communicated. Whereas? if someone is not plugged-in, he is just hearing what he wants to hear... He or she may actually be tuning us out; putting up a resistance to the other person's reality and truth. The connection feels inauthentic. This was the case with the Phantom, for sure! He wanted to hear Christine "singing", yet was unwilling to listen into her as a human being with needs, with a history. He was focused on his fantasy of what he wanted her to be.

For instance, he also exploited the death of her father and tried to turn that into something else... She had to make a ritual visit to the cemetery to say goodbye to her father, so she could try and move forward in her life.

Did it matter if the Phantom was hideous or not, when the mask came off? I think Christine needed something more. There was something in her heart, and it needed to be listened to - and heard. Since she was unable achieve a real connection with the Phantom on that basis, it was better for her to leave.