Rafiki is my new hero. He is the wise baboon from the Lion King. He teaches Simba to believe in himself again and shows him who he is and where he comes from. I recently saw the Lion King remake. What did I cry with the first part. Normally I never have that with movies. I think it’s because I recognized myself in Simba. He has experienced something traumatic as a child that continues to haunt him on his way to adulthood. He no longer believes in himself and blames himself for everything that has happened. Somewhere at the end of the film Rafiki finds him in the jungle and asks him: The question is, who are you? Well, damn Disney what a wisdom you bring us in an originally children’s film.

That specific quote from Rafiki haunted me when I walked out of the cinema. It followed me all the way to my house. It then nestled in my head and I can’t stop thinking. Because: who am I? Who am I…? I think many people have asked themselves this question. Subconsciously maybe. What would you answer if someone asked you who you are? Would you answer it in terms of your work, parenting or just with your name? The question: “Who are you?”, can be filled in very broadly. I think there is no wrong answer either. If you see yourself as Jan of 35 years old and father of two children, that’s fine. I cannot answer the question who I am yet. Because I don’t know (yet). Who knows that one day I will wake up, look in the mirror and think: THIS is me!

Another quote from Rafiki that I find very beautiful and supportive is the following: “The past can hurt, but the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it”. You always have two choices when it comes to painful memories of the past: you can pretend it has never been there and you will live your life with pain in your heart for the rest of your life. Or you confront and try to discover what the painful past has brought you. This will initially be painful, but it can also give you something positive. In the Lion King, Simba learns that it is not his fault that his father died. But before he realized this, he fled because it was too painful to face the event. Eventually he sees how it really went and he regains confidence in himself.

So be like Simba:

Face your past and learn from it!

Hakuna Matata


Share this post! If this post was insightful for you, share it with your loved ones so that they can better understand what you are going through.
Deel dit artikel! Als dit artikel voor jou inzichtelijk was, deel het dan met je omgeving - laten we het samen hebben over mentale gezondheid.


By telling others about my own experiences, I hope to support people that deal with mental disorders in their own process. I find it important that mental illnesses are recognised as real diseases, even though they might not be visible to the eye.

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