I have a penchant for watching films over and over. Films which I think are noteworthy. However, there is no doubt about it: I am a tough sell. But as I have written, my list of great films is lengthy, and it would make many people fall to their knees.
A few nights ago, I watched the film The Help again.
Now the backstory to this is that I had heard Joan Rivers make a very offhand crack about the film which actually made me laugh, even though I genuinely LOVED the film. But something about her embodiment and full conviction (and the tribe from which we both hail), just really cracked me up.
But I digress.
I watched The Help again and I enjoyed it even more this time. So much more.
I mention it now because of Aibileene’s words from the end of the film.
“In just ten minutes, the only life I knew was done. God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do. But it can start by telling the truth. No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me. Once I told the truth about that, I felt free.”
Don’t get me started about Viola Davis. She was pure brilliance in this role. And as I wrote in my last blog, my compassion has the capacity to take me out. So the pain I felt was layered in a history I could draw from on far too many levels to name here. But what is obvious and worth noting is that so often, we immediately love people (or feel repelled by them) based on the feelings they evoke within us from our past and it has very little to do with what is happening before us in real time.
I noticed this when I lived in San Francisco for 11 years beginning in my early 20s. I would hear a New York Jewish accent and I felt warmth and softness and tenderness in my heart, even if the person was being pushy, (as many of us are).
Yesterday, as the year closed, part of the life as I knew it, did as well. I tossed a part of myself and my heart into the fire which has been sitting in a question about my own freedom. That’s why we forgive. In order to get out of our own prisons. No one can remove loss or pain or betrayal or hurt from us. Not even god. Not even my worried puppy who will crawl towards me in order to wipe away my tears. Nothing but our own willingness to say “enough.” “No more.” “I lay this burden down.” “I am whole right now as I am with these circumstances and this constitution. Yes. I am.” It can take ten years. Or it can take an instant. Or it can take an army of love who reminds you of your own strength.
Who knows what it will take for you?
Who knows what it will take for me?
But every day I keep trying, just like Aibileene from The Help.
And “it gawna be me.”
May you find forgiveness in your heart.
A blessed and safe New Year to All.