It has been said that at the end we may see our life flash before our eyes. I wonder if it comes in some kind of Movie format. Now that gets you thinking about that whole concept of beginning with the end in mind! And then one day recently I went on a plane trip and watched the movie ‘Red Dog’ and that experience really gave me some lessons that I would love to share.
There was a guy sitting next to me on the plane that day that I didn’t know, but he noticed I was watching ‘Red Dog’. He mentioned that he had seen the Movie and then he then started to watch me watching it with interest.
For anybody that has seen the movie, well you will know what I mean. In the beginning I laughed, and I have one of those big, turn heads, out loud kind of laugh! I was so into those moments and totally oblivious to those around me. Well, then the movie takes a turn, yep it gets sad, and then I cried. Well I didn’t just do that gentle, keep in together; tears silently roll down your face kind of cry. I did the big snorting, nose running, and throat stinging kind of cry. The one where you have used up all available tissues and serviettes and you are now trying to inconspicuously use the back of your hand or the corner of your collar!! In fact I was even considering using HIS collar and he must have sensed that because he then he gave me a tissue. And then, well I think I did both together, cried and laughed all at once!
When the movie finished the gentleman beside looked at me and said, “Well how was that?” I said, “Well what do you think?”
He said, “Well, when I heard your amazing big laugh I thought I wonder if she cries as passionately and as loudly as she laughs!” And then he said, “And you sure do!” I think he was as entertained by watching me watch the movie as he was when he first watched the movie. He relived the fun moments through my laughter and enjoyed me enjoying them, anticipating my reaction to them almost. He then empathised with me through the sad moments, knowing that they were coming up and wondering about my reaction and how I would cope with them. Even offering me a tissue to show his support (or save his collar!)
So, I think that perhaps I live my life like I watch, appreciate and get involved in a movie. I live and experience the joy loudly and passionately, the laughter and fun with my partner, friends and family, travel adventures and meeting new people, success and affirmation of my work and the euphoric moments of love and appreciation that comes with having children. But I also feel the pain just as loudly and passionately. The grief that comes with my husband having a stroke and then five years later passing away. The pain that comes with all the moments of missing him being here for my boys. The fear and vulnerability that is present as I take up the rest of this journey and hoping I am enough.
But you see that is living a life and I am not ‘flat lining’ through life and who would truly want that? My troughs of pain, of grief and of sadness or disappointment propel me to the opposite to the peaks of excitement, joy, love, lust, hope and fun. When the pain is there I do it, feel it and allow it to pass, and then when the joy is there I do it, celebrate it and feel it and well…. I roll around in it!
Movies, books, people, songs, speakers and entertainers that we love and are passionate about take us on a journey through our emotions, which is why we love them and want more of them. And so does a rich, full, passionate big blockbuster kind of life and I think that is the kind of life I am living and that is the kind of life I want to live!
You can’t do the Ying without the Yang, life without death, happiness without sadness, you need bad times to appreciate the good times, you need to be vulnerable sometimes to understand and know courage, and if you want the tide to come in, then it needs to go out! If you want a summer then we need to do a winter. If you want to exercise resilience then you need to fall down to know how to get back up.
So, don’t be afraid to do your pain, don’t be afraid to show it and live it. It is as much as who you are as the joy and laughter. If we were all honest we would admit that we are not as interested in reading a book or listening to somebody who ‘pretends’ it is always perfect. The adversity and the triumph the laughter with the tears is what makes it all so entertaining, so feeling and so, so ALIVE! So, go live your life happy, sad, loud and proud but most of all live it truthfully.
And sometimes, like that stranger on a plane watched me on my journey through that movie, we have to sit by and watch our partners, friends and children go through their journey. We can’t stop them from experiencing it or save them from the emotional reaction. This man on the plane didn’t say to me just before the movie got sad that I should turn it off now, because he knew that that added to the experience of the story, and even if he had suggested I turn it off I wouldn’t have. And so it is with the people around us, especially, with our children, we love to watch them as they move through what we know to be happy, joyful moments and then at times we want to save them, fast forward through some bits to avoid the challenging and sad moments. But we can’t and really we shouldn’t. Let’s just be there and hand them that tissue or give them our collar, because surely in the end we want them to lead a big full Blockbuster kind of life!
After the movie I was a little emotionally exhausted, but I was warm, I was happy and I was fulfilled and I was so glad I had seen it, lived it, felt it and enjoyed it and I would enthusiastically recommend that movie to everybody.
Yep, I want to live and feel the full length and breadth of my life, I want the whole shebang so that when I get to the end and I see my life flash before your eyes, well I want to have lived the kind of life that I am going to love watching back! And that means I will have to do all of the emotions that come with that.
Go live and love your Blockbuster kind of life…. and what would it be called I wonder….. Perhaps for me it would be … “The Sparkle Show!”
If my life was a movie I would want it to be a BLOCKBUSTER and I would want to have a starring role!