Thursday, May 11, 2017
I've always been a person kind of obsessed with pop culture. I remember the early days of MTV, even though we're both about the same age. I always feel a certain nostalgia when thinking of shows like Laugh In, The Gary Shandling Show, Empty Nest, and so on. My friend, Jennifer, and I used to watch movies religiously until we could recite the lines. Big Business was one of our favorites. So was Ernest Goes to Camp and The Parent Trap. The trend right now is that television is not good for us and while I agree, I feel like I learned a lot about the world through pop culture. Maybe it helped me develop that desire for things different from the "norm".
As I've gotten older and my life has become filled to a point where I can no longer binge on shows and movies, I still have a strange addiction to the sinfulness of pop culture. The weird thing about it is that I can hear so many little life lessons if I pay close attention. One example is from watching the show "Southern Charm". They were all drunk and arguing, per usual, but Thomas Ravenel (T-Rav) began to quote Shakespeare, "To Thine Own Self Be True" and I felt like a light bulb went off. You're totally right T-Rav. Screw trying to be the perfect mom and trying to fit into a one size fits all parenting style. To thine own self be true, I'm just going to parent what feels right intuitively. From that moment on, I began to slowly allow myself to be weird, to be different, and to do what I want without regret.
If you're a parent of a young child, I'm sure you've seen the movie Trolls. My kids and I watched this movie recently and I LOVED IT. In fact, my oldest kind of liked it, but didn't care too much, so I just made us watch it several times until she started loving it too. I was telling my therapist about it the other day and I told her the funny thing was that Branch, one of the main characters, reminded me of my old boyfriend. It was someone that has come up in several sessions, so we started to explore this all a bit more. Branch represents the cynical, the curmudgeon, the alarmist of the group. He was closed off from everyone, from the fun, because he always expected the worst to happen. It turns out that something tragic happened early in his life, and that tragedy caused him to create this persona as a form of protection against future hurt. As I described this to her, a light bulb went off. BING! BRANCH WAS ME. Who knew I was a little brown troll with a leafy vest raining on everyone's parade. Seriously though, my teens and early twenties were a time where I was Branch. I was closed off from the world in a form of protection, unable to experience the joy that others felt around. It's only been because my inner Poppy that I've been able to help Branch heal. Branch is a necessary part of the story, he's the hero! Without him, Poppy dies and the movie is over.
To explain this in non stay at home mom terms, the period in my life where I was a closed off curmudgeon was necessary to allow my inner soul to live. It was all too much to exist as open as I was without the tools to move forward. And so, my inner Branch arrived, to rescue me from the dangers of the forest. Once I learned more about living life, and began to grow spiritually, my need for Branch disappeared and so I had to look for my inner Poppy, or my inner soul, to reappear again. One of my favorite sayings is that we no longer regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it. In each phase of our lives, we're doing the absolute best that we can. Who I am in this moment may be a necessary piece of my puzzle and so instead of denying it, why not embrace it, learn to love it, and understand it's place? Being on a focused, spiritual path in this life is not going to be easy and I'm not going to be perfect. I'm not supposed to be. Without the dips in the valley, how can I enjoy it's peaks? How can I have gratitude for abundance when I haven't experience that lack? And so, that's my task, to accept life as it is, with all of it's adversity, because that's LIVING. I have to learn to sit in the discomfort of the forest to be able to see the beauty of mountains.
Who knew so much healing could come from Dreamworks? Am I right?