Life Through Film
“Stories reminding ourselves of Universal Truths,
that awaken us to our possibilities”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
Often we pretend to be less to protect ourselves, thinking if we don’t stand out too much, if we are more like “the others” we’ll be safer. We desire to be loved, accepted, approved of, included. We squash ourselves and we allow others to shut us down, attack us, tell us to be quieter, to not embarrass, to not stand out and face ridicule.
But when we do this, we hurt ourselves, we go against our truth, we send a message to ourselves from our self that we do not love us and if we do not love our self, we attract a reality that reflects this, to get our attention, to wake us up to being kinder to ourselves.
No doubt it can be challenging to live your truth. And yet when you love you, enough to be you, a whole new reality is created, doors to other worlds open, people appear on your path who speak your language and are a joy to be with. You see where you are to contribute, your purpose, your mission.
Each of us is a being of amazing capacity and ability and yet we have seen so often what happens to those who are more. They may be mistreated by others or they mistreat themselves.
When someone is different and we have not chosen to understand them, get to know them, learn of them or from them, we tend to fear them, judge them, avoid them, criticize them.
When someone comes in a package that doesn’t fit with the stereotype of learned, educated. A background that doesn’t make sense that in our limited view is not possible. We tend to doubt, to reject.
George O’Malley in the fantasy film “Phenomenon” illustrates this when an everyday kind of guy suddenly is able to learn at an increased rate and be so much more than the people in his community can fathom.
“I’ll tell you what I am, what I think I am. I am what everybody can be…Anybody can get here. I’m the possibility.”
“Powder” a film that illustrates more possibilities and potential, but again falls into the category of fiction allows us to have a glimpse of what we all can be, and yet dismiss it because we can go to the comfortable place of it’s just a story, didn’t and couldn’t really happen.
The teacher, Donald Ripley,
“If we ever got to the point where we could use all of our brain, then we would be pure energy, that we wouldn’t even need bodies. You are closer to that energy body than anyone’s every been.”
In the film, “Finding Forrester” a young black student from the Bronx. Poor, being raised by a single mother, is incredibly intelligent and at the same time an athlete. An interesting combination. He maintains a “C” average in order to not stand out. Playing a good game of basketball with his peers is not as threatening.
But the school is tested and his test scores show he is far above a “C” average.
This brings him trouble, because a poor black youth on a basketball scholarship is one thing, but a literary scholar as well, cannot be.
His mentor a Pulitzer prize writer, William Forrester explains, “What people are most afraid of is what they don’t understand. And when we don’t understand, we turn to our assumptions.”
For the student Jamal, it must be that he is cheating. This makes them comfortable again. Even though it is a lie.
“Good Will Hunting” has a young man who was brutally abused as a youth, poor, working as a janitor at a university. Once again not in the right package to be able to master math problems that took masterminds years to solve. The pain from his wounds has held him back. His anger for his misfortune keeps him stuck and yet he reads, he learns, he excels. He is brilliant and yet will he allow himself to receive help after a life of struggling on his own?
“Gifted” a story of a little girl who is a mathematical genius, at the age of seven. Her mother was similar and yet experienced a miserable life of being exploited for her abilities. Mary’s uncle is left to raise her, with the mission of finding a way for her to be a kid and a genius at the same time and not taken advantage of like her mother.
John Coffey in the film “The Green Mile” has been born with another type of gift. He sees, he feels, he knows, he heals and at the same time in 1935 he is a black man of poverty with no formal education. His abilities are just as much a curse, as he is alone with them and ends up being misunderstood and punished for who he is. But he meets some good men who can see past their fears and limitations and embrace all John Coffey brings to their lives.
We look at stories like these and we think, I’m no scholar, I’m not remarkable and you push the message away. The illustration may be large, but the message is not.
Being all of who we are may not be easy close up, but step back from you, the creation of you and marvel at its beauty, uniqueness and ask yourself why? Why will I not embrace me, love me and all my gifts, talents, skills. I have something to offer, to share. I will allow my power to be fulfilled.
May we declare, “I am a child of the Divine and as I allow my light to shine, I trust others to join me and enjoy the possibility of all we are.”
Photos; Sam Balija, Internet film stock
Phenomenon; View, Disney+, Released July 1996
Powder; View, Disney+, Released October 1995
Finding Forrester; View, CTV.ca, Released December 2000
Good Will Hunting; View, Prime, Released December 1997
Gifted; View, Disney+, Released April 2017
The Green Mile; View, Netflix, Released December 1999