“Don't spend time beating on a wall hoping to transform it to a door.”
I was watching a television series which captivated me. It is called, “The Slap”, but it is so much more. It depicts a family story and then in separate episodes it focus’ on each major player in the family so that us, the audience, can see inside or on a deeper level what each person brings to their selves and to the world. It is a beautiful example of characterizations which imitate life. I think it succeeds in showing us as the flawed and yet potentially beautiful humans we are. It shows our flaws and shows our strengths. One of the characters, a young man, says at a poignant moment, “we are all trying to just get through the day”. Now, that might not sound like a romantic way to look at life and yet, isn’t that what we often do? We like to think we are better than that, and sometimes we truly are. But often, because of our blindness’s, we act in ways to make it through our day.
Again, as I am writing my blogs this year in memory of my father, this reminds me of my father in that as much work as he has done on himself, as much therapy he has experienced as well as he has given, he is in fact, just trying to get through the day. At the very same time, he is a charismatic, charming, intelligent, selectively loving, funny, insightful and creative man as well as a narcissistic, unhappy, bitter, and deceitful man. He wrote a book titled; Mr. Magoo is my Role Model. It is full of witty and touching stories and is about our blindness’s. As much as he wanted to see the truth and encouraged the truth, he ran from the truth. On these last days of his life, he told my sister that he has spent his life helping others to know who they are and he doesn’t know who he is. Isn’t that poignant? He now often sits by his window just looking out as if he is waiting for something to happen or for someone to appear.
We have such a finite time on this earth and we all spend some of it just waiting, unhappy, and blaming and judging ourselves, being the victim, harboring grudges and bitterness, etc. we are all flawed human beings. We have such capacity for feeling, for loving, for growing, for learning, and we also have large reservoirs in us that are unexplored. These unexplored places stay that way because it is ultimately hard for us to see the places in us we don’t want to see. In The Slap, a father and husband is holding hands with his children’s babysitter, a young child of 5 is being breastfed by his mother after she has had a few glasses of wine and is then brandishing a bat in a kids ball game without supervision by his parents and an adult comes over to take the bat and he kicks him in the shins and so this adult slaps him. The child’s mother gets angry and people take sides and blame each other. This is a microcosm of life as we live it. We are all capable of great things and also of being so influenced by our wounds that we are blind to our truths and to a greater perspective.
The fact is that we are not only influenced by our fate and also by the traumas and hurts and abuses we experience in life. It is easy to judge us and so to judge others. When we are concerned with how we look to others, what others think of us, and become hard on us when we make a mistake, we are being hard on us and judging us. What is the most important for all of us is to welcome these mistakes so that we can bring them closer to us so that we can learn and become more aware of what motivates our thoughts and actions and feelings on a deep level. As we do that, we see our foibles and we see others more clearly. In fact, we are truly doing our best to live as best we can. When we see others making mistakes and acting out of their weak places, can we also see in ourselves when we do the same? Loving us in our deepest wounded places allows us to move forward in life and to get through our day.
I don’t usually recommend television shows, but I sometimes find myself enjoying watching certain shows where I can get into the characters and watch to see what motivates them, why they are acting the way they are and what is underneath their actions. My husband often jokes with me that I often know what is going to happen before it is revealed in the show. I love understanding people and what makes us tick.
A great show to see the underbelly of us humans and our humanity and also our courage is the show, “The Slap”. I hope you like it too, and if you are so moved, I would love to hear your reactions.