There are three movies I want to share with you today all about emotions! One is a Disney. The second a Blockbuster. The third a documentary.
The emotional body feels the most real to us. We feel like we ARE our feelings. It doesn’t really matter what is true it only matters what we feel like is true, for good or bad. This is what can unite us, and it is definitely what has been dividing us.
When we saw this movie in the theater all of my kids looked at me after and said, “This movie was made for you, mom. You must have loved this movie”. They were right.
The story takes place inside the mind of Rylee who is an 11-year-old girl. We see that when Rylee was born she opens her eyes, sees her mom’s big smile, and she experiences her first emotion, Joy. Joy becomes Rylee’s lead emotion - she’s the boss.
Babies need food, warmth, and love, and attention. There is no hierarchy between these three needs. When I was raising my kids we were taught to let the babies learn to soothe themselves by letting them cry, and there is a point where we might over-parent. But, we now know through scientific research that the line between a child's need and spoiling a child is very thin.
Babies need 2 years of unconditional love for their brains to fully develop. This is not a learned development. This is literally the brain developing with the nervous system at optimum. So, that smile from Rylee’s mom developing joy as her default emotion represents that. All the other emotions, sadness, disgust, fear, and anger play supporting roles for Rylee. It’s noteworthy to mention that Rylee’s mom’s lead emotion is sad and her dad’s lead emotion is anger. This subtle hint says a lot about these characters.
There is a quick scene where joy bumps into some boxes and things fall out and as she quickly tries to clean up her mess she says, “these facts and opinions look so similar”.
I love this! That was one of the first life lessons I had to learn on my healing journey. I had to realize that there are way more opinions than facts. Things may feel true when they are more of an opinion.
Think about what opinions maybe you accept as fact. (I’m not enough... fill in the blank, things have to be a certain way, etc) How do these opinions disguised as fact affect you?
In another scene, a character loses something special and Joy, whose job IS to feel joy, tries to cheer up the other character. She points out the silver lining, she tries to convince them it’s ok, she dances, sings, and pulls funny faces. At this point in the movie, joy believes being happy is the only emotion that is good. When sadness steps forward to be with this other character in his grief, he feels it for a time and then takes a deep breath and is ready to go again. There are is a place for all emotions. We need to feel them - at least for a time.
It is important to sit with the sensations on your own body when you are around someone that might be suffering in any way. Many times it is your own discomfort you are trying to change, not theirs.
The moral of the story is that as we grow up memories or experiences are a mix of emotions. Life is paradoxical. A full life requires all the emotions.
How does it feel to you to think about allowing all the emotions in? What does your body feel like doing? Are you ok to move toward or does it feel like you want to avoid certain emotions? We all prefer joy to sadness, but we cannot have one without the other.
In this movie, Julia Roberts gets to the altar over and over, and each time she backs out at the altar. In the end, we learn that she always became emotionally fused to the man she was engaged to. She likes the things they liked and didn’t know her own needs and desires. We are also introduced to her wound, a mother that has passed on and an alcoholic father.
Emotional enmeshment is something that really pricks at my heart. I struggle with codependency. Whether it’s a trauma response or a spiritual gift I feel what others feel. Understanding my own needs, wants, and feelings requires me to use more of a manual operation as opposed to an automatic response. I am working on this, and I know I can heal from the wounds that may contribute to this and use this gift in a purely productive way. I’m not all the way there quite yet.
Is there someone in your life you emotionally fuse with? Are there people in your life you have a hard time expressing who you are confidently or easily? These feelings are common, but they hint at an emotional wound or wounds.
This documentary explores everything about emotions. The impact of relationships on our emotions - why some lash out and others shut down. It devotes a whole episode to the negative emotions of sadness, anger, and fear and how too much as well as too little endangers your health and wellbeing. It explores happiness and what, why, and how to achieve more of it.
They ask questions about holistic and western medicine that are worth asking. The medical world has amazing success. The holistic world has amazing success stories when it comes to supporting the emotional body. I prefer a both/and approach to almost everything in life. Listen to the sensations in your body. Ask your heart in quiet moments, and you will know what is best for you.
They explore a scientific study done for years with a large group of people where they measured their happiness. In this study, they found that the impact of happiness was real and contagious. The happiness of one person affected four degrees of separation. So, a friend of a friend’s sister has an impact on your happiness. AND, your happiness boosts the happiness of others by up to four degrees of separation!
Emotions are shared!