“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein
My wife and I were binge-watching a popular TV show on Netflix (not telling you which one because it would be a spoiler). One of the characters gets wrapped up in trouble and eventually takes his own life. I was furious at the show’s writers for making this part of the plot. The man had a wife and child, and now he was gone.
How dare they make me face that. How dare they make me experience and see the sadness of this man’s wife and child now that he’s gone. How dare they make me feel that way. But did they make me feel that way? Or did I already feel that way?
Nothing makes us feel a certain way, either positive or negative. Life will always show you what you already feel, whether or not you know about it. It’s a blessing that we’re often unaware of. Many will say “I don’t like this because…” or “I really love that because…” and they’re attributing their feelings to external circumstances. But that’s not what’s actually happening. What really happens is that circumstances in our world resonate with energies and emotions inside us that we already have. Then we become aware of and feel those emotions, but they were already there to begin with.
It’s not that TV show deaths create these emotions within us, it’s that they exacerbate dormant emotions that are already there. I found this out while watching that show on Netflix. I’ve always entertained a fear that my wife or I would pass away early leaving others to deal with pain and sadness. When finding out that this character had hung himself, it activated those emotions and fears within me.
I allowed them (I try not to muffle or suppress feelings if I don’t have to) and I was angry that the writers planned things this way. Given my decision to watch this show and not to suppress my feelings, I was “forced” to experience these emotions within me. Not cool. Or was it? Was it really for my own good?
What happens if you suppress fears? Or emotions? Fears and emotions are like holding balloons under water. They want to rise to the surface, and you’ll tire yourself out trying to hold them down. Not only that, but given the energy you’ll expend focusing on these fears and their suppression, you’re more likely to attract those circumstances into your life. So what was really happening as I was watching that TV show and felt upset at the death of the father and husband?
I was healing. Rather, I was in one part of the healing process. Allowing emotions that are stuck inside you to come to the surface is one of the steps in the healing process. Any suppressed emotion or energy wants to be recognized, and only then can it be released.
As I sat there in front of the TV, I was acknowledging that I had certain fears and emotions within me, since they were staring me right in the face and I was allowing them. I recognized them, processed them, and let them go. Life is full of moments like these – small miracles, small steps forward in healing and growing. Most of this is completely under the radar for people. I’m not sure people look at life this way.
I don’t think people see that the things they encounter each day, good or bad, are chances for healing and growth. Sometimes we see the love within ourselves and we begin to love the circumstances that brought it out. Being at the beach brings us peace, so we love to go to the beach. Being there shows us the peace within ourselves. Sometimes we see the fear and hate within ourselves.
For me, watching Law and Order SVU brings on anxiety, because it shows me the things I fear for my children or myself. So I come to dislike that TV show because of what it shows me about myself. Either way, we can use these circumstances and experiences as guides and catapults for growth. We can appreciate that life has shown us what we fear in a safe manner (death on a TV show instead of death in real life), and use that experience to deal with the fear within.
We can also appreciate that life has shown us what we love, and use that to guide our decisions in order to move our lives closer to love and joy. Life is always showing us what we are, have, or feel. As within, so without. We have ordinary days, but extraordinary things are happening. Let’s pay attention.