September 13, 2012

Separation & Connection

Two nights ago I watched the movie, "A Separation." I found it complex, real, beautifully shot, skillfully acted, and thought provoking. The plot slowly revealed the complicated nature of relationships and of society; and the separation we humans use as a habituated response to difficult emotions. This separation was revealed in the acting, but also in the cinematography and sound: closed doors, windows, doorways, silence, barriers. All the ways in which we distance ourselves from others and from ourselves. As a coping mechanism, we separate ourselves from others--either on purpose or because we just don't know how to connect in that moment (especially if we feel fear, sadness, hurt, or shame). Interestingly, we also distance ourselves from our own inner-self, from our authentic-ness. 

I ached when watching the movie. There were many opportunities when connection might be made; when it seemed the complexities shared by the characters would bridge the separation--it would just take someone being vulnerable. But that's sometimes a too-large bridge to gap. (Big sigh.)

A few weeks ago I watched the movie, "I am." This was also a thought-provoking film. While examining our human habit of separation, the film dove into other realms of deep-down human nature: empathy, compassion, and interconnection. These stories made my heart sing (rather than the ache I felt during "A Separation"). The reality is that life is complicated. Being human means we have habituated reactions that are not always skillful or healthful. Yet being human also means we have a core of goodness--we only need access that goodness regularly. If we open our hearts, listen to ourselves and others, show vulnerability, feel compassion and gratitude, and lead with our authentic inner-voice (not the inner-critic), then the world becomes larger, happier, and more peaceful.

Be-brave challenge to us all: the next time we want to erect a barrier, instead choose to open (even just a little) and connect.

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