Today is December 10, 2015.
I am watching a movie called Rubberface, starring my favourite actor and one of my heroes – the great Jim Carrey. I was feeling very down in the dumps this morning. I am not surprised that I am in a bad mood, that tends to happen when I get rejected by somebody I really like (as a person, a friend, an ally). That is not the point of this post though. Jim Carrey cheered me right up, as he always does, and the movie presented a wonderful point.
In the first five minutes of the movie the main character, Janet AKA Big J, is attending a high school class. She is asked by the teacher to read aloud one of her compositions. She is reluctant, but the teacher insists.
Her composition is as follows:
I live alone
Floating from place to place
Person to person
When I reach out to touch
For there is the world
And then there I am
The bubble just distorts
And people talk to me
But they never hear me
As I am
The bubble is in the way
People don’t see me as I am
And I don’t want them to
My bubble protects me.”
It takes courage for a person to admit that they live in a bubble.
Although I believe that we all do.
In the movie, Big J finishes her monologue in tears and runs out of class and cries in the girls bathroom. I am sure that I would have done the same.
It takes courage to go up on stage or set and be the person that makes themself vulnerable to the judgement of the audience, whether the act is meant to provoke laughter or tears or anger, or any other thoughts or emotions.
It takes courage to put yourself out there, to laugh in the face of rejection. To say, “it’s alright if someone doesn’t like me, or agree with me.” To say, without narcissism, “I love myself, even if nobody else does.” To say, “My ideas and feelings are valid and real, even if other people don’t understand them or don’t take them seriously.” To say, “I deserve to love myself and be happy even if I have made or will make mistakes.”
I watched another movie the other day, the sequel to another of Jim Carrey’s movies. Although Jim Carrey was not in the sequel they are both in my top ten favourite movies.
In Evan Almighty, the main character Evan has just become a US congressman. He takes his family and moves to a mansion on the most prestigious street in the area, “Prestige Crescent.” He gets a huge office, and within the first day of work he gets his name added to an important and well-recognized bill that another congressman is attempting to pass. When he goes home that evening and gets into bed with his wife, she tells him that she prayed with their three sons. She prayed that their family would be closer, and she asks Evan what he would pray for. He defers, but she tells him that if he truly wants to change the world, as per his campaign and life dreams, he is going to need all the help he can get. After she falls asleep, Evan gets out of bed and kneels on the floor and begins praying. He prays for help to change the world.
I am not going to spoil the entire movie. It would be a shame to do that. There is one part of the movie that really aligned with all of my thoughts and feelings and ideas, that I cannot help but share.
God’s plan to help Evan change the world threw Evan’s life into turmoil. His wife Joan left with their three sons to go and stay with her mother. Before she left she asked Evan a question. She asked Evan if God’s plan was to ruin their lives and their relationship.
Later in the movie, Joan and her three sons are eating at a restaurant. Her sons leave the table to go to the washroom, and while they are gone Joan asks a waiter for more french fries and chicken fingers. The waiter asks Joan if she is alright, and sits down with her and asks her what is wrong. She says that her relationship with her husband is falling apart and she does not know what to do. She tells the waiter that God told Evan to build something incredible, which has been a story all over the news by this point.
The waiter gives her advice in the form of questions.
“Let me ask you something…
If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience?
Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?
If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage?
Or does he give him opportunities to be courageous?
If someone prayed for their family to be closer…
Do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings?
Or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
IMDB showed this as the first quote on the list, I cannot say I am surprised. These words are the most striking and accurate that I have ever heard or read, and I am sure I am one of many to recognize that. I will admit that I have watched this movie previously, and I was moved by it, but my eyes and ears and heart were not as open as they are now. I did not understand these words to the extent that I do now.
Now I am taking my opportunities to be patient, by loving others and not expecting, asking or demanding their love in return. I am taking my opportunities to be courageous by sharing my love with as many people as I can, by putting myself and my ideas out there, laughing in the face of rejection, and putting aside the fear of making mistakes. I am taking my opportunities to love: by defining right and wrong by their true names – love and fear – and acting in the name of love; by allowing my love to grow every moment of every day, even when I feel that all of my love is unrequited. I am taking my opportunities to listen to God. It can be hard to hear Him, but the miracles are happening all the time. I would call them small miracles – but after considering this I do not believe there is such thing. A sign, a hint, or coincidence would be more accurate, but those do not describe all of my encounters with Love and Spirit.
I would say that my journey is like a puzzle. Each piece is confusing and vague on its own, but every time I put together two pieces I see more and more of the entirety, and I begin to understand why I am putting together the pieces in the first place. It is not out of boredom. It is somewhat out of curiosity, because without this I may not have picked up a piece at all. Without questions, how would I seek an answer? It is out of love – it is because we are meant to fix what is broken, and to learn that each piece of the puzzle is connected to all of the others. In this puzzle, there are no pieces missing, only those that I have not yet noticed or seen for what they truly are.