Saturday, January 4, 2014

Where would we be without our past?

I went to see "Saving Mr. Banks" tonight.  It is a very Disney-fied story about how Mary Poppins was brought to the big screen.  It was sweet and touching.  It told of Walt Disney's abusive father and P.L. Travers alcoholic father.  It got me to thinking about what phoenixes we humans are.  Despite (or maybe because of) the abuse...Disneyland.  Despite (or maybe because of) an alcoholic father and a fragile mother...Mary Poppins.  By the way, Emma Thompson does a splendid job of making a rather disagreeable woman, sympathetic.

We all carry around burdens from our past and yet we are all phoenixes, rising from those ashes.  Do you ever look at those horrible things that happened to us in childhood (and we all have those things) and think,  "Those things led me here to who I am, without them I would be a different person."  We all deal with them in our own ways and are sometimes more successful than other times at putting them in perspective and they sometimes haunt us.  But do they not also make us better in ways that we wouldn't be if not for them?  Are we more sympathetic, more caring, more patient, more thoughtful, or more attuned to other's needs because we have those scars that we try so hard to hide. 

Do you ever look at what others have been through and think how brave and strong they are even as they continue to deal with what life has thrown at them?  We are survivors, every one of us and we have coping skills that work at varying degrees of success and maybe that is a part of what TTWD is about...a coping skill that helps us use all those hurts and scars and produce our own Disneyland or Mary Poppins or maybe just brings out our better selves to be present in a good way to the world not in spite of our pasts but because of them.

I have decided scars are not shameful things.  They show that you are a survivor.  They can spur you on to do great things that you would never have done if not for what produced those scars.  They are badges of honor.  Perhaps most importantly, the wounds that leave the scars give us the ability to reach into other people's lives and be truly present to them.  Maybe that is the power of these blogs we write: the ability to be anonymous to some extent, allows us to reveal our wounds and scars and not be ashamed.  To use them to help others in ways that we might only be able to in the virtual world and maybe one day the sharing in the virtual world will make us brave enough to share them in the real world.

There is a lot of support here in blogland and maybe it's because of the scars and wounds we all carry around, not in spite of them.

Happy New Year, Everybody!