Have you ever watched a movie twice? (or more…) You know how it goes, you watch a movie and you just think to yourself, “That was Amazing, I want to watch it again!”
You get the general plot, and loved the story, but there were parts that just didn’t make sense.
You are filled with questions…
What was doctor’s character doing with the old car?
Why was the wife upset at her hairdresser?
Why did aunt Ethel always wear a blue hat?
Why did Eric turn to a life of crime? Was it his mothers fault?
So you watch the movie again, and sometimes again and again, trying to soak it all in. Trying to make sense of the details. Trying to connect the dots.
Really good movies are like that, there is a depth to them that calls out for review and consideration. They touch upon something core to our being and make us ask questions. These questions are sometimes about the movie, but more often then not, they are about us. By understanding the movie we can reveal a truth about our subtle selves that is not obvious.
We can ask abstract questions of our psyche… Would I do that? Could I do that? What if I had to make those same decisions?
The really good movies don’t entirely make sense the first time through. You get the general plot, but you go back for more, to get the nuance…
And that’s one of the big challenges with your own life. You’re watching it for the first time. You haven’t met all the characters yet. You didn’t get to read the script in advance. And a lot of random things happen that just don’t make sense.
When you watch a movie the first time, you just don’t know what’s going to happen
That’s the fun and that’s the challenge.
You have the joy of discovery, but you don’t have the advantage of perspective.
When you know what’s going to happen, the second time around, you have the advantage of understanding the results of the actions. You don’t have as much fun with the discovery, but you can really dig into the depth of the interactions. The emotion tied up in experiencing something the first time can actually cloud our understand of what is really going on.
This is especially true in your own life. When you are experiencing a moment in your life it is very easy to be swept away in the emotion and lose sight of the big picture. Job loss, breakups, deaths, births, unions and new work, always seem dramatic and traumatic, but when viewed back through the lens of time and experience they all become part of a bigger picture.
This is one of the ideas that helps me when in the midst of tragedy or turmoil, I am part of a story that hasn’t ended yet. Death and loss are very painful, they are also inevitable and instrumental. They help to shape us, polish us and refine us. And I truly believe that they would all make a lot more sense if we saw them from a universal perspective instead of from the first person view.
Whatever is happening in your life right now, well, I hope it isn’t too painful. But just remember, even if it is painful, it will all make sense when you watch the movie of your life the second time through.
Imagine you in your last moments, on your death bed, with the credits of your life rolling, experiencing that moment of elation as you think to yourself, “That was amazing, I want to watch it again!”