We all have our favorite movies. Favorite hero, best actress, best scene, greatest kiss,.. most suspenseful. And we really feel like we can relate to these characters in these movies. You know exactly how she’s feeling when she’s struggling to find the right words.. or as his parents go through a painful divorce.. We can connect for moments during the movie and it creates a link between you and the character.
I went and saw the new Merryl Streep movie the other day, Hope Springs. I along with two of my closest friends were the youngest in the theatre by 15 years.
If you don’t know the premise of the movie, Merryl is a wife of 31 years and her husband is no longer attracted to her. He goes about his daily hum drum routine where she makes him breakfast, he goes to work, comes home, eats dinner turns on the golf and goes to bed in his recliner. They sleep in seperate beds and the daily grind continues on the next day. Yes, they made parts of the movie to be humorous because the idea of the marriage is terrifying. I did not think this was funny.
In fact, I turned to both my left and right and said more than once, ” This is depressing.” The rest of the theater was howling and found their intensive therapy sessions along with their attempt at physical connection to be hilarious. I wanted to cry. And maybe I’m too young. I’ll go there and say maybe when you’re in a marriage for that long.. its just what happens. But I am challenging that idea.
Marriage does not need to feel like a trap. It is an institution that allows for someone else to hold you accountable for growth. A place where you know you’re supported to be better than you are. To keep stretching your mind and existence. Marriage is a practice in patience and loyalty. Marriage is a daily reminder of how you two beings are holding space for another to expand independently and find solace in an intimate and real way.
And I left the theater with terror in my eyes. How many people go about their lives in that way? Sticking to the routine of daily frustrations.. Allowing another in your life to make you feel lesser.. to make you feel dependent. As our generation grows up, there seems to be a divide. Some of the generation is continuing the idea of marriage in a traditional form of co-dependency. Then there are others who are asking for the person that they choose to say the words “I do” to be deeply rooted in his/her own foundational grounds with room to grow and challenge one another to be better.
I am at fault. When I watch movies, sometimes I understand one part of the character so deeply, I wonder if my life replicates the story line. We are all our own movie. We aren’t Merryl Streep in Hope Springs.. We aren’t Jennifer Anniston in The Break-up.. Our story lines are different. They are uniquely ours. “In this very lifetime, you have what it takes to change the movie of your life so that the same things don’t keep happening. The same things keep coming back until you’ve made friends with them.” (Pema)
So remember as youre piecing together your life, stringing together daily experiences and choosing your way.. the actor or actress takes off the costume at the end of the day and returns to another life. A life they choose. Choose yours. Be yours. And grab its reins.. ride the movie.. make it your own and have the power to change the film if you’re not fulfilled.