Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Dare I Be Me?
Photo credit: Bob Alba.
I went to see the movie Julie and Julia the other night with three women friends. The four of us are an interesting blend of ages (early 20s through late 50's) with lots of differing life experience in between, but one thing is for sure - we ALL love good food. The smell - the feel - the taste...unanimous yum!
Julie and Julia is the 2009 comedy film, written and directed by Nora Ephron, which depicts events in the life of chef Julia Child, contrasting her life with Julie Powell, a woman who aspires to cook all 524 recipes from Child's cookbook.
I'm no movie critic, so I'll leave that alone, but the lessons I learned from Julia Child herself struck my heart a long time ago.
I remember seeing her on TV when I was very young. Her authority - her humor - her voice!...and I thought she was certifiably weird - but attractive in that genuine weirdness sort of way. Little did I know she was becoming the beloved icon she is.
The memory that lingers for me now is the feeling that she was different, and my emotional response to it.
As a youth I was uncomfortable watching her in some undefinable way, but attracted nonetheless. Attracted to what exactly? Not the ducks and chickens she would parade around the kitchen. It was something about HER, and I know now that when we witness what is truly authentic in the human spirit, and it is displayed so openly, it causes both attraction and a sort of fear.
We are "different" from others - somehow "outside" the tribe.
If it scares us too much, we will disparage it.
Look closely at this. If it scares us too much, we will disparage it.
Could it be then... if others have seen "it" in us... we have been disparaged?
A quandary exists, and it's a biggie.
Less than three years ago, when my husband told my Dad he wanted to marry me, my father stood up to shake his hand and said "she's a little bit loud you know."
A disclaimer! I come with a family disclaimer!
ahhhh...let me understand here that I've been "a little bit" of a discomfort for my parents all along. Explains a lot.
Now I watch my beloved friends and respected colleagues - my students and my neighbors, and I've got to tell you - hardly anyone is really really happy. What's up with that?
Perhaps it's the quandary.
We regularly visit the places in ourselves that say "I can" or "I can't" DO that, or BE that, and I guarantee you some part of you measures it against that trickle of fear that accesses the response of the tribe, and this will include your own inner judge that you too might be seen as weird in that uncomfortable sort of way.
Somebody won't like this - and you might suffer.
And yet...is it not this exact difference that we must be and do and have in order to demonstrate the abundance of joy in a life well lived?
OK - so I'll put my own disclaimer here that I'm not talking to psycho-killers or mean streaked folk, but to YOU - the well-meaning person who is intending to live their truth:
If you are living from your heart, and you have the Golden Rule as your guide, GO for it!
Stop waiting for permission!
And you don't need more therapy. You need more authenticity.
Go find your inner Julia and do what needs to be done.
Happiness will be waiting for you on the other side.
Till next time