I watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World last night, and for reasons that don’t necessarily make sense, it helped a lot of what I’m struggling with make sense. The themes in the movie centre around all those stupid hurtful things we do, even when we don’t mean to and we’re just fumbling along in our own flawed human way. The triumph of the movie is in owning your own shit and getting a second chance to do it right.
Recently I’ve been confronted with a couple of different situations that are uncomfortably reminiscent of some really painful experiences for me; though this time I’m on the other side of it, and really feeling the challenge to do better than the people who hurt and let me down.
Well that’s actually really hard. You get locked in to things with people who push your buttons, and being mindful of the fact your button just got pushed doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t still go off. I remember a very wise and grounded fellow saying: sometimes you just have to participate in the drama. Meaning mindfulness will only get you so far, you can’t always be moving around in loving detachment. Sometimes you have to just get right in to the muck to learn the lesson. Commit to the clusterfuck as another friend once put it.
Well, I’ve been really resistant to that, wanted to be better than that, wanted to be level-headed and do the right thing. Only doing the right thing didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. And I really resented being put through all this, thought I’d paid my spiritual dues and shouldn’t have to get sucked into this kind of crap anymore.
But thanks to Scott Pilgrim I can suddenly see, this is a do-over. A chance to level-up and try this battle again. I get a chance to run though the same stuff, this time from a different perspective and maybe actually learn the lesson this time.
And that lesson is about forgiveness. Being able to forgive myself for not being perfect stellar grounded human all the time (something I think I was approaching in the fuck mindfulness piece). And forgiveness for the people who I felt had done me wrong, when they really were just responding as best they could with the skills they had. Stupidity has its own momentum, and everybody can get sucked into that.
I’m again reminded of something Iyanla Vanzant wrote:
I forgive myself for ever thinking I did anything wrong.
I forgive myself for ever thinking anybody else did anything wrong.
You can let go of an awful lot if you can really grab on to that idea. We’re all just doing the best we can, and getting ourselves in the muck to learn what we need to learn. There are no bad guys, we’re all just a little clumsy*. Scott Pilgrim reminded me of that, and completed shifted my world.
*okay or maybe a lot clumsy, but the point still stands.