Inside Out: A Powerful Message

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If you haven’t seen the film, Inside Out, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. And if you have seen it, you might be wondering if you agree with it’s message. Let’s take a quick look at this.

Inside Out is a story about how our psyches are made up of various parts, emotions, beliefs, and structures, and what happens when difficulties (inevitably) arise.

It begins with a little girl who has had a beautiful childhood. Her parents have bent over backward to make her their “happy girl.” Because these first few years were successful, Joy is the dominant leader of her inner world. We also see the figures of Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness, but Joy clearly runs the show. Lucky child, huh? (Not everyone has this experience).

When the little girl’s family moves to a new city, however, (emotional) disaster strikes, and chaos blows a storm through her psyche. Joyand Sadness accidentally get ejected from “Headquarters,” and everything gets crazy. Our “happy girl” loses not only her happiness, but her ability to feel anything but despair. She becomes lost and disenfranchised, and one by one the major areas of her life (family love, trust, playfulness, etc.) go black, and come crashing down. It is devastating.

Throughout all of this, of course, the audience is rooting for (and very much expecting) Joy to save the day. After all, who else could turn things around? We have to rise above, right?

But in the end, it is Sadness who emerges as the hero. Why? Because she was able to help the little girl feel what needed to be felt in order to reconnect with life, and move forward. Joy, alone, just couldn’t deliver.

This week, I invite you to feel all of your feelings: joy, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and anything else that shows up. You don’t have to police your mind for “bad guys,” because there are no bad guys there. By allowing what’s authentic in the moment to emerge, it is able to pass on through. Only when we celebrate some emotions and reject others, (or over-attach to certain emotions) do we get stuck and run into trouble.

Thanks for stopping by, and please join me here again soon.

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