One of my favorite films was “Lovers and Other Strangers”. It so reminded me of my Italian family.
But what I loved the most was the insistence the father had in trying to find out why his eldest son wanted to get divorced. No matter how many times “ Jonny” tried to explain why he wanted out of his relationship, his father would interrupt by saying, “So what’s the story”?
Essentially he did not want to hear what his son was sharing. His need was to have him stay in his unfulfilled marriage, because no one in the Devecchio family ever gets divorced. That was his story and he was sticking to it.
Over the years I have heard so many individuals re-tell their stories about why they are unfulfilled, have jobs they hate, children who don’t listen, spouses who are indifferent or health issues that they haven’t got time to take care of. Over the years they have compiled a body of evidence and experiences that make up their story line. They reinforce it by telling it over and over to all who will listen. Eventually they are convinced that there is no other ending possible except for the one they repeatedly focus on.
It always amazes me how we can convince ourselves that not feeling okay mentally or physically is preferable to getting unstuck!
I can understand it to some degree, because I have fallen victim to my own novellas. There is an element of safety attached to a familiar situation even when it doesn’t serve our best interests.
How easy it is to just keep gaining weight, even though we know we may be compromising our lives.
Standing up for ourselves is much harder than making sure we don’t make waves, and staying in situations that don’t feed our souls in any way because they’re safe may feel easier than taking the a risk.
However, eventually the mind and body reach a level of intolerance and you may find yourself feeling anxious, depressed or coming down with more physical ailments.
Essentially the human spirit thrives on being authentic. As I have gotten older my biggest regret is that I wish I had not spent as much energy and time on stories that should have ended after the first page.
My hope for myself and all of you is that we can use our wisdom to go forward and create some new stories that end up being best sellers.
Loretta LaRoche writes the Get A Life Column for the Patriot Ledger.