Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We Want Our Happy Endings

Possible spoiler alert re HIMYM...

I started to watch episodes of HIMYM. Over the years, I caught an episode here or there, but I decided to go back and watch from the beginning. I have gotten lost in watching the show, at times watching several episodes in a row. 

In some ways it has become an escape for me. There are things about it that don't resonate as much, but it transports me out of my reality, and takes me to a place that I can identify with, but still escape into. 

I was only to the end of season 6 when the finale aired last night. Some would do all they could to avoid it, but I dove in. Knowing how something ends has never ruined a story for me. In some way, it adds to the story by knowing what is coming. I wonder how all the pieces will come together. 

I am not sure what I thought of the ending. I haven't met the mother myself, so I wasn't attached to her. However, many of those who have followed the show are upset by what did happen. Disappointed. Feel like they "wasted" their time watching all of these years.

We seem to want the Happy Endings. We seem to want what we want, or we are unhappy with the outcome. We want neat little packages, a direct line from a to z, even though there are so many variables and possibilities and potential diversions and premature endings along the way.

We want something that is so often not possible, or greatly out of reach because it is not something we appear to have any control over.

Yes. The mother died. Turns out she was a plot device for another outcome. But it doesn't mean that what was was useless. It didn't mean Ted wasn't blissful for a time. He may have even had a richness of life that others did not have because of how things came to be. A smooth path is not always the most rewarding one.

I suppose there is so much of life that isn't how we want it to be that we get caught up and invested in something that has the potential to have us feel good, and have the happy ending. And we don't care if it is real, or not. We just want to feel good. Sometimes we desperately want to feel good.

Boy, do I get it. But it is hard sometimes to see the Happy Ending, too - especially when our reality does not match up. We cannot always live through another's experience. Sometimes it can be bittersweet. It can also be ruined by knowing all too well how unreal the outcome truly is. A certain sense of willful ignorance and wishful thinking seems to be required for the greatest amount of satisfaction with the outcome.

Why am I thinking about this? 

As a culture we seem to want our Happy Endings. We want life, without death. We often cannot see what is because we're too focused on what is not. We sometimes willfully ignore the things that make us uncomfortable. We interact with what we want for those we care about more than we actually interact with those we care about. We live in denial, and call it "being positive."

Is it possible to be happy with what is, no matter what is? Is it possible to embrace the seemingly unembraceable? Is it possible to acknowledge fear, pain, disappointment and still enjoy life?

As kids, we are trained to want the Fairy Tale Happy Ending. Does anyone really get one? Or is what is an illusion? Do we only see what we want to see? Do we only experience the illusion that makes us feel good?

When I think about this within the context of dealing with cancer, I think about how people often interact with me. For some, there is more interaction with cancer, than with myself, For others, there is a "stay positive" message that tries to railroad any sense of reality I feel about my situation. Very few people will be in the moment of what is with me.

But the thing is, my "what is" isn't going to change by a willful ignorance. It is not going to change by wishful thinking. What if life is really meant to be lived in the moment? What if each moment is meant to be embraced for what it is? What if death and disappointment are "just" devices to get us to other parts of our human and soul's experience? What if each and every part of life matters and counts, and 

that nothing is a waste, and everything is purposeful in some way? Could we be doing ourselves a disservice by thinking something of value only is supposed to look one way? 

Perhaps the reaction that we have is purposeful in some way, too. After all, it is what has given me this blog post. It makes me think about things. Questioning things can be quite empowering. Maybe we have forgotten that in our quest for certainty? When something seems certain, we rarely will ever want to rock the boat by questioning ourselves or the circumstances. The illusion often is quite fragile, but our lack of inquiry will give us an false sense of strength and security.

Some would think us weak, or less than positive, if we did not live into the illusion. It seems the illusion has been made to be what is desireable. We have bought into the idea that it is right to resist the things we don't like or want. We have all kinds of adjectives that will keep us in that place, as long as we are willing to accept the current definitions and perceptions about how we perceive life and its perceived realities. 

In experiencing what I do, and saying what I say, and in being how I am, I meet up with resistence and disappointment and fear. I not only have to deal with what I have to deal with in terms of my own self and experience, I must often combat where others want to go with it.

As I wrote "combat," I wondered if I really feel that way, and want to use that word. I try so often to stay away from using language like that. But the thing is, that there are times it certainly feels combative, and like I need to have a line of defense. It is really difficult at times to have to take a stand for something that I may not be so certain about myself, but the reactions of others propel me there. 

When we live in a black and white, right and wrong, world, disagreement often will come off as combative because we don't want to ever be wrong. Some people will say we have to be right, but I think we might have a greater need not to be perceived as wrong. We build castles and empires on what we believe is right. We don't want it to come crumbling down on us by being proven in some way wrong. Expectations, hopes dreams and desires are also all built into the blueprint, so we need to convince others, too, for fear of its destruction. A lack of others "buying" into it could be tantamount to being wrong. It is no wonder we can be so ruthless in our need to be perceived a certain way, So much depends in it.

So then we build in things like we are doing something out of love and care for another person, when in actuality, it could possibly be that we are doing more for ourselves. Much that doesn't exactly come across as loving is done in the name of love.

Not sure where to end this blog post. It would be nice to tie it up in a neat, little bow. But I don't have one. As often is the case, I am thinking out loud. I may sometimes sound like I think I know the answers, but I am never sure. I do, however, have a sense of what feels in some way right to me in the moment that it is expressed. If it in some way makes sense to you, too, and you get something from it - great. If not, then that is great, too. 

We all are wherever we are, and it would be amazing if instead of being upset that things aren't the way we want them to be when it comes to others, we found a way to love and accept and embrace what is any way. In fact, it wouldn't be so bad if we did that for ourselves more often, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment