The movie "Silver Linings Playbook" with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence left the movie-goer with a profound sense that there indeed are silver linings in life, regardless of how harsh one's circumstances. It is about looking for them. The multi-layered story-line explores the silver lining that comes out of Brad's characters' mental illness, his love addiction, as well as his wife's infidelity. Similarly, Jennifer's character finds the silver lining in her grief and loss, and both people find their silver lining by accepting new love, healing family dysfunction, and realizing the importance of having hope, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
Have you ever noticed that the holidays bring out the worst in people? They exacerbate everyone's obsessions: their obsessions for shopping, gift giving, the overwhelming lines at the stores, sales, spending money, getting the "perfect gift".
They also exacerbate people's obsessions with their spouse, or their new relationship. Both men and women can be addicted to love.
Last night I watched a documentary-type show called "Digital Love Industry". It discussed the multitude of changes nowadays in the way we view relationships, sex, and love as a result of technological advances (social media as well as cyber-worlds). Rob Weiss, who is one of the country's leading experts on cyber-sex and the digital age, talked about cyber-reality being a part of our lives, and instead of judging it, he suggested we learn to observe it and try to understand it. After all, he pointed out, it isn't going away...
Over the last several weeks, I have watched Brittany Maynard's interviews as well as read articles about her daily struggles with terminal brain cancer. The 29 year old was given 6 months to live after being diagnosed. She decided she wanted to die her way instead of having the cancer take her on it's terms. So, on November 1st, 2014 in her Oregon home, she ended her own life with her loved ones by her side. Regardless of what any of us believe about the controversial debate over the right to die movement, Brittany's choice to leave this world her way and on her terms left me to pause and wonder:
Can each of us choose what we want to let "die" in our lives?
Deepak Chopra, in his wonderful book The Path To Love (1997) talks about the path to love "never being about externals"; he says that who you are with " is a mirror of who you are on the inside" (p. 4). He adds, "When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself" (p.4). It is so interesting how hard it is to see the mirror that our partner holds up that represents the good, bad, ugly and beautiful about ourselves. How hard it is for us to accept what we want to deny and yet how easy it is to blame our partner's for our misfortune and pain.