My girlfriend convinced me to see Inside Out last night.
Based on what I’ve been through, and knowing it’s about feelings, I knew it would be a difficult movie to watch.
It was. For all the reasons I expected and more. But it caused me to project my experiences into the spaces of the abstraction Inside Out gave.
My initial interpretation that Riley was going to experience depression as a part of the movie. Looking through that lens, the movie felt pretty heavy-handed. Also it felt very implausible that such a thing could be overcome in an hour and forty-five minutes.
So I projected my depression on the movie, and it touched some very tender points from my history. I’ve had Joy and Sadness disappear from my control room. I’ve had one return before the other. I’ve sacrificed dear memories from my life to power my Joy out of the chasms of forgetfulness.
Sacrificing those things is hard. Still. I still have tears come when I think of sacrificing and losing what I loved most to try to get Joy back into my life.
I still don’t feel as though I’ve gained the balance that all the adults in the movie seem to have among their feelings. But my experiences allowed me to see the effect of no feelings and the positives and negatives that can come from giving Sadness the reigns of control.
The movie is about a child who is learning to be healthy and balanced. The reality is I need to find that healthy balance because it is all I need. I may have experienced depression, but mine was because Sadness wasn’t balanced.
We can find that balance. We can find the ability to appropriately color all our experiences. But looking through the right lens is required.