Raise your hand if you’ve seen the latest meme with Helen Mirren. Maybe its not a meme.
It’s really just her face, with a quote. Ok that’s a meme. The Daily Beast pulled the image together.
She bravely tells the world that ‘2016 Has Been a Big Pile of Shit’. You can watch her do so here.
For the most part, I agree with the sentiment. 2016 has been a challenging year for my family certainly, and for many humans.
We have faced loss and felt uncertain here in my house, just as thousands of individuals and families across the globe, as our new America frightens many.
But here’s what has been bothering me. When we focus on negativity, negativity wins.
When we feed into fear, we miss the good right in front of us.
Now I’m not saying we should ignore what’s happening in the world just to feel sparkly and bright. We shouldn’t push away our emotions, or fail to lean into the very real ‘ick’ that we experience when we address horrendous situations in our personal lives or on a global scale. This is not what I’m asking of you.
Rather, can we continue to take bites of the moon?
Bear with me – I will explain.
This week, our charming local movie theater was showing It’s a Wonderful Life. I bought tickets for my family because I thought it would be a seasonal cheap thrill. I had never watched the movie all the way through before, and the messages portrayed resonate ever so much more in your late 20s than when you are nine.
When I was nine, all I cared about was how the gym floor would retract back to reveal a swimming pool. A SWIMMING POOL! How neat.
Now, significantly older than nine, the themes of sacrifice for family, and frustration that your plans aren’t unfolding as perfectly as you had thought they would just ring ever so true.
For those of you who’ve seen the film, you know the iconic scene where George offers Mary the moon. The women swoon, how delightful such an offer is.
George: I’ll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I’ll take it. Then what?
George: Well, then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, see… and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair.
This is the kind of light and enthusiasm that we need. To embrace the good in this world, to take bites, to savor it, to let us radiate with moonbeams.
I love this metaphor. Maybe George Bailey wasn’t thinking so deeply, but his little interaction spoke to me. I want to be the type of person that keeps dreaming, and searching, and reaching for the moon. I want to find the people who will help me lasso it, because I want this kind of light to beam within me.
It’s hard, my friends, when the world feels like shit. I get it. I really do. But if we focus on the shit, we miss out on the moon. And the very beams that we can choose to ingest.