I took the family to see Inside Out " After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San
Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness -
conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school".
Having been uprooted from my home more than enough times in my child hood, I understood very well what Riley was going through. Not fitting in, losing old friends, parents too busy to pay attention to what was happening (or just not paying attention).
As I watched the movie unfold, I didn't expect that some old emotional wounds would be opened up, and I didn't expect the tears to start flowing.
Pixar family movies tend to make me a little emotional but this one pushed a little farther. I am finding it difficult to put into words and it will make sense if you see the movie for yourself, but I realized that the core memories and the islands are such an important part of a person, that when they crumble nothing is left except a bitter, angry shell of a person running away from his/her problems.
I have islands that have crumbled, and I have core memories that have faded away into wisps of smoke. For years, this left me wondering who I was, what I was doing and what my purpose was. I was not allowed, or even taught how to deal with my emotions. If I was sad, I was told to move on, or do something to replace the sadness. I was not allowed to express anger or frustration. I went overboard on being silly, trying to lighten to mood around me; that got squelched too.
Early in my adulthood years, I'm sure I pushed a lot of people away for various reasons. There are a handful of people who "made the cut" or rather "refused to get pushed away" and stuck with me. These people helped me understand true friendship and acceptance of others.
As the years have passed, living in Asheville, I have been blessed with friendships that I would never have imagined possible. The core memories and islands that I have built are such a symbol of healing in my life, I sometimes find it overwhelming and miraculous. I could not have done this on my own.
I always knew that something was missing but I could not put my finger on it until now.
In the movie, Joy was always trying to keep sadness from playing her role. She mistakenly thought that by keeping sadness out of Riley's life, that Riley would be happy. As the movie unfolded, we saw just how important a role each emotion plays in a person's life. I finally understood that emotions are ok and even important.
We made it back into the van and back home before I walked out to sit on the back steps. I couldn't hold back any longer and tears of sadness and relief started to flow. The wife and kid sat with me and comforted me. I explained that while I was sad because I was lacking some important and nurturing core memories from my childhood, that they are my family island. In turn they encouraged me and reminded me how many islands we have built together.
The kid told me that I am working on my goofy island!
There is hope.