Several years ago, my pastor showed a segment of this powerful movie for one of his sermons on Relationship. I finally was able to sit down with my 10-year old daughter and watch it.
Here are my five takeaways and how they apply to my life.
- Affliction is above no one. It can touch anyone at any time in their lives. We are not subhuman because we are afflicted with mental illness, or physical manifestations. We are survivors. We fight a struggle others can only read about or imagine. You may be a poor farmer, a blue-collar factory worker, a white-collar executive, or a member of royalty. Affliction does not discriminate against wealth, skin color, or socioeconomic status. It may not be a result of their choices. And if we don’t suffer from Affliction, this should teach the rest of us empathy.
- Your affliction may not control you. You may be the one controlling it. It may be the manifestation of a deeper struggle. You may actually be giving it control because it puts comfort to something that is so discomforting to acknowledge, live with, or speak about.
- Family may not be your support network. Your family may in fact, be the source of your affliction. I have friends where family happens to be their harshest judge or most vehement opposition – largely the cause of their trauma and particular circumstance. We would hope that family would be our staunchest champions, but sadly in some cases, they are the source of our trauma, often caused at a younger age or a recent schism.
- A father’s relationship is pivotal. Single dad to an innocent, beautiful girl. My actions are pivotal to her development. This is a bearing built into my moral compass. Do I fall short so often? I sure do. I am perfectly imperfect. Remembering how much I affect her development is always the bell in the fog that ropes me back to the harbor. Hopefully before I exact anything that damages her sails, free will, self-esteem, and mental health.
- Your strongest champion may not have letters after their name. Their door may not have Ph.D inscribed on it. They may not be published. Or knighted. Or of the same social class. They may not be anyone noteworthy in your life. But they took their time to help you, or to understand you. We call them friends.