Warning: Possible spoilers ahead.
I just recently watched the movie, Inside Out. I wasn’t expecting the impact the movie would have on me. I didn’t expect it to make me so self-aware.
Just as the main conflict of the movie began – the point where Joy and Sadness were thrust into their quest to get back to headquarters – I realized that most of my core memories were sad. I was shaken by that realization. I found myself bawling my eyes out.
I began to really search my heart and mind for a time when I was genuinely, deeply happy, and I couldn’t think of a single memory. Every memory I had was tainted by pain, shame… depression.
I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised, because I am innately a melancholic person, but to look back at a life and see so much depression and hopelessness was shocking.
Meanwhile, here I was telling everyone that I was happy, that I was thankful for the life I was living and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Now, however, as I write this, I do realize that what I’ve been saying is true. I am happy. I am thankful. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s.
So why the sadness?
It’s almost like a trick of the mind – sadness. A lie. A whisper. A tainting of the spirit. Meant to remind me of the things that make me a broken human being. That night, I came to the Lord and showed Him this side of my humanity – a side He was already well-acquainted with. I fought hard against self-pity, because I had no right to pity myself. Not when I am so thoroughly blessed. Still, I cried at the foot of the throne, knowing that just like in the movie – sadness had a purpose.
Sadness was something I needed to acknowledge in order for me to find healing.
Inside Out wrecked me when it exposed something about myself that I didn’t realize – the way I record my moments of pain and sorrow, but forget the moments of happiness and joy.
I am thankful for the sadness in my life, it created in me a sense of empathy – for people, for characters. It’s what makes me an effective fiction writer. It’s what made me who I am now.
But I need to remind myself that I ought to remember happiness. I can be filled with joy.
Because that’s my God’s promise. That He will turn my mourning into dancing and that those who sow in tears will reap in joy.
Inside Out has become my favorite animated film, because of this. Because it reminded me how Sadness and Joy can work together. It showed me that while most people in the world were telling themselves that it was okay to be sad, I was telling myself that it was okay to be happy.
Knowing this, I expect springs of life and rivers of joy to begin to gush out of the wilderness of my melancholy.
Thank God for the creativity and talent of people behind films like Inside Out.
*Disclaimer: Photos shown on this post are from the film, Inside Out, or are promotional images of said film. I don’t own any of these images. Pixar (or whoever owns them), please don’t sue me.