A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood [no spoilers]

I heard this movie was good before I saw it and I intentionally didn’t research it. Sure it was a bit nostalgic for me, but even if you’ve never seen Mr Rogers while growing up, this is still a great movie. Tom Hanks was phenomenal.

And I think lately there have been so many things the universe has put in my path for obvious reasons… this movie being one of them. It came to me at a time when I’ve been struggling to make sense of my own relationship with my father and rage associated with that. Seeing how the characters in the movie are able to reconcile things is very hope-inspiring, even if it never happens for me. I never can understand why people are unable to say what they mean and be honest about their feelings and intentions in the moment. I’ve always been able to do this … and my therapist told me today that that quality is rare and means that I’m intense and some people are uncomfortable with that. I suppose so. But I hate wasted time. I hate words left unsaid. But some people can’t handle their own shit enough to be honest and take responsibility for their own behavior. Sometimes they are never able to. Sometimes at the end of their life they are and sometimes only when there is a great crisis that jolts them awake. Time is passing. Life is too short to leave things unsaid and not spend time having fun with rad people.

I was also really inspired with how Mr Rogers is the same on and off camera. I struggle with being myself in all of my different roles. How relaxing it must feel to just always be yourself. I find myself obnoxious. Crass. Vulgar. Opinionated. Lol. It’s not suitable for all settings and it does get taxing putting forth energy to appear different.

And finally another message that comes through in the movie and in the kids show is that handling ones own emotions is one of the most important things people need to learn. And so so many adults don’t learn it! Even in my own field of counseling! Everyone acts grown up and can help others process their emotions in a professional setting, but when it comes to taking ownership of their own emotions and acknowledging that they hurt someone, people run. It’s unreal. The whole world would be better off if we taught emotional regulation and emotional intelligence to kids. Sometimes I feel alone in my bubble of being fully conscious and acknowledging my feelings. It makes me feel crazy sometimes when others don’t do the same.

Wow. I had a lot to say. What a powerful movie. Obviously it inspired a lot of thoughts for me. And it makes me think about the healthy and unhealthy ways I deal with my anger. Healthy being mostly swimming laps and exercise … unhealthy being overeating and hurting myself in other self destructive ways. I’ve been doing those less and less lately so that’s a plus.

I love how Mr Rogers can so easily identify someone who is struggling. I feel like I have a gift for that too in some instances. You just have to look for the people that won’t look you in the eyes. Or the ones that perseverate on the same things over and over again. I was there at one point in my life. At that level of rage. I’m so grateful I’m not anymore.

It was also instrumental how Mr Rogers was not portrayed as perfect and he acknowledged that his life is not free of pain. That he has struggled too.

Lastly, it was great to see Pittsburgh in the movie and some places I’ve been. I went to the studio in which Mr Rogers was filmed (they showed it in the movie). In the last year or two I saw an amazing production of Jane Eyre at this studio as a treat with the man who knows me better than anyone in the world. Knows me enough to know that that was one of the most special things anyone could ever do for me. Because that story means so much to me. Being known sometimes is just as much if not more powerful than love, because if someone knows all of you and wants to be around you anyway… accepts you anyway … and loves you anyway, in any form … well, there’s nothing to match that. There are so few people in my life that actually know me. The real me. That can understand the things that I like, why I like them, and understand my reactions to things … and I am so very grateful for the few people that do. The few people that I have let in, or rather … they were so slick they got in without me knowing 😉

Anyway. The movie was so powerful to me for so many different reasons and I’m sure it will be for you too, even if your reasons are different than mine.

I need to try to relax to sleep better tonight. Go see the movie 🙂

2 thoughts on “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood [no spoilers]

  1. The movie was indeed powerful, which is why I suggested you see it. I read your post with a view to the similarities you suggest between the two of you having empathy for and insight into hurting people.

    Fred Rogers had the one most powerful thing in the world hat was the center of ALL that he did, which gave him the peace to be the same in all circumstances – he had Jesus. Jesus has more understanding of all people’s issues than anyone in the history of mankind, in part because he came from Glory to earth as a baby in the most oppressive of situations – to grow up as the son of a despised people who carried the world-view of illegitimate, and left His heavenly throne with one purpose – to die on a cross as the propitiation for our sin. That Jesus was at the center of all that Fred Rogers did, and yes he had anger and sin in his life, BUT he also knew the best forgiveness available – the forgiveness of God, that permeated his being and made it possible for him to do the same and have internal peace.

    Fred did it in the media environment where the use of the name Jesus was forbidden, but the impact was there because he lived out the teachings of Jesus and the disciples by doing what Jesus and they did, not by preaching.

    I pray for you to find the Jesus that Fred knows, I believe it will make you a more highly successful counselor, teacher, and leader. Of equal or greater importance, it will bring you the Peace and Joy that only God can give. Fred Rogers is more fully alive than he was here on earth and is rejoicing in heaven with Jesus as I type these words and pray for you.

    don

    Liked by 1 person

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