Inside Out: Cheering our whole inner emotional team!
Ok, that we could do without…
Or could we?
The little, sickly looking green woman in “Inside Out” also covers an important role… Disgust is what makes us take some distance from “bad” situations. It allows us to gain a new perspective. And learn to say “no”, when needed – without shame!
True, disgust may appear “haughty”, but it unfailingly shakes off a worse, even paralyzing evil: shame indeed.
According to the actress that plays her voice: Disgust is very protective. She has high expectations for everyone around her and isn’t very patient. Plus, Disgust is also very put-together because appearances matter to her.
And what is my pick out of it?
That patience is overrated, of course!
Patience is not what gets things done. Action is!
There is a say that:
Good things come to those who wait.
But the best things happen to those who do!
I wish those who “reproach” me of missing patience (who are completely right!) would automatically get redirected here, to read this.
What is the magic word?
… Well, “right away”, of course!
The circle closes on the blue star – Sadness!
In “Inside Out”, Sadness and Joy at first glance appear “incompatible”. While Joy is outgoing and unfailingly optimistic, Sadness seems lazy, more prone to just lie on the ground and give herself up to her endless lucubrations.
But to a more attentive scrutiny, Sadness is intelligent and, in her slowing down, she is more attentive. By relating to deeper feelings, she has the power to connect with others through empathy and compassion. She can bring people in need together.
Unlike Joy’s overoptimism, Sadness has a sharp instinct of what the main character needs when her life changes. Only she lacks the confidence to claim the merit of it. Which is when Joy steps in to help.
But more than being the “polar opposite” of Joy, I would argue, she is her “Alter-Ego”… Because if you think about it, one cannot exist without the other.
The contrary of Happiness is not Sadness. It is Indifference.
Sadness and Happiness have both a key and “complementary” role to play.
In “Inside Out”, Sadness is the trigger to the whole plot… When the kid is forced to leave all her friends and known world behind to follow her parents and start a new life in a new city, Sadness takes over… And the “normal order of things” gets reshuffled, setting the scene for a new story to begin.
But, as unexpected as it might appear at the start, Sadness marks also the “happy ending” of the same story.
In fact, it is only when the little girl finally opens up to her parents, by revealing how she was feeling with her own sadness, that they understand what was really going on behind all their kind’s tantrums since their move.
And that understanding, channeled through empathy, reinforced the bond between them.
The moral of the story is:
Let’s embrace our emotions, in all their shapes and colors.
Because denying them also means denying their important roles in our life. All have one to play and all have their merits.
Together they contribute to the depths and highs of our life.
And the “secret” is:
You cannot “numb” an emotion, without numbing the others too.
Think about “happiness-junkies”, who chase feeling good about anything else and try to avoid pain at any costs. They live in constant “denial” of anything that they do not perceive as “positive”. That is also a big part of nowadays mainstream philosophy of life: Be positive. At all costs!
Only beware: That is the catch!
Being positive all the time is impossible. Let alone completely dull, as well. We are made up of multiple layers and we are more complex than that.
The only way to appreciate happiness is to appreciate the rest too – acknowledging, rather than denying – the other feelings we experience along the way.
Like the canvass of life, beauty is made up of both light and shadows.
And these, like the entertaining characters of “Inside Out” belong all together.
My takeaway challenge for you is this:
Give a name to celebrate each version of you. Pick one that best mirrors its character and uniqueness. Visualize it. The more specific the better!
In “Inside Out” you had just five key emotions called out by their common name. But the nuances are infinite – And there are certainly more emotions than those.
So go on! Pick your own main players: the emotions that most represent the different angles of your character – And befriend them by giving them a witty name.
Here are my inner players. And they look forward to meeting yours!
Because I am “shy” here, I will just introduce them by their initials. I shall leave the rest to your imagination…
MONICA = Monos = The one! My born given name
D____ O = My inner-superheroine name and writer alias
K____ A = Beam of light (Sanskrit), glitter, sparkle (Japanese), my prima ballerina-self
I____ E = My yoga / meditative self
M___A = My surfer / traveller self
C ____A = My deeply rooted self, my lucky charmer, my Angel