One of the main character arcs that I deal with in my book is letting go. In spiritual circles letting go means allowing things to come into our lives. Allowing the things we want to manifest. Letting go in the context of personal loss allows us to move on, to continue to live and not live in the past. You see this a lot in cases of lost love or family death. People tend to look at pictures or read letters of the past.
I think they’re trying to console themselves. In the immediate moment after the incident it can help. But if people do this after a significant time has gone by is it healthy? And what is a significant time? To a fruit fly whose lifespan is a day, then a few minutes could be pretty damn significant.
In UP by Pixar Carl has to deal with a difficult loss and broken promise. It’s pretty evident that he can’t move on. Life all around him represented by high-rise development is being built, life moving forward. He just sits on his porch all day and sulks.
Then comes a little chubby Asian boy who helps show him the way. His name is Russell. Side note...
The movie never states the Asian boy’s last name, so I assume by his slanty eyes and straight black hair that he’s Asian. Even IMDB has no last name on the chubby boy. And if he is Asian, man, the boy speaks Engrish good. I mean he speaks English well. The writers had the forethought not to put an Asian accent with the Asian boy. How revolutionary.
In both my book and UP the two concepts of letting go, which is really one, is dealt with. Because in life you must let go if you are to create what it is you want. You must let go if you are to move forward. Isn’t that what we all want?
How do you let go?
I wrote a little about this in my Feel the Anger.
Should there be a mourning period? Of course. I think it's unhealthy not to have one. But what should it be filled with?
I’ve fallen in love many times. Deeply. When those relationships ended, even by my own doing, the pain that followed ripped through me. I cannot describe how much the pain tore me up, how it made my life impossible to live. Most of you who’ve loved and lost know. It sucks.
Aside from filling my time with the good memories of my past girlfriends, I spent a lot of time learning from my mistakes. I read books, observed other relationships, scrutinize my current behavior to see if I lived in the past or moved toward my future. I took an honest view of my mistakes.
One of the things I did wrong was wanting to be right all the time. That it was important to be right. Another words, my ego got in my way. Whether I was right or not wasn’t important. My girlfriend had to understand my point of view. Because, damn it, my point of view was important. It’s the source of my happiness. Well...
I’m the source of my happiness.
The only person who should care about my point of view is me.
Everyone has their own point of view, but it matters little to me. I cannot be responsible for their happiness. They can’t be responsible for my happiness. We as individuals are responsible for our own happiness.
It is here that we find empowerment.
Had I truly learned this, at least half the arguments would have disappeared.
The sad thing is most live through other people’s eyes. It is the source of so much conflict.
Isn’t the meaning of life to be happy?
Being able to move forward can definitely facilitate that as UP shows us with humor. The end of the movie shows that when we let go we get what we want and more. Watch it as it teaches an important lesson.