460. American Pastoral: My Reflection

I recently watched the movie ‘American Pastoral’ and I can say it became a very interesting reflection to myself and my past in the role of a teenage daughter within a family. In fact, I wanted to catch this movie in the theatres because I watched the trailer and saw the plot related to a ‘typical American family’ that sees the only child  – female – involved in extremist political groups that started shaping her character to a point of becoming a terrorist.

There were moments of her ‘early stages’ of rebellion at home that reminded me so much of myself, like how this girl is screaming at the television news and calling them ‘fuckers’ and just becoming insta-angry at what’s being said on TV. Yep, been there, done that many times, creating a constant battle with the point of ‘having the TV on’ and the news themselves, getting pissed and worried about everything that was happening, blaming the corporations, the politicians the ‘unaware people’ etc. – as I’ve written many times in these blogs already.

But this is not the only point, in the whole history I was able to see the extremes of what happens when there’s a child within a family where the parents are the epitome of ‘perfection’ as in ‘model individuals’ according to the usual social standards – the father being the popular American football player in school that becomes successful in his business/life, marrying a lady that had been a beauty queen and essentially having all the ingredients to be the ‘perfect family.’ Yet, their child from a very early age starts to react to that, desiring the opposite of what her parents consider to be a mark of success and tradition. She starts doing the opposite like affiliating herself with ‘political groups’ that want to essentially disrupt any sense of ‘American Dream’ or ‘normalcy’ at that time – 1960’s, 1970’s in America – starts talking about being anti war, anti capitalism and being constantly pissed off at the world, at the system and at her parents for being ‘so perfect.’

I could relate to that so much based on how I was back then. I didn’t take it that far into becoming an extremist, but I very well know I could have gone into some sort of extremes to antagonize – and that’s the keyword here – whatever is considered as ‘normal’ or ‘mainstream’ or ‘moral’ to any society. My way of challenging this was through the way I behaved, talked, dressed, my preferences, my relationship preferences, the ways in which I had ‘fun’ all of what I built as myself was precisely a way to ‘unconsciously’ rebel and set myself aside from the rest of my family, a way to make myself the ‘black sheep’ and ‘show them’ that I wasn’t going to be like them, which means I was existing in judgment of them, their ways/behaviors, preferences, traditions and the rest of ‘who they are’ in an attempt to ‘change them,’ to ‘make others care’, to ‘have them open their eyes!’– wrong way of course! But I thought that was the way back then.

Here, I know that many might have gone through something similar to this in their teenage years, which is kind of common at some point in everyone’s life, though here the key is looking at creating a healthy balance between awareness and ignorance, between considering ‘the world out there’ and one’s own life and doings.  Therefore I share this so as to not follow through the ways of the people in the movie where they start reprimanding and preventing the girl from having contact with others, only causing the inevitability of her running away from home – but instead, be able to understand that phase of ‘awakening’ of sorts that many teenagers might go through and so, making it that phase where parents can be understanding and considerate of that phase, not jumping into antagonizing it or fearing it or attempting to curb it with ‘locking them up’ either – in a school or their room or ‘away from home’, but creating a space of comprehension of what this desire to ‘show the bad and the ugly’ of the world and being interested in acknowledging it in fact means, which is also why as parents one would have to first and foremost have already gone through that phase of also developing some introspection to be willing to face and see all those things that we usually hide away from in the idea of ‘ignorance is bliss’.

 

american pastoral

 

In the movie the daughter becomes that embodiment of ‘becoming aware of all the things that the parents were oblivious of’ or simply not caring much about – yet she took it to an extreme in order to make a statement, in order to ‘rebel’ against the status-quo. Yet she would eventually find out that becoming an ‘extremist’ is not the way forward and it gets to a situation where it compromises her own health and stability for the sake of ‘caring for the world or others’ and turning it into a religion, which is what happened to her.

But without going into the movie itself so much, bringing it back to myself I could see how I could have gone into certain extremes in my life in some similar ways as Merry in the movie, and I am so thankful that I found the Desteni message relatively early on in my life to prevent myself from going further down the rabbit hole and till this day, still walk my process of ‘stopping antagonizing’ the world, stopping my anger and sadness in relation to all things that we usually go blissfully unaware of, realizing that becoming emotional and a ‘fighter’ myself against everyone is not the way, will not show to people an answer but only will endorse fighting and blaming endlessly, which is pointless, absolutely pointless to the objective of learning self-responsibility and actually doing something about it to stand as that solution we usually only get ‘pissed’ about others not doing so for themselves or ‘the world.’

Here then I can stand as proof that no matter how much one gets angry/pissed at ‘the world’ or attempts to do certain extreme ways to ‘get people’s attention’ it one won’t actually change anything, it won’t get a message through either, one won’t actually in fact contribute to anything but only enhance the usual ‘war mentality’ when we go ‘fighting against everything that we define is wrong!’ and becoming of a belligerent nature that is ‘non-stopping’ for all the wrong reasons. I can see myself in that diligence and belligerence that Merry – the daughter – had in so many ways, but I’ve learned to redirect that diligence to my own self-support, to supporting others to learn how to also stand and live by principles that we can absolutely then prove to ourselves and show to ourselves what it means to ‘be the solution’ in this world, instead of going fighting and blaming and even inflicting damage upon others in order to ‘make a statement.’

It’s really silly how the protesting nature exists in us which has its origins in our tantrums as children and making it a point to ‘possess’ ourselves with anger and create a whole drama to get what we want – well at least that’s what happened in my case and even if I didn’t get what I wanted, I developed a relationship to anger from a very early age and later on suppressed it in so many ways, only to later on have to re-open it through this process of knowing myself, taking responsibility for my mind, my body, my everyday living and this thus becoming a point that I have been walking for some years now in order to Stop the fight within myself and ‘towards others in the world’ – but instead understand my reactions, decide to stop them in the realization that: my anger, my rage won’t do anything in this world of substantial change, it doesn’t nurture anything, it only feeds the war mentality.

So I instead self-forgive these emotional experiences as the ‘habitual me’ I had become, and direct myself to focus on my own self-creation which practically means going changing, aligning, redirecting every bit of myself that may want to ‘slip through the cracks’ into the old patterns of ‘blame’ and ‘anger’, then I make it a point to rather change that which I judge ‘outside’ in the inside of myself, learning to live words that are supportive and dedicating my life to do this with myself and those that I come to interact and support on a daily basis.

This then prevents any ‘extremist’ behavior, this then prevents ‘terrorists’ as well, this then prevents sects, cults and religious extremism where people get so diligent and belligerent with a set of beliefs that they are willing to ‘walk over others’ – harm, abuse, discriminate, hate – in order to ‘make a point’ that stands in a morality point of what’s good or bad, missing out the equality equation: what’s best for all, what’s the common sense solution, what’s our common/one and equal responsibility for what exists in this world, what’s humbleness in considering others?

And these set of principles and questions above has assisted me a lot whenever my ‘belligerent and extremist mindset’ wants to pop out, fueled with some righteousness which usually becomes a way to justify our anger or hatred, which is once again only self-interest, only believing it will ‘make a point’ but it doesn’t, it only alienates people, it only makes us walking ‘angry fits’ that show no solution at all.

Instead  I’ve found and proven that actually developing humbleness, consideration, embracing others as myself is a much more self-challenging process because then I don’t pose myself as ‘superior’ and ‘more aware’ than others believing ‘I know what’s right and wrong’ –  but instead have to challenge myself to find ways to talk to any person, about any topic, understand ‘where they are’ in their life/process of awareness and recognize that the best way to assist anything or anyone in this world, is by first focusing on changing me, stopping my belligerent nature and instead becoming an embracing one, one that understands what ‘living as equals’ in fact means, and this is then the process here which has actually supportive results that emerge as ripples here and there, without me even having to ‘push’ for it, because we simply become the ‘living words,’ we just are being the living examples and that’s as far as we can go when it comes to ‘changing the world’ really, doing so with one’s words, thoughts and deeds in every  moment that we are alive… but wanting to change ‘others’ and ‘fighting them’ is definitely not the way at all.

So, I suggest checking out this movie also for parents because the relationship between them and toward the child is quite an interesting one, if anything one that can leave aspects to learn how to prevent to the extremes in the story, and rather focusing on channeling/redirecting a teenager’s ‘awakening’ into one of self-creation and self-support  

Enjoy 🙂

 

American Pastoral Merry

 

If you’d like some support in preventing and being 1+ person that stands up for life in a practical day to day living manner, check out:

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About Marlen

I'm a human being that has decided to live by the principle of Life in Equality and place myself as a point of support for everyone that's willing to birth themselves as Life in this world. View all posts by Marlen

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