Last week, on a weekday morning, when the rest of the world was at work, I felt inspired to watch the Norwegian movie Thelma (in English subtitles.) I must admit I felt like I was a kid playing hooky from school. ? Yet something inside compelled me to watch this movie alone. In many ways, it was a difficult movie to watch because there were certainly many dark elements.
Watching movies, along with meditation, prayer, being in stillness, journaling, etc. are all powerful tools for healing the mind, and mind training. Retreating into a movie is no longer a way to distract myself from myself, but rather an opportunity to uncover aspects of the mind that are hidden from my daily awareness. As one of my teachers says, we must feel if we are to heal, and what we conceal, we simply cannot heal.
Thelma is a deep psychological exploration of how we become fearful of the power of our minds and from this space of separation, we project shame, guilt and unworthiness onto ourselves and others. Seeing our ‘dark’ thoughts, feeling our ‘dark’ emotions is necessary because if we don’t see how we can misuse our minds to make ourselves fearful, we also cannot reclaim our power of choice to direct our mind to an experience of peace, love and joy.
Thelma is a young girl brought up with a very strict upbringing; her power of choice is suppressed in the context of an unhealthy relationship with her parents. It seems she has supernatural powers which appear to have been misused in the past, so this too is pushed out of awareness. When Thelma arrives at university, she is drawn to college mates who drink and smoke. Eventually, she falls in love with a woman. She knows that these are all choices her parents would disapprove. This creates tremendous inner tension and distress for her. She develops seizures which eventually are diagnosed as psychogenic in origin.
When we don’t have tools to resolve the inner conflict or split mind, we encounter reflections of dis-ease. Yet what if we are willing to go down the rabbit hole of our subconscious mind, with healing as our purpose? Can we see the power of our mind in a different way? Can we redirect this power – that might have been misused to hurt or harm- towards healing for ourselves and our brothers and sisters?
I am still absorbing the wisdom of this movie- as I see past the symbols of the characters to a deeper allegorical story that invites each one of us to journey within, moving past our darkness and ultimately into an authentic experience of empowerment, light and love.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
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