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Collateral Beauty

I was scrolling through Netflix a while ago looking for a funny movie, something to pick me up. I saw one with Will Smith in the cast and thought, there we go! Will Smith is hilarious! This will be good.

It wasn't funny. Not at all.

Will Smith plays the part of a father who loses his six-year-old daughter to a rare form of cancer and retreats from life. His marriage falls apart and he spends all day building dominos up just to slowly push one over at the end of the day and watch the multiple layers of dominos collapse.

In anger, confusion, and hatred, he writes letters to the Universe. One to Love. One to Time. And another to Death.

To Love. We search and seek what we think it's supposed to be like, feel like, and act like. We look to movies, stories, and our family members to show us what Love is supposed to look like. We feel as though we aren't complete if we are single. There is something missing. I'm not whole. I'm not worthy. There is something wrong with me if I'm single for more than 2 months. We panic if we are single for more than 2 months, feeling as if all hope is lost and we will never find another Love again. I've suffered a great deal of Love Lost, and the unfortunate cutting away of who I am. Little by little in many relationships I've experienced, I slowly shut down the parts of me that I care so much about. He doesn't like my music? I won't play it anymore. He doesn't like how much I read? I do read a lot... I can do other things. He doesn't like how I wear yoga pants all the time? I can wear other things. Chip, chip, chipping away at who Emilee is. Until she doesn't recognize herself anymore.

The worst part? You likely won't recognize it at the time. I met the person I thought I'd spend forever with and slowly, bit by bit, I began to lose myself. He broke up with me and started dating someone else two days after I moved out. I cried, whaled, and begged him to stay. For what? Because I believed that he completed me. That I wasn't whole without him. That was the first time I experienced physical pain from a break-up. For a year.

The best part? Healing and dealing had to come solely from me. Nobody else built me up after that break-up. I did... and my sister who I owe about $4,678 in life coaching services... but besides that... at the end of the day, I had to choose to let it go. I had to choose to take off the rose-colored glasses and see the relationship for what it really was. Controlling. Unhealthy. Suffocating. And I had to own my insecurities that surfaced. I will never say it's his fault or mine. All relationships have two inputs.

The better part? I get to choose better next time. I get to use all of those past Love Lost experiences to craft a better partner and a better seeker for a partner. You are a gem, worthy to be loved and valued. Know that like the Earth is round. Sometimes it doesn't seem like the Earth is round, like when you look out over an expansive landscape. It looks flat. The Earth is round and you, my darling, are Love-- even when you don't feel it.

To Time. Time again. They say time heals all wounds, but this one won't. Time is a potter. It spins and molds us into new creations, but don't be fooled-- it's the same clay. It's the same hands on the potter's wheel. The only difference is pressure and time. Time is a life-raft that we cling to when we so desperately want the current situation to pass by. So many unfortunate eyes looked into mine and said, "It just takes time." They are right. It does just "take time." But where is the fast forward button? I don't want the dragging, horrible feeling of marching through each day feeling this way and living solely for the subtle little changes. Months go by and nothing feels different. We look at our lives and feel disappointed, dejected, and like we have accomplished nothing in life. Pause right there. That's a lie.

Write down all of the things that you have accomplished. Write down all of the things you have made it through-- especially the ones that you were certain you'd never make it through. Look at that list and be proud, knowing that TIME is working in your favor. Time comes to heal in the most gentle way so that it takes away none of the struggle. None of the fight. No, that is for you. You get to keep that honor. You fought and time brings you your reward.

To Death. We are all afraid of you and yet we will all experience you. Instead of being the color of black, maybe we can look closer to understand that black is actually a display, an absorption, of all of the colors that exist. It is happiness, it is sorrow, it is freedom, it is joy, and it is pain. Black holds all of the colors and reflects none of them to the human eye. Death is just like Black, I believe. It is a mystery, and we have our religions and beliefs but it is still a mystery. Do spirits remain within the realm of the earth? Is heaven real? Is the flight in the Eagle the spirit of my brother? When I put my hands on the Eath, I feel the spirit of many who came before me. We don't have these answers, Death is Black.

There is no sting like death can bring. There is no going back, it's the most final of announcements. It's a constant reminder of how fragile life is and how quickly it can pass. How many people had to survive so you could arrive? There is power in fostering your spirit and paying close attention to the spirits all around us. They are our guides. I have my brother here guiding me, still.

To Love, to Time, and to Death-- you shape us in ways we don't want to be shaped. We wish we could run from your embrace. But maybe if we really looked at the outcome of each, there we will find Collateral Beauty.

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