The other evening I was channel surfing and happened to land on a rerun of "Everybody Loves Raymond." The writers of this show are witty and clever as they weave unbelievable humor into this dysfunctional family. Every archetype of human foibles seems to make its way to the surface in this sitcom, and just when I think I can't stand the unkindness, the screaming, the sarcasm, or the criticism, something happens that saves it for me; Frank will let Marie and the audience know that he really does love her; Marie let's Frank and the audience know that she really does understand him; Raymond and Robert in spite of their pettiness at each other really do defend and support their brotherhood; Debra, ever long suffering at Marie's interference, is a stabalizing force, but gives in to her own fits and tantrums, and yet, as an observer there's no doubt that she loves her family and her spoiled husband.
There's just so much noise on the show with the kind of yelling that hurts the heart, but it's the kind of yelling I sometimes want to do, but don't, and the kind of insults I think but don't voice. I really can't defend that kind of family life, but perhaps it's honest.
It's just such a strange juxtaposition of love and hate...the things that happen in real families, but perhaps in other families it happens in a more civilized way, or then again, maybe not.
Ok, so what am I rambling about?
This particular rerun was Robert and Amy's wedding when Marie stands up and says a mouthful of ridiculous things at that point where the Priest asks if there's anyone who knows any reason why they shouldn't be married. Marie goes on and on as people are sitting in stunned shock. She's not really voicing an objection, but she has something she needs to get "off her chest," and she does as she multiplies words upon words upon words. Raymond sits down on the step as she drones on. The Priest joins him, and then suddenly she finishes saying what's on her mind. They limp through the rest of the ceremony and the scene segues into the reception, where we see a bedraggled, wounded, deflated bride and groom take their seat at the head table. Marie has marred what was supposed to be the happiest day of their life.
Next is the toast and Raymond is asked to speak a few words. He's not sure of himself. Everyone is sort of on auto-pilot just wanting the get this "happy" occasion over. I couldn't help feeling sorry for Robert and Amy, embarrassed for the families, and completely irritated at Marie, even if she did have good intentions.
I don't remember everything Ray said in his toast, but I was moved to a place of a metaphor in life by what he said. The writers had triumphed again with a hidden gem of wisdom that exploded in my consciousness.
He spoke about the video which was made of the wedding, and he openly spoke about what his mother did which ruined the ceremony, but then he said that the great thing about making a video was the ability to "EDIT," to cut out the parts that weren't good, that didn't add to it, that marred the beauty of the event. I honestly don't know if he expanded the "editing" to include those things in life which are not so happy, or if my mind simply ran-away with the thought? Whatever it was, I was caught up in it.
It really does appeal to my senses to consider all of the things to be "edited" and removed from the constantly running camera/video of life. I don't have to play the reruns of painful events. They simply do not have to be a part of my life's story anymore; I can edit them, especially that which doesn't add to anything. I'm not talking about the painful parts which have brought me to higher consciousness and greater learning and understanding, but that which keeps me in darkness. I do not know about the editing process of film, but there are many ways to "edit" the film of the soul, repentance and forgiveness being two of the most powerful.
I remember connecting with the Greek meaning of repentance as that of being the simplicity of "changing one's thinking." That definition appealed to me for it didn't carry the judgments of "sin" which had wedged into my world view. I can change my thinking, and what follows a changed mind is changed actions, and changed habits, and then a changed life. Yep, the Greeks have it right.
Forgiveness is the other side of the coin. Simply desiring to forgive and speaking the words are the beginning steps to the freedom which awaits those who bless themselves by this act, and by extension, they bless all who are involved in their life.
Moving out of judgment, honoring the paths of others as they call forth their lessons, concentrating on the business of my life and not other's lives, are powerful tools for achieving forgiveness. Never giving away the power for anyone to offend in the first place, is a supreme surrendering to the energy and essence of forgiveness before it's needed in one's life.
My intent was not to give a Sunday School lesson here, but just to offer up thoughts of "editing" the soiled parts of the video tape of our lives. The metaphor has merit in my world, perhaps it can work in yours as well. Namaste.