Tag: Enlightened

It’s Okay


Due to little interest in new releases, I’ve been going back to re-watch the shows that come to mind often. My re-viewing this time is It’s Okay That’s Love, a compassionate and modern story that deals with a wide-ish spectrum of mental illness. Each character has a secret try to keep hidden, from themselves mainly, but is led toward openness and uncomfortable honesty, which I would call the main hope.

Much of the drama takes place in a shared house situation, where lines between private and public knowledge are paper thin. Very little is off limits, or dealt with in a charged way, which is playfully symbolized by house members often reaching into one another’s food.  Rather, there is a refreshing matter-of-factness between people, without expectations of perfection. In some ways it is a teachy drama, but not preachy. One friend said that it actually made her a better person.

I do dream of a world that aspires to understand the way others are eventually understood in this fictional universe of supportive intentional networks.

In one scene, two from the shared house are eavesdropping on a lovers quarrel outside, but their act is not intrusive. The reasons are rooted in loving responsibility for one another, and expected by those eavesdropped on within the larger context. One character is a young barista with Tourette’s Syndrome, and the other an elder Chief Psychiatrist with lingering feelings from a long-over divorce; they are the best of friends.

facing myselfIn the hospital, we meet a patient kept for treatment because she keeps returning to a home where she suffers physical abuse – parents and siblings not accepting her expression of gender. She doesn’t understand why she is kept for treatment until forced to take a long look at her most recent injuries.

It is self-harm to go back into brutal situations, even a sign of suicidal tendencies. Common sense, yet I hadn’t seen that before. That particular bit of wisdom about what constitutes self-harm must mean a lot to the writer, because it appears again and again in other scenarios, including that of the main patient in the show, who dissociates due to torturous guilt and misplaced sense of responsibility.

And then, there is the honest feeling but bumpy romance at center. Missing the magic, becomes the magic.

show and tell

This is complimentary material to an autobiography I’ve been making my way through, written by a woman who calls herself a cured schizophrenic. According to medical definitions this is impossible, however writing during the early part of the book takes us into her affliction in such a raw-yet-sensible way that it is hard to doubt recovery.

Perhaps we need to change our notions of recovery altogether.

Enlightenment, The Secret, and Do-Good-ing

Already last year I knew something had changed; a shift away from “love and light” to something more balanced, or even, dark. Maybe it began with the most intendingly gentle person I’d ever known… the way the judgment and scrutiny I felt in their presence brought me to question the compassion of their way of seeing.

The other night I found myself awake (which happens about once a week: unable to sleep I find a stream and binge on a well-reviewed television show I missed in my previous rejection of TV) and watching Enlightened. Now canceled, it is the story of an executive who has a melt down and flees to an idyllic island rehab, where she has a genuine change of heart – true insights about herself and world. The show is about integration really: what happens upon one’s “returning enlightened to the marketplace” (reference: the Taoist Ox-herding pictures), to interact with the world known before?


Enlightened is a validating story, appealing to me for the clash between Laura Dern’s character and the world she no longer fits into, and due to showing that she remains the self-absorbed person she’d been before, but with a bright new new mission which she then projects onto the those around her… a “do-gooder” as she is called by her ex. She is not perfected; she is still unaware of and disconnected from others’ feelings and struggles. And over time one begins to realize how much better this is, than the ideal she sees herself in.

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