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Inside Out: The power of acknowledgement

I just managed to catch a screening of Inside Out – what a beautiful movie it is! It explores the human mind, its emotions and complexity with so much ease. The movie is a gentle reminder of how we can choose to be in charge of our emotions. Along with a beautiful perspective on embracing sadness along with happiness. To do it so beautifully with a storyline and no sermonising makes it stand out.

My favourite bits about the movie are about the core memories and the various islands in relation to these memories. All of us have core memories which nourish us and give us our stability. In therapy, I often ask clients to dip into these to find strength and meaning. Isn't it strange how we forget our core memories, as we entangle ourselves with the so called world of grown ups? These memories do shape the fabric of who we are, how we choose to look at friendships, love and our overall attitude in life. In therapy, we also make inroads towards establishing new core memories and allowing them to guide our life.

The part about the imaginary friend – Bing Bong and his tryst with sadness was such a powerful narrative. As he allowed himself to feel his sadness, acknowledge it, it did serve to heal him. All our emotions whether it is fear, happiness, joy or disgust have a place in our lives. Sometimes in our moments of sadness we realise who we really are. It’s important to feel the sadness, let it flow through your body and experience it, as a client one said. In this case, Bing Bong chose to cry it out… with candies falling from his eyes. What a wonderful imagination and a creative genius.

I absolutely loved the resilience that Joy brought in at every stage. Her ability to reinterpret situations, use humour and focus on the positive reminded me so much about the school of Positive Psychology. Our ability to look at our strengths, derive strength from our core memories and allow these connecting islands to be a value system that drives our life. Isn’t that an empowering idea?

The note on which the movie ends, is fantastic. Understanding how even the so called negative emotions such as anger, sadness and fear can at at times serve a protective function. It helps us make choices, that do work well for us. Lastly the human ability to acknowledge mistakes, make amends and reestablish the old bonds. Don’t we all go through reconstructing new islands at every stage?

I left the theatre with hope, belief in human potential and feeling more in charge. More power to Pixar.

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