Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I learned from Toy Story 3

I recently went to the movie Toy Story 3 with a student, because (I admit) I was too embarrassed to go as an adult alone. I have always found children’s movies chock full of adult themes. Besides enjoying all the animation, I was intrigued by the way the movie spoke to adults. Here are the lessons I took from the film:

1: Life is full of transitions as we grow older, whether we like it or not. Turning 50 and entering midlife, I have been hit by the transition of getting older and not being able to do the same things as I could when I was younger. Sometimes I have to watch instead of participate.

2: We all need to be loved and valued, no matter where we are in spectrum of life. We all have a place in the toy box of life.

3: Lots-o Huggin' Bear showed that due to our woundedness, perceptions of love and life can be skewed and be emotionally damaging to ourselves and others. Like Lots-o, I can put people in cages and boxes in my mind using resources of fear, intimidation and power.

4: We need people in our lives to speak truth to us in a kind and encouraging way that leads us to the love (of God) like the clown in the movie. Also, we can be painted with a smile instead of a frown and be a different person.

5: Play is healthy whether you are a child, adolescent or adult. We all need to make time to play so that our lives can be nourished. Play frees us to imagine and create in order to find bliss in the present moment.

Maybe we all need to attend more chidlren’s animated movies, if not for the pleasure of the creative animation, then for the life lessons they offer.

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