It's that feeling that takes over you as the God like beam floating overhead reflects against the clean silver woven screen sprawling out over the front of the auditorium. The empowering moment that has paused you from devouring the next handful of that addictive butter coated popcorn. They are about to make it, overcome evil, sacrifice themselves, save the day, maybe the universe. Butterflies flutter within you, the small hairs on your arm start to stand. As if the sensation hadn't already taken over you the music pumps from all directions of the velvet lined walls and your heart starts to beat with the perfectly appropriate rhythm of the chosen score. In this moment you vow to yourself that you are going to do better, be better. The credits roll, adrenaline pumping it's way through your veins still (somehow surpassing the fat from the butter) as you make your way past the audience still seated, you feel an air of confidence about you on your way out to the glowing light just past the door. Then just as you pass the threshold BOOM! you're transformed.
Transformed right back into your normal self that is. Was it the movie worker running out into the hallway yelling "cleanup in auditorium four, and bring a mop bucket," or was it all the people that exited after you chanting their critiques on the film that brought you back down to reality.
Either way it didn't take much. So many times this is how it has played out for me but this time, though I lost the feeling of empowerment, I didn't lose the desire to do better.
You often hear the old saying "In order to love another you must first love yourself". Ive never liked this idea, when I think of people who love themselves first before anyone else I immediately think of selfish people. So I looked to my favorite film heroine to see if i could draw the conclusion that she loved herself. Taking out my journal I started by simply by listing qualities I loved about the character:
She saves lives.
She puts her loved ones before herself.
Now this got me to thinking of my daily routine for this specific occasion:
Woke up, did my makeup for a date where ultimately I would be in a dark auditorium.
I bought not only a movie themed tin of popcorn, but a matching beverage cup for twelve additional dollars.
I got treated to a nice diner where I even indulged in dessert.
When I reread my routine for this day, I saw a girl who clearly loves herself. So why don't I feel that way. I treated myself very well yet I want to be more like my favorite heroine. Maybe this phrase should replace the word love with respect or maybe I should change my definition of what love means. So how can I learn to love myself like I love this fictional character? Well I can not save lives, but I can start. I could save the lives of animals by choosing not to consume them. I can start to save the planet by choosing to eliminate my use of plastics (which can take up to a thousand years to degrade and release harmful chemicals into the air). I can start sacrificing things I prefer, that make my life easier, but will make the world to come worse for future generations. This is where I start to respect myself, and it starts with loving the gift of the world, its people and all of its creatures around me, just maybe I will love myself at the end.
You can start too.