I know that’s a big title! In this case, it’s the title of a series my SO and I have been watching. It’s on HBO Go which is accessed by AppleTV-not sure how to pick it up otherwise.
For a little background, we watch a couple of hours of TV in the evening. Our favorites are always Masterpiece Theatre or something else similar. Then we start looking for a series that we can watch in increments. There are many that I start watching and then as they go on and get progressively violent, I opt out-like Boardwalk Empire. We’ve watched several on HBO Latino-as long as they have English subtitles. One that we liked is called “Alice”. Takes place in Brazil. This one is not violent. And some kinds of violence don’t bother me-like Good Behavior with Michelle Dockery. I never really liked Lady Mary-but I love her in this! It’s amazing to me the amount of violent, kind of dark stuff my SO can watch-especially since he’s spiritual, a meditator. But there you go. If there’s any kind of animal violence, I’m out immediately.
And so, after finishing up a series-I found myself scanning through the list of series and came across one called “Enlightenment”. It stars Laura Dern who in the first episode we learn has just come out of a re-hab facility. She’s been there a couple of months (we’re led to believe). She had had an upper level job at a major corporation. Had an affair with her boss, went totally out of control with alcohol and whatever else came her way.
So, she’s just come out of re-hab and is in a totally different place. She’s very spiritual, saying affirmations to herself, reading and re-reading self help books. Trying to look at and be in the world from a different place. She’s broke and has to move back in with her mom-who thinks she’s a nut case and who has her own intimacy issues.
There are times that this show is really funny and other times it’s sad. Often there were scenes that had my SO extremely frustrated saying how unrealistic it was.-(He always forgets that this is entertainment) But to me, it was realistic. It was realistic because here she is, newly sober with a new way of looking at life. Trying to find a new way to deal with situations. A new way to “be” in the world. The problem is is that she also has a naivety about her. Time and again she’s disappointed to find that people don’t think like she does. My God! How many times have I made that mistake? “Illusion is for disillusion”.
And while she continues to move forward and believe in her new found philosophy and way of being, she keeps re-visiting her past in the form of her ex husband played by Luke Wilson. While he’s receptive to her, he’s still drinking and doing drugs. Doesn’t want to stop. We see in one episode one of the catalysts for him being in this situation-why he is trying to medicate his feelings and reality away. She still loves him and even stays with him through a whole night of “getting high” ordeal-but she finds it sad. Not a place she can go back to. And yet, she can’t completely cut him out of her life. But when he finally does get help-she doesn’t want him anymore..
I don’t want to give away the whole show. But what I got from it is about staying “on course”. Staying true to oneself-even when others betray you in the sense for not thinking the same way. In her sobriety she found a connectedness to others that she didn’t have before. I know that one too! You think you’re connected to those drinking buddies, but you’re not. They are just the excuses we give ourselves to drink.
All of her feelings are new to her-because she’s sober. She is seeing things in new ways because she’s sober. And, because she’s sober, she’s able to have much more empathy for her fellow human beings-she is becoming less selfish. It’s a process. One of the things that was made clear in the show is that she did the work. It wasn’t a magical awakening. And there were times that it would have been easy for her to slip back into her past persona.
Getting and staying sober is a process. It involves work and is a process that needs to be continually nurtured. Life itself is a process. Each day holds new opportunities for us to be our best selves. New opportunities to be different. To see things in a new way-to connect in a new way. Sometimes that means giving up or leaving behind some thing or person that no longer fits. Opportunites to shed old illusions and drop old patterns.
In my last post-about hitting the one year mark sober, I said something to the effect that I really haven’t experienced any “Aha” kinds of things- That yes, day to day life was so much better. But, now at my 388th sober day, I can say that I have noticed that I am experiencing a kind of joy and awareness that I haven’t felt for years. I wake up happy and grateful. I have clarity and energy. I feel good. There’s a very subtle undercurrent of overall wellbeing.
Am I enlightened? Probably not! I’m not levitating….yet!