It’s that time of year for family, faith/spirituality, trees, shopping, cooking, gatherings and binge-watching Christmas movies.
Two of my classic favorites are A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life. I watched these movies this week through the eyes of a Core Energy Coach. (see my previous post for an introduction to Core Energy Leadership and Catabolic and Anabolic Energy. I began to see the energetic journey similarities in Ebenezer Scrooge and George Bailey.
They both start the movies in very catabolic states. They feel victim to their surroundings. Scrooge is angry and feels put-upon, a victim of those who would celebrate the season and share their joy and good fortune (however much or little that is) with those less fortunate. Bah-humbug! When we first meet the adult George that Clarence is to save, we find that George feels like a powerless victim, invisible and unnecessary. He feels as if his life has been for nothing. He is a victim of circumstances that seem to have thwarted his dreams.
Through flashbacks, we learn that both Ebenezer and George start life “knowing” that their purpose is to escape their current environment. They do not belong where they are and feel separate from that place and the people. But how effective is it to run FROM something as opposed to running TOWARD something? If you do not know your purpose, see yourself as part of a greater fabric, and where you are going to, you may end up trapped and a “victim” of life.
In A Christmas Carol, we learn through The Ghost of Christmas Past, Ebenezer is trapped in boarding school, away from home and family, feeling unloved and unworthy. As he cannot initially escape boarding school, he throws himself into his school work hoping that in exceling he can be found worthy. He focuses on numbers and, consequently, money. It is quantifiable and, for him, a measure of self-worth.
He feels a victim and angry. So he will “show them” by accumulating more and more of his surrogate for worth – wealth/coin and through it power over others and a feeling of self-importance. He is living with destructive Catabolic Energy.
For George Bailey in It’s A Wonderful Life, we see that in his early youth, he would pull the lever in the drug store and always say “I wish I had a million dollars”. Of course, this toy seemed to award the wish. His plan is to “shake the dust” of his hometown off and “see the world”. Money would give him freedom. We even see him degrade his father’s choice (although perhaps unintentionally). But his father’s stroke and death, interrupt George’s plans and take him unwillingly down another path. He feels trapped by forces outside himself and forced into taking over the Savings and Loan. George becomes an apathetic victim. Another level of draining catabolic energy. Of, course Mr. Potter is a case study all by himself.
Through the intervention of Marley and the three spirits of Christmas, Ebenezer raises his Core Energy. He is “redeemed” and establishes connections with those around him and empathy. He steps away from the ego-centered catabolic energy and into the joy of self-transcendence. He has seen that he is part of the whole of mankind. He vows to keep the Spirit of Christmas in his heart every day.
With the help of Clarence, George raises his awareness of how his actions changed the lives of so many people and raise his energy to a very anabolic level. We watch George’s reactions move from apathy to anger to compassion for those whose lives were made worse by his not being born. Then, in the final scenes, George realizing that he wants to go back to the original world and accepts that he will face personal consequences for the loss but that others will be better off, finds inner peace and returns to his reality. There he is greeted by the final lesson that he is part of everyone and everyone is part of him, when the town pours in to support him. His clearly apparent joy is made even greater when the bell rings on the Christmas tree and it is pronounced by Zuzu that it means an angel (Clarence) has gotten their wings.
I believe that these movies resonant for me because of that inner journey the characters go on. I want to go there with them, to the peace and joy of the final scenes, the healing that occurs to get there, to becoming the best version of myself.
We are all not Scrooges or George Baileys in their opening state… well not entirely. But we all want to become the best versions of ourselves. That’s why I do what I do. I believe we all want that better version of ourselves looking back at us in the mirror. We want to realize our highest potential.
Isn’t that what New Year’s resolutions are about?
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and an Anabolic 2019.