Last night I made the boys a special offer with the warning that it was a “good news/bad news” scenario. The good news was that if they finished their homework, we could watch a family movie. The bad news (for them)?
It was Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
You can imagine how that went over. Everyone else opted to do other things, but I still wanted to watch the movie because it’s been a very long time since I’ve seen it. In fact, it’s been so long, that I’d forgotten how rough it gets in some parts. It worked out well that the boys weren’t interested because it’s a gritty, real-life portrayal of not only the laughter, fun and shenanigans of a group of lifelong friends, but also of their dark struggles.
It’s a tale of pain, heartache and humanity on multiple levels.
What begins as young girls, sneaking out in their pajamas to tell stories, giggle by a campfire, and do the things little girls do, turns into an emotional, dramatic story. It’s the unfolding of the struggles of life through the eyes of the grown daughter of one of the Ya-Yas. She’s become a successful playwright who carelessly shares intimate details of her childhood with a reporter. The resulting article becomes the impetus for all-out war between mother and daughter.
A war that can only be ended by The Ya-Yas.
Her mother’s loyal friends, who’ve done life together since childhood, decide it’s time to get involved. Taking her back, against her will, to the family home by the lake, they share the grown up versions of the stories she remembers. They don’t make excuses for her mother’s behavior, but they bring context to the brokenness and pain she’s carried alone, over all the years. They share stories about family history, mental illness, heartbreak, pain, and loss so deep it left me sobbing. They dive into the dark places that have been closed and sealed for years in hopes of protection.
But they’re the places she has to open to find healing.
Her pain and anger only subside when she allows herself draws close enough to see her mother as a human. To see her struggle. To see her pain and her humanity. When she recognizes that her heart was so good. That she was doing the best she could. Only then, could she forgive and learn to love again.
“People are hard to hate up close. Move in.” ~ Brené Brown
If you dare to get close enough to the ones you’re angry with, you might see their humanity too. I know you don’t want to. I know it’s easier to stay mad and walled off to protect yourself. Oh, believe me, I know. But there’s so much freedom to be found when you step around the wall.
Will it be painful? Yes.
Healing often comes through pain. In the words of the Ya-Yas, “Old wounds heal pal.”
Old wounds heal.
Move in. Get curious. Look beyond the surface.
Most people are doing the best they can.
to more love,
P.S. Join us on Thursday as we kindle the fire and the spirit of the Ya-Yas. Learn more right here.