I wanted to relax a bit and decided to put on ‘the Passion of the Christ’. I saw it on its opening week and remember crying through much of it (and I am NOT a crier). This being Lent season, I felt it only appropriate to dig it up and watch it again, but this time I couldn’t make it past the first 5 minutes before I had to turn it off. I know the message of the movie was what I wanted, but I couldn’t deal with the extra stuff that I apparently missed the first time around – the complete misrepresentations that I assume were for cinematic effect. I couldn’t tolerate it.
If you aim to do something or be someone and you stumble a bit, that’s one thing. But to purposefully misrepresent yourself, facts, or a situation, for whatever reason, just grinds my gears. I probably have such an issue with it because I was good at it, rather, allowing it and even enabling it.
Example: Once I had a friend, someone I considered a best friend, who made no qualms about telling me (after 15 years of knowing them) that they knew they were a scumbag. Now that’s pretty strong language and a pretty strong claim to admit in the first person (I know I am a scumbag). It was a “clutch the pearls” moment — I’d known this person for what seemed like ever. I knew all the proverbial good they’d done (I also knew the evil they were capable of, but we’ll come back to that). My verbal and heart response was “Noooo…you’re not a scumbag…don’t say that!” To add to that, I would accent those “good” things they seemed to have done in my mind to justify how I wanted to see them. I chose to only see their representative. Eventually, all I allowed myself to pretend got blown away because the scumbag fully surfaced and ripped through my life like a tornado, with no apology. In hindsight I recognize that no matter what I wanted them to be, the real person was an outright mess. I know that what I should have done when I got this gem of information was to immediately state that if that is what they thought about themselves, and had no desire to fix it, then I had to exit stage left because I wasn’t going to allow their truth to become my nightmare.
Moral(s) of the Story: if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, wears a “Ducks Rule” t-shirt, and will tell you it’s a duck…I can assure you that it is indeed an actual duck. And you are not obligated to accept a duck trying in vain to pass itself off as a swan.