How Buffy Helps Me Process Big Emotional Themes.

From 2019.

One thing I learned from Mentors of the past that seems to be true, is that you have to feel your stuff. The feelings have to be present. And you have to acknowledge them and feel them in order to heal the associated wounds.

I think that’s why sometimes having our old wounds triggered is a gift. While those feelings are activated and present – we have an opportunity for completion. It takes some guts to face the big ones. But it’s always worth it. You get to dissolve a piece of the toxic wound. You get to reclaim a piece of you. You get to heal something.

One of my strategies during these times is to use a TV show or a movie as a kind of intermediary or surrogate. I came across this intuitively – and I seem to have a knack for knowing what I need at any time. A heartbreaking love story. A battle between good and evil. Something to connect me to my grief..

What I found was that it feels safer to allow myself to get invested in the stories on the screen – rather than to get pulled back completely into my own stories. And as long as it’s activating and taking me in a journey with the same kind of feelings or emotional themes – it doesn’t matter whether it’s my stories or theirs. They (the emotions) are activated and present. And they get to be felt to completion. And that seems to be the magic of it.

The stories on the screen take you on a journey that completes in the allotted timeframe. You get to feel closure. You get to feel involved and also removed. It feels safer, so you can let yourself dive in deeper – knowing that when the credits roll, you’ll be done.

Today has been a Buffy binge. It was exactly the right episodes of the right season to sync exactly with some themes I’ve been feeling over recent weeks. And where as I might second guess myself, or think that I’m not allowed to feel those things (or need to minimise them to make allowances for other people) – I can be totally there for Buffy!

When I acknowledge that it’s totally justified for her to feel that way, then I allow it to be more OK for me to feel that way. It’s a little sneaky, but it’s something that works for me.

So anyway. Maybe give it a try. It could work for you?