Life Lessons from Scary Movies

Y’all… Guilty pleasure confession. I LOVE scary movies! The best ones, in my humble opinion, are the ones that heavily examine the interplay between good and evil. Beyond the thrill I get from being scared, I often walk away from those contemplating some of the moral intricacies explored in these films. I watched an interesting one on Netflix the other night called Errementari, in which a blacksmith makes a deal with the devil, feels that he was cheated, and goes about correcting things in the ways he sees fit. It’s not everyday you see someone who is more determined than the devil, but it was inspiring in its own way, for sure. The story started this thought process for me about things we can learn about life from scary movies. I had several, but I’ll start with this one.

Whether your belief is that the embodiment of the evil is the devil, or something less specific, evil is always the great liar. In scary movies, the devil is generally portrayed as extremely tempting and extremely manipulative. He always sees into the desires of our heart and promises us whatever means the most to us. He says exactly what we want to hear in exactly the way we want to hear it. He draws people in with empty promises of getting all the specific things that they are obsessed with. People can also be obsessed with negative things, and he strikes at the core of those, too. He sees the deepest insecurities and plays on them. He says exactly what people are afraid everyone else is thinking, and what they themselves are thinking at the lowest points of their existence. He breaks people with their own worst fears to lure them to him. So, my question to you is, where are your obsessions exposing you to weakness? Are there things you want so badly that you would compromise yourself to get them? Do you carry around negative concepts about yourself that are so powerful that other people could own you with them?

My biggest one is this: I’ve recently realized in my own life that I was giving another person tremendous power over me by fearing and being obsessed with the negative interplay between us. I don’t want to interact with this person at all, but our life circumstances require it to some extent. So, I obsess about it. I’m always anticipating what the next battle between us is going to be. I shut down when the conflict happens. I can’t properly decompress from it so I exhibit aspects of PTSD. I’m spending lots of time, energy, and money trying to gain control of this situation for myself. Then this week, I woke up one morning and realized I’m doing all this to myself. Yes, this person does lots of crappy things, but I let myself be affected in these ways and to this extent. And guess what? I’m not anymore. I’ve seen my role in my own undoing, and I will no longer participate in my own breaking. Take a step back. Can you see areas in your own life where your obsessions are doing you a disservice? I’d love to hear from you.

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