Thursday, January 11, 2018

Inside Out

"Do you ever look at someone and wonder, what is going on inside their head?"
- Joy, Disney Pixar's "Inside Out"

One of the things I wonder the most about is what is going on inside other people's minds. I find my own mind fascinating and I imagine that what goes on in other people's minds is fascinating too. As I have grown older, I have learned so much about what goes on in my mind and how it impacts what I do, who I am, and how I respond in certain circumstances. I am surprised how often I have epiphanies about my own emotions which lead to better understanding of other people's actions.

The season after Epiphany is a time of learning new things. The lectionary takes us through stories of the disciples having epiphanies about who Jesus is and why he does what he does. Some of this learning takes place in seeing something new of Jesus, some of it takes place through examining their own understandings of themselves and Jesus. Through their own emotions and reactions, the disciples learn how much they need Jesus and how amazing God's gift of grace really is.

One of the best movies I have seen which shows the ways spiritual and emotional growth are tied together and shows the epiphanies needed to learn along the way is Disney Pixar's "Inside Out." If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend taking the time to watch it. While through the guise of watching a girl transition by moving to a new home and growing up, we get to meet the emotions inside her head, in the forms of Disgust, Fear, Anger, Sadness, and Joy, all of whom have different perspectives and ideas.


Disgust in the movie is characterized by a green lady who has lots of opinions, high expectations, short patience, and is very protective. Her characterization matches up with how many people experience the emotion of disgust, feelings of needing protection from whatever is disgusting us, reacting when circumstances don't meet our expectations, and finding ways to express our opinions, both in words, inflection, and action. Try an experiment, see where disgust shows up in your life this week. What does disgust teach you about your relationships with others and your relationship with God?