Updated: May 24, 2020
I would like to share my memory of watching the movie Poltergeist as a child. It was me and my favorite cousin Shaun; sitting together in my grandparent’s front room that we called the pink room (because all of the furniture was pink), in front of a tube television on a Saturday afternoon. Shaun is four years older than me and four times cooler than I ever wished that I could be. He was the big brother that I didn’t have, and wasn’t aware that I needed. As an introvert and then an only child, I was very comfortable being by self. I could play happily in silence, using my imagination to create whatever world or reality that I wanted. But with Shaun, my imagination was given the opportunity to show up in the real world outside of my thoughts. He was the first person that I realized appreciated my creativity and my humor. Shaun was a boy’s boy; a ball of pure energy. A ray of bright light, that said what he wanted to say, emoted in ways that I would have never tried to for fear of the consequences and he sought out adventures with me as his eager sidekick. At home, I often sat quietly in my room, playing with my action figures, coloring, reading, exploring the house or the back yard; causing little to no disruption. But with Shaun I learned how to play harder, laugh louder and run faster. How to break shit, get whooped and still keep it moving because the fun was worth any potential punishment. He pushed me. He challenged me to take chances that I normally wouldn’t take. He showed me that you can be defiant and still be loved and forgiven by those you defy. Somehow along my journey and as the years between us grew wider; eventually separating us, I forgot many of those lessons.
Back to poltergeist – I wouldn’t have watched is if it wasn’t at Shaun’s direction. I hated to feel scared but it felt like Shaun loved it. He would turn off all the lights in our grandparent’s basement and play the Michael Jackson Thriller album with that creepy Vincent Price monologue in it and dare me to sit and listen with him in the dark. He could watch those 80’s slasher movies and laugh at the scenes that caused me to not sleep for three days unless I slept in my parent’s bed. It was that spirit that brings us to the moment where we were watching Poltergeist on a Saturday afternoon. I was reluctant, but I didn’t want to disappoint him. Plus, it was early enough in the day were the sun was still out so agreed to watch it. The idea of a kid my age being snatched into a tv and separated from her parents possible for all eternity; while surrounded by strangers, scary people…dead people was enough to make me not sleep for a month. Yet somewhere in my vivid imagination, I knew that as long as I was anchored in that pink room with my big cousin and a bright sun shining through the window, I was safe.
At that age I would have never been able to comprehend how important light would end up being in my life. How much I would appreciate the sun. And how young Carol Ann’s mom screaming for her daughter to run into the light would so often be my message to those I love and wish to support when life gets dark and scary. When death is all around us. When dead energy tries to overtake us. As we begin this journey to loving lighter together, the light will come up often – in blogs, videos and coaching sessions. I assure you this is no gimmick. This is the foundation of healing. I wanted to start by honoring and thanking my cousin Shaun for supporting me then and giving me an opportunity to be brave enough to sit in a pink living room at my grandparent’s house, and watch a scary movie on a Saturday afternoon. In that moment I was able to face the fear that my imagination created. I was able to stare the thought of death down, and realize that when life gets really scary I can run towards the light to overcome it all.
Share what was the movie that you watched as a child that has taught you lessons that you apply to your life now?
Who was your childhood hero? That cool kid who made growing up more fun and exciting.
How do you or intend to honor that person’s contribution to your life today?