Our Grandgirl, Savannah, was hanging out at our house one late Fall weekend. She's a beautiful, positive, hopeful soul, as well as an avid reader.
She was curled up on the sofa under a soft blanket, scrolling through movie options. She stopped at one and said, with excitement, "Grammy, I've read this book! Can I watch this?"
I, being the cautious Grammy I am, looked it over and agreed that she could hit the play button.
As the movie began and progressed, I began to progress into increasingly uncomfortable feelings as I watched difficult themes and family situations were painfully portayed as the story played out. Themes that my sweet Grandgirl shouldn't even know about. I kept questioning my decision to say yes to that pressing of play. I kept looking at her as she was taking in the story of this family in distress and I noticed her reactions were as if she was watching a Disney movie. I was confused and dealing with my own triggers mental and physical discomforts when I called my husband over and said "Babe, is this ok?" He said "she's fine, I'm here if she has questions" Now keep in mind, this movie was very PG. I wasn't allowing my innocent Grandgirl to be corrupted in front of me, but the family members in the portrayal yelling at and hurting each other with mean words was more than I could take.
I told Hubby that I was retreating to the studio to just have a quiet moment.
I was amazed at my anger, my triggered mind and body was looking for quick relief. What's my default, always, even before prayer is to pick up a brush. I grabbed the nearest canvas which happened to be a 3' x 3' square gallery wrapped canvas and began making marks layering gels, with violets and coppers. Immediately, the tears came, the prayer flowed, and the comfort and clarity entered in.
I left the piece and came back in to the final 20 minutes of the movie. I sat beside Savannah. She was smiling. I asked her how the movie was and how she could deal with the conflicts in this family's story. She looked at me and smiled sweetly and said, "I knew it was ok, because I knew how the story would end" I was amazed at her answer. I looked at Ted (Hubby) and he said something that was so valuable to me. Still is. He said, "Her filters are not your filters"
Her experiences with family and life are hope filled. Mine with family were not so much and those past wounds created a filter of distrust and pain and a desire to wrap her up and protect her from the discomfort that I was feeling. The interesting thing is she wasn't experiencing any of that. None of that crossed her mind. Not even her reality at all!
As I immersed myself, day's later, back into the process of the piece I began that day, I learned a valuable lesson on perspective which has allowed me to give grace to others in relationships realizing that we can all be looking at and experiencing the same circumstances, but the filter by which each one sifts that experience creates a perception that I may not understand but requires grace. I also realize that my filtered experiences may require a bit of grace as well.