Updated: Feb 8, 2021
This post is an adapted extract from a talk given by John Simmons. You can find the full talk below.
Every now and then when I'm home on the sofa with my wife, Anna, we channel surf looking for a good film to watch. There are some movies you've seen before but when they come on you stop everything that you're doing and you sit down and watch. For me that might be Gladiator or Shawshank Redemption or The Lord of the Rings - I'm stopping whatever I'm doing to watch. Another – and I’ll lose street cred for this - is Titanic. Leonardo Dicaprio, Celine Dion - she sings the songs anyway.
There is this contrast in the film. There’s the upper decks of the ship with amazing luxury and wealth. They've got it going on on the upper deck of the ship. After a few days the Titanic hits an iceberg and at that part of the movie we begin to see this terrifying contrast: On the upper decks of the ship they are totally oblivious to what's happening on the lower decks of the ship and so they're still living as if everything is fantastic. They’re having a great time, but below we see that the ship is in chaos, utter chaos. Soon enough the issues from the lower deck of the ship begin to rise so much so that - and I don't want to spoil it for you - this is what happens at the end of the film.
This is what happens at the end of the movie, and this is a great picture of what happens in our lives. For some of us this is happening today; we're going under.
A lot of times, when the issues of the lower deck of our lives are not addressed they come to the surface. We give the impression that everything is fantastic. I feel great about myself. My Instagram shows the best profile pic. But everything is not fantastic in the lower decks of our lives.
All too often we don't take the time to go to the lower deck of our lives to explore what's happening beneath the surface. Let me give a few reasons that might be true for you or someone you know and love.
We detach and switch off – We don’t want to be low so the only thing to do is bury it and pretend it’s not there. We try to keep living on the top deck.
We fake it – fake it till we make it. We know that everything is not ok but live like it is.
Or we distract ourselves -- Turn down the pain and the emotion. Medicate. Shopping. Netflix series. Drink. Eat out to see if it helps out. Busyness. Romance. Music. Education. Whatever it is. Distract.
I’m not much of a mechanic. I know how to put petrol in the car. I know how to turn the car on I know how to park the car. A while back we were on holiday and there was this odd noise in our car. It got louder and it was annoying us, so I put the windows up and put the music up and all of a sudden a couple of days go by and we’re driving along, music blasting out, and the whole exhaust just falls out our car - the car just stops.
Many of us we avoid ourselves. We turn the music up of our lives. We get busy. We avoid but it’s more dangerous not looking within.
So I'm wondering, how are you doing? Like really?