The Mindful Approach To Anxiety
When I first watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly always seemed to me like a petulant child, an adult who refused to grow up and take responsibility for her life. She lived in this fantasy world and allowed other people to rent a room. But that’s all they were doing: renting. All the parties meant they could traipse around jolly and drunk ignoring their problems on the other side of her door.
Holly ignores her problems using people to distract her. Paul is a distraction. The iconic scene at Tiffany’s is merely a distraction. She’s having a case of the mean reds.
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She can’t face her anxiety. She’s afraid and she can’t figure out why. Now don’t get me wrong anxiety is a very real affliction but it isn’t dealt with at all in a very helpful way in this beloved movie. Her fear is claiming responsibility, independence, adulthood. She searches for a rich man to foot the bill instead of risking her heart at real love. She’s afraid of getting hurt, of having to struggle, anything that isn’t champagne bubbles and sleeping in ’till noon. She’s afraid of being caged completely unaware of the cage she’s built around herself.
It leads me to contemplate all the ways in which I ignore my own problems; the ways in which I am afraid. How I refuse commitments because I too am a wild thing who refuses to be caged. People don’t belong to anyone. But you can’t just put on a tiara and a pair of heels, pop the cork in a bottle of champagne and feel better. At some point the bottle empties and your feet hurt. All the revelers go home. You’re alone.
Embrace It Baby
Wouldn’t we be better off embracing those red days? Aren’t we just afraid that if we did the color would turn to blue? Why are we so afraid of being sad? There’s strength in vulnerability you know. To accept that you don’t feel happy today doesn’t make you less than. So many of us just ignore any feeling that isn’t happiness. We’re holding it all in like lava under the earth and just like a volcano sooner or later it must expel itself. We’re going to destroy our surrounding area with our molten magma. How many times have you snapped at your mother or sister or boyfriend because you’re just having a sad day?
Trying to push those feelings aside and force yourself to be happy is only making us more agitated. Allow yourself to feel and process sadness. Anger. Grief. Anxiety. All of it.
You Are The Director Of Your Own Movie
Daily life is not a Hollywood classic. You can’t fuck up the scene and then call, “cut!” and film it over. You must deal with the bloopers. And don’t we all love watching behind-the-scenes footage? It’s those mistakes that make us realize all the Holly’s of the world are just like us. It could be pouring rain and you’re soaked from head to toe, you’re searching for some no-name cat in the middle of an alley, you don’t need a leading man to make you realize everything is going to be okay. Look at your reflection in the display window at Tiffany’s, that girl was always going to be okay. She just had to allow herself to be.
Remember darlings, you can pretend to be anyone, you can pretend to be happy but eventually, you’re going to run into yourself and you can’t find home in a person or a place like Tiffany’s you find it in yourself. Sometimes you get a case of the mean reds and life feels overwhelming and frightening but come back to center, come back to yourself.
Love your reds and blues and the stubborn ways that make you, you.
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