By Matt Coker / @MatthewSCoker & @BackRowBeliever
WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE "INSIDE OUT"!
The wife and I recently enjoyed Pixar’s latest romp into the “what if X had feelings” realm of movies with their newest film, “Inside Out”, where we ask the question… what if feelings had feelings?
I will come right out and say that this is definitely in my top 3 Pixar movies.
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, I’ll try not to spoil too many of the goodies, but there will be some plot spoilers here, so beware before reading any further.
The basic idea behind the movie at its core is that all emotions are beneficial sometimes. The main character is Joy, who believes that Riley (the girl whose brain these characters inhabit) should always be happy.
But, of course, she says that there are times when Fear, Disgust, and Anger have their place.
However, there is a fifth member of the team that Joy just doesn’t understand: Sadness. She makes it clear that she doesn’t know what Sadness’s purpose is. Everything she does seems to just make Riley’s life worse. So, Joy does everything she can to keep Sadness from interfering.
After a big move and a lot of emotional turmoil, Riley is having a hard time keeping a smile on her face, but when Joy and Sadness accidentally get shot of our the control room, leaving only the other three in charge, Riley’s emotions spiral out of control.
As Joy and Sadness have an adventure to find their way back to the control room, Joy is positive that things will get better if she can make Riley happy again.
But once they return, it’s not Joy that saves the day.
Nobody likes being sad. Nobody likes being hurt. Nobody likes being lonely, left out, ashamed, or depressed.
But those are real emotions that must be dealt with. Pretending our problems don’t exist and putting on a fake smile doesn’t make the problems go away. (Click to Tweet.)
One of the things we learn in recovery is that to get through these tough emotions, you have to go through them. You have to feel them, talk about them, fight with them, and get them out! To do anything else is to live in denial.
And Denial should never be in charge of your emotional control room. Denial is selfish and tricks you into thinking he’s protecting you, only to secretly be killing you from the inside so he can survive.
It may be hard for you to believe that sadness can lead to joy, but it really can. It’s a deceivingly complex message that Pixar tried to convey. But they hit the nail on the head.
Sadness can be a good thing.
Psalm 34:18 ESV - "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Matt Coker is the Ministry Director of The Back Row. He is married to a beautiful woman he met in youth group and they have one mischievous son together. Matt collects Funko Pop figures, loves time travel movies, and enjoys exotic jerky meats. You can contact Matt via the contact page or on Twitter at @BackRowBeliever, or his personal account, @MatthewSCoker.