Sunday, 5 July 2015

Facts Opinions and a Candy Crying Imaginary Friend

I went to see Disney's Inside Out yesterday and it is a psychologist's dream movie! For adults, there's so much richness in the simple characters who represent emotions from sadness to fear, disgust and joy.
The concept of memory, long term and core memories, the ability to be sad and joyful and to build "islands" from the things we really care about (family island, friendship island, hockey island, etc) made my VCE Psychology textbooks come to life in technicolour.

I loved it.
Of all the moments where I thought, "yes! remember THAT next time you're feeling sad or hopeless!" there was the most brief of moments where Joy and Sadness are on the Train of Thought and Joy accidentally knocks over some boxes. This intermingles Facts with Opinions.
"Oh, facts and opinions. Who can tell them apart?"

I work in the fitness and media industries where opinions are as present as oxygen. I'm definitely not immune to the power of opinion presented as fact but as I get older and wiser, MOST of the time I'm able to distinguish and remind myself that opinions are highly emotional, borne of individual experience and ingrained ideas and values.

That doesn't mean they don't have a lot of value - it is just a reminder that we need to know they're not Fact. I am reminding myself of this as I go to do photos for a pictorial workout guide! In the space of two days, I was given two very different opinions on my body and while I was angry and upset that people feel they can comment on my body as if I'm up for auction in the stockyard, I also reminded myself that we all have opinions and preferences and ideas of beauty and fitness and wellbeing that differ. Whether you believe I'm too thin, too fat, just perfect or any grey area between, your opinion is totally valid to YOU. I don't need to know!
But if it is shared, and you'll get it too, remember that for every opinion there will be an opposite one and there's zillions of people with even more zillions of opinions out there. Our own values and what we know and can prove matters most of all.

Ultimately, Joy wants to run the show and we can let her. Even if Disgust, Fear and Sadness take us for a spin sometimes!

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