Each morning, lately, I have been reading from a book with 365 reflections. Some I resonate with; others, not so much. And some surprise me. Like today’s…
The author began by telling a story of having once interviewed the runner up of The Bachelor (the last one standing besides the one who gets the proposal). She asked how much of what we saw on the show was real, and how much just reality TV. Not surprisingly, the woman confirmed what all of us already knew (right?!?): she was not seen for who she was – not really. Every clip of her being anything other than how the producers wanted her dipicted (partying, disruptive, etc.) had been left on the cutting room floor.
We would be wise to name the “producers” in our world – those who are intentionally shaping the narrative, the story, the plot they want us to believe and buy – whether media, religion, politics, our family of origin, even those closest to us. We need to ask ourselves what’s being intentionally left on the cutting room floor so that we comply, stay in line, and don’t make waves.
We would be wise to ask ourselves how many women, how many stories, how much wisdom has not been ours throughout time. And we need to pay attention to how that has impacted us – dramatically and definitively. Because we’ve not seen those reels – the raw vs. edited footage of Eve, Mary Magdalene, Tamar, Hagar, and so many more, it’s not surprising that we often feel isolated and alone (part of the producer’s plan, no doubt). We have not been given access to the legion of women who long to speak, have much to say, and stand alongside us even still.
We would be wise to wonder about how we produce and edit our own stories. On the cutting room floor lie reels and reels of what we don’t want others (and sometimes, even ourselves) to see, what doesn’t “fit” with the story we’re telling, what feels better left unsaid, hidden, even thrown away.
For every scene, every conversation, every part of us that’s been discarded – whether by choice or under duress – the woman others do see is not complete, not whole, not all of who we are. And that is both excruciating and untenable.
We would be wise to consider:
- what we intentionally cut out of our own story so that we better meet the “reality TV” ideal, the IG influencer ideal, our culture’s ideal, even the ideal of our boss, our peers, our significant other…
- how feeling the pressure of other “producers” or “editors” in our life has translated into compromising the story we want to tell, the life we deserve and desire to live.
- how the reels and reels on the cutting room floor might, in truth, be exactly what and who deserves to be seen and heard.
- what we are most afraid of if fully seen, fully ourselves, unedited, unrestrained, untamed.
…what the world needs right now in order to evolve is to watch one woman at a time live her truest, most beautiful life without asking for permission or offering explanation. ~ Glennon Doyle, Untamed
That woman leaves nothing on the cutting room floor.
May it be so.