So I’m going to preface this post with if you haven’t watched This is Us you won’t be totally lost here. Like the show itself, I think you’ll find yourself connecting to some of what I’m about to say.
My newsfeeds across all social media channels have been flooded with the crying emoji and people remarking how they went through an entire box of tissues from watching one episode. My husband has chosen not to even watch the show with me because he deems it too emotional for him.
This is Us has become somewhat of a phenomenon. One of the big reasons for this is because there is a plethora of “characters” that are from different demographics facing a diverse set of challenges that mirror A LOT of what our society is facing currently.
I think the biggest element that strikes a cord with the most people is the relationship between Jack (the husband) and Rebecca (the wife) and their parent relationship with their three children. It’s a very heartwarming and sorrowful show. Sorrowful because we all know and learn in the beginning what is going to happen, what tragedy is going to bespoke the Pearsons.
Their marriage is not perfect. They face many situations that most of us married folk can relate to. Some of which are feeling unsettled in our careers and roles as parents, inadequate as parents, isolated in our roles as provider and homemaker, and jaded by the dreams we had for our lives and still holding onto them.
The struggles in their marriage, as seen in the show, are balanced with extreme passion for one another, joyful moments of teaching and loving their children, intimate moments of understanding each other, accomplishing dreams they made together, loyalty to their relationship, and overall HAPPINESS.
Without describing every thing they face (you gotta watch the show! and if you do, you already know what I’m talking about), their story paints a very positive picture of marriage and family. Overall, despite the dysfunctions and issues, they are an ideal love. They display what much of us want, hope, and need out of life.
But here is where I get real. This isn’t about what we should learn from this show because the truth is… THIS IS US!
The difference between “us” and “them” consist of two things:
They are present in their circumstances.
People connect to this show because it’s what they feel life should look and feel like. We want a Jack who loves the heart out of us, and would go to any measure to ensure we see and feel that. We want a Rebecca who is super supportive of every whim we have and greets us at the door with a smile and dinner. We want to parent as a team and create a united front that our children can fear (in a healthy way) and fall on when the support is needed. We want to ultimately create a home that is strong and full of memories that create a life we’ve dreamed of.
And here is where I think we should all pause and really consider how present we are in our lives.
- Do we embrace what we are facing?
- Are we communicating when something is wrong?
- Do we confront things that we don’t agree with in a manner that allows the other person to feel heard?
- Do we parent our children together and stay focused when we are with them?
- Do we laugh with each other?
- Do we make devoted time for the things that are important to us?
You see where I’m going? Jack and Rebecca have an envious relationship because for one, they fiercely love each other and secondly, they are present.
As the saying goes, there is no time like now!
The story-line in This is Us isn’t different than what we all face. This show hits so many buttons because as I said above, we can relate to what these characters are facing because we’ve faced them too. That’s why it strikes a chord with our emotions so much. The point is that we all will be dealt cards in life that we have to handle and may seem SO BIG at the time. Our “stuff” may not all look the same, but many of our emotions will be.
JUST BE PRESENT!
Be present in those times. Granted, This is Us, is set in a time period before cell phones and home computers during those formative years like early marriage and child rearing, so they benefit from that as a family. And we should take note. I can already tell a difference in what my home life was like as a child compared to my children’s. iPads didn’t exist and my parents were never sitting and looking at an object in their hands for hours. Family dinner didn’t have to be planned, it just was and the thought of playing indoors only happened if it were raining
2.How they react to their stuff versus the way we do.
Reacting to anything is 100 percent in our control. Maybe some of our emotional attachment to this show is our vision of how we wish interactions in our own lives have, could, or should occur(ed). We all have a vision of how life should go, what we hope to accomplish, and where we want to be at some set point. The only way we get “there” is determined by how we navigate through our junk. The good and the bad. Fight that pride. Pride will get you every. single. time. !
If you want to have a Jack that rallies the troops when everyone feels defeated…RALLY THE TROOPS! Be that encouragement to others. Point out people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
If you want to make passionate love with your spouse…flirt with your spouse, give them the signal (you know what I’m talking about) and be SPONTANEOUS! Spontaneity is a key to keeping it fun.
If your kids are being disrespectful and showing signs of pulling away, talk with your spouse, get a game-plan and figure out how to address the issue TOGETHER.
When life is pulling everyone in crazy directions and you feel disconnected…plan a family activity or weekend away.
Be present to notice what is happening and react to it in a way that fosters the life you envisioned!
God doesn’t want us to be meandering people that aimlessly face life. To obtain that joy, that soul consuming zeal for life, we have to be HERE now. Our hearts need to be ready for His call and our attitudes daily should reflect our shear humbleness of having another day to serve God and those we love.
Don’t waste time! Assess your life and try to decipher what is pulling you away. What is blocking your ability to be present? What takes up your time but doesn’t add to your life in an overall positive way? GET IT OUT!
Don’t wish you had a family like the Pearsons, a marriage like Jack and Rebecca’s, or a put together appearance as a stay at home mom with three kids… just be yourself!
The realness of the show is created from the ability that it can draw out familiar emotion. You can be happy too! And if you are happy and still crying over the show, I’d say it’s because of the appreciation you’ve developed for life from the journey you’ve experienced.
This is life and This is Us has ultimately caused us to feel emotions that we may or may not be familiar with but nonetheless we can understand.
Be present. Be HERE NOW. And react to the good and bad with open hearts, listening ears, and thoughtful mouths.