Love through the eyes of a silly old bear (Pooh Bear)

By Monica C. Voskamp

How is it the magical moments of Disney stir up so much emotion and connection? I was watching the movie “Christopher Robin” only a few minutes and I was already tearing up.  Yes. I got *smudged* mascara from a Disney movie! And a very slow moving one at that.

Maybe though, it’s when you slow, your emotions can surface, breathe, and truly exhale. In this fast paced world, there isn’t much time to slow, to breathe, to stay still awhile.

{I pause here, head tilted with a soft smile on my face.}

How important it is to play, to breathe in the fresh air, to smile, to laugh with each other.

The movie Christopher Robin captured this so beautifully. It stirred me to tears, both angry and happy tears. In watching that ‘funny old bear’ movie, I had a deep aching. I think it was when adult Christopher Robin put his arms around Pooh Bear in the meadow, when it was just the 2 of them. He hugged Pooh close and Pooh said: “You’re squashing me.” My heart hurt. It hurt because I long to be held. I don’t like being alone.

I’ve placed so much importance on belonging to a someone and having our own little someones. I’m aching that disappointment and realizing it may never be, this long aged dream of mine. I’m oddly releasing this dream as I step into 2019, as just me. I suppose letting go (of this long held dream) is what really ached me.

I realize my heart has an undeniable joy for the world of children, enjoyment for the fantasy world, and inspiration by curious things. Maybe I’m much like Pooh…a little pudgy, way too much of a sweet tooth, but I find joy in the simplest things (like Pooh Bear with his red balloon), and see the profound in simplicity.

In years gone by, I’ve always been slightly miffed when my friends and family called me Pooh Bear. But I never realized how smart he is. Instead, I saw him as the fat, slow minded, dumb one. So ya, I took a bit of offense..because that’s what I translated to myself…Pooh Bear.. Monica fat, slow..dumb-minded.

Now, I see Pooh Bear anew…he’s so darn cuddly cozy(!), someone you just couldn’t resist hugging. 🙂 He’s huggable and a hug giver. He’s intelligent. He brings a smile, warmth and connection to the world. He’s definitely not a less than! Pooh Bear is more valuable than all the achievements in the world, more than Christopher Robin’s work briefcase in the movie.

Pooh Bear reminded me my achievements and status are not the prized things, but rather cherishing people and every day moments are the treasures.

poohbear.jpg

Pooh Bear is the world’s biggest giver. He knows how to love, how to give a warm hug to someone’s heart and soul. In the movie, he couldn’t find his friends. He cared about them (& yes, he also didn’t want to be alone!) But he did something about the problem. He went to get Christopher Robin’s help…he actually crossed into another realm for his furry friends.

Love doesn’t look to gain for it’s own self. It cares about others and goes to great lengths to show that.

Pooh Bear is a quiet hero. It doesn’t have to be said; he doesn’t say it or steal the spotlight. He just is a spotlight of sunshine. Love does that. Love is a hero yet doesn’t ask to be noticed. It’s not looking for attention, it’s giving attention.

Love doesn’t feed on attention nor does it withhold itself. It’s like the sun that simply shines it’s brilliant warmth and isn’t partial on whom it shines.

Pooh Bear was true to who he was. (Remember the train scene in the movie? He was happily counting the objects…) He didn’t lose his spirit in the face of animosity. Christopher Robin was so selfish and didn’t care about Pooh. Christopher Robin only cared about getting his work done and being rude to Pooh Bear was just part of Christopher’s journey to success. Christopher keeps telling Pooh to count the objects quieter. Love doesn’t shut people out, it welcomes people to be who they are.

Yet Pooh Bear didn’t lose his heart of gold nor stop shining because of Christopher’s selfishness.

Love continues to live in the face of selfishness.

Pooh Bear has a heart of compassion and never lost who he was. Mind you, lol, he does get directionally lost. I can feel with him there! 😛  In the movie, Christopher Robin got angry Pooh Bear didn’t know how to use a compass right and got them lost.

Love doesn’t demand you know the way or that you do things perfectly.  It actually helps you find your way.

Pooh may get lost physically, but the compass in his heart is right on. Love is a compass that will always guide you north, no matter the weather.

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Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash

Love gives you true direction. It gives you hope when you can’t see the way out.

This movie moved me. It made me smile and cry. And gosh, I laughed too. It feels good for these cheeks to hurt. I realized, perhaps, I’ve been fighting my calling. I’ve been striving for what I thought I wanted, deserved, and is expected of women…marriage & a family. I’ve resisted thinking of a life without this dream. By letting go of wishing for something that just isn’t, I can embrace and accept a different path for me.

Love doesn’t fight against the current of life. It’s a force that moves you forward. It’s quite selfish of me to demand my life to be a certain way, to demand myself to be in a situation that cannot just magically be. Selfish thinking holds one back.

Love allows new possibilities to happen. Love is open to newness and isn’t set on one way.

Sometimes I think I see things quite backwards, like me thinking God is holding out on me because of the way my life has gone.

That’s what I didn’t like about the beginning of the movie. The movie flipped through Christopher Robins growing up years.  I watched him grow up, find his love, have a child, and grow in his career. I watched the movie unfold his growing up story…And I vented my disappointment at God, at the universe. Why didn’t I get a love story??

The days are past where I can be young and in love. I’ll never get to be that young stupid couple figuring out life together (lol, maybe that’s a good thing. 😉 ) My health has stubbornly blocked so many career and life goals.  I’ve sailed a different boat because of it. I’ve demanded (subconsciously) that God should give me a husband and children. He just should. I’ve tried to be a good person! But then I think maybe I don’t deserve love, maybe I’m not good enough for God to give me that. And I keep waiting for this never-to-be day when I’ll finally be good enough (for love)…It’s futile.

Love isn’t something to be gained or deserved. Love is like Pooh bear sitting on that grassy hill, right in this moment with you, regardless of your mood, regardless of your situation-what you do or don’t have. Love sees the treasure of you.

Love doesn’t wait till you are good enough, love wants to be with you in this very moment.

And if I look around, I see love is with me in my moments.

This Christmas, I was joking with my dad about getting old. My little nephew, who was standing in the room too, overheard me and piped up: Aunt Monica you’re not old!! What an absurd thought to him that I could be old. Of course not. 😉 His emphatic statement made me melt. He made sure I knew the “truth”…his truth…the truth through a child’s eyes.

I think that’s what I miss, what I long for, and what I need:

truth through a child’s eyes.

The world is truly a more beautiful and hopeful place with such eyes. And yes, it may be a bit off kilter to reality, but sometimes child-like truth is actually more relevant than we realize, just like Pooh Bear’s sunshiney and unique way of looking at life. They have eyes of hope, of warmth..of love.

This is why the Christopher Robin movie is so heartwarming. It made me feel warmth, and desire to chase after that warmth. The warmth is love, a love that always gives, always is. Watching that funny old bear awakened me to live in truths that really resonate…right here (hand on chest.)  ❤

Always believe. Always hope. Always love will be. ❤
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