How often have you read something like this on facebook, or elsewhere: "Ignore the mean/rude/unkind people of the world. Your life is better without them. They're not worth wasting time on!" It might be expressed differently, but you're being admonished to choose happiness by dismissing those around you who don't contribute to that happiness. If a person doesn't make you "feel good," then you have the right -- nay, the duty -- to get away from them. Get them out of your life! It's a choice for emotional survival!
Meet Mrs. Fisher. (Don't you just love actress Joan Plowright?) Julia and I watched Enchanted April again the other night. (This must be my fourth viewing. It's just that kind of movie for me.) Mrs. Fisher is a grumpy old lady, demanding, rude, arrogant, isolated, living in a sad past to avoid a sadder present.
Meet Lottie Wilkins (in the yellow dress). These four ladies end up renting a villa in Italy for a month, to escape the dreary wetness of London. Lottie is determined to accomplish a personal change -- a renewal of spirit, and an embracing of love.
And it works! It takes a month, but Mrs. Fisher softens, becomes less critical, less rude, more giving. She becomes a friend. (Isn't Joan Plowright adorable?)
Yeah, I know, it's only a movie. It's fiction. Changes like that don't really happen in a month, usually. And there are mean, grumpy people who never change. [And there are a few downright dangerous people out there that should certainly be avoided.] But most of us live in Lottie's world, with irritating people at work or home who make life constantly grayer. Love them anyway. Show them love. Hug them. Sometimes you'll find a sad, lonely person underneath all that prickliness. And when we stop thinking of what cocktail of friends will combine for our perfect happiness, we may just find ourselves happier than we thought we could be.