Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 6 - Your job won't take care of you when you're sick...

Last weekend I saw "The King's Speech" starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it! Not only is it entertaining and well-acted, but the film is being recognized by critics as one of the best of the year.

"The King's Speech" tells the story of England's King George VI (known as "Bertie") who inherited the throne after his father’s death and the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII. Bertie had been insecure most of his life, despite his status as one of society's most elite, due to a stuttering problem that had plagued him since 4-5 years of age. He had been to speech therapist after speech therapist trying to get rid of the stutter but to no avail. Finally his wife found Lionel, an unconventional therapist, who was able to get through to Bertie, not just helping his speech but also showing him the value of a strong, supportive friendship.

I have been thinking of this movie since last weekend and the personal journey that King George VI went on, which exceeded far beyond his stuttering. There are so many "take-aways" from the film but for me what was most impactful was the relationship between Lionel and Bertie. Bertie had been a lonely man who was close to no one other than his wife and children until Lionel came along. He learned lessons of vulnerability, risk, overcoming fears and growing in confidence which, without the support of Lionel, I'm not sure would have happened.

The roots of his stuttering were much deeper than simply a speech impediment and he had always been afraid to look at those alone. Lionel helped him feel safe and accepted, stutter and all. As their relationship deepened so did Bertie’s strength and confidence, as a man and as a leader of the nation.

This movie has reminded me of the lifelong relationships I have. Especially since moving, it has been exciting to see certain friendship grow despite being miles apart. Has anyone invested in you the way that Lionel did with Bertie? Have you felt so safe with them that you were willing to be vulnerable and risk revealing your true self, despite the possibility of rejection? Have you been that person for anyone else?

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