Lessons from Forrest Gump.
Not long ago, I watched the incredible movie “Forrest Gump” for the first time, and I wanted to break down lessons we could all learn from Forrest himself. I thought Forrest’s most admirable quality was his undeniable acceptance of reality.
Let me explain…
In her book, “Loving What Is”, Byron Katie addresses the habit we have as humans to ‘negotiate’ with reality. What this means is that when something does not take place in our favour, we spend a lot of time and energy revising the occurred event in our mind and changing outcomes in our imagination. What that is, is a major negotiation with reality that takes us away from the present moment. Forrest NEVER did that. In every moment of the film from childhood to adulthood, he never negotiated with reality or wished it any different, he simply moved forward with an acceptance of reality. Even when he didn’t want to, he just did. Instead of sitting sadly on his porch and reliving his sorrows, he literally ran across the country. He never got angry at life, in turn never negotiating with the situation at hand. He accepted it, because life is like a box of chocolates and he trusted that in never knowing what you’re going to get, you’ll always get what you are meant to. You know?
For example, when Jenny told Forrest that she had his child and had already spent years raising him without Forrest’s knowing, he did not negotiate with reality by getting mad at her for keeping his son from him. He merely accepted the truth that just was. Even watching Jenny in pain and sorrow and in dangerous situations throughout the years, Forrest never ever tried to negotiate with the reality that was HER life. He endeavoured to help her, but even when she would refuse his help, he showed up with love. All he had was love. No negotiation, no wishing life could be any different than it was and had appeared. All his character would ever exhibit was just plain and simple, pure LOVE.
Even when he embarked on his Bubba Gump Shrimp business, all he had was love. He did not pursue that goal for greed or wealth’s sake, he did it in the name of friendship. And he thrived and succeeded naturally because every motivation he had for any endeavour was simply pure love. When the world would look at him with pity or sympathy, I saw him as empowered and living a life more abundantly than most of us do. Simply because he knew only how to live in the present moment. Sometimes I feel like our points of focus are often what isn’t working in our lives, or what we don’t have…and if that is our point of focus, I wonder, how could we think we could ever have what we want or crave from life? Instead, what if we shifted our focus to living in a space of appreciation of the present moment? See, Forrest would show up for his life. He would show up for what was good and right, principled and integrous in each moment, and doing so gave him an incredible life. Comfortable, with love and abundance. Isn’t that what all of us want anyway?