Eye-Opening Moments Podcast

The Movie You Don't Want to See (and more)

January 09, 2024 Emily Kay Tan Episode 102
The Movie You Don't Want to See (and more)
Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
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Eye-Opening Moments Podcast
The Movie You Don't Want to See (and more)
Jan 09, 2024 Episode 102
Emily Kay Tan

Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about The Movie You Don't Want to See and It's Not Fair.

Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

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Eye-Opening Moments are real-life stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. In this episode you will hear about The Movie You Don't Want to See and It's Not Fair.

Website: https://inspiremereads.com
Books: https://amazon.com/author/emily-kay-tan.2021_

Support the Show.

Comments or questions welcomed:
Twitter @emilykaytan OR https://inspiremereads.com.
Subscriptions appreciated: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1919670/support

Hello and welcome to episode #102 of Eye-Opening Moments where you’ll hear stories of adversity, encounters, and perspectives intertwined. They are moments that can lift your spirits, give you some food for thought, or move you. For the introspective mind that likes to reflect, discover, and find solutions or meaning in a complex life, this is for you. I’m your host Emily Kay Tan. In this episode, you will hear about The Movie You Didn’t Want to See and It’s not Fair.

The Movie You Don’t Want to See
I asked my sister why she always called me instead of her other two sisters when she had problems. She said, “Because you understand what misery is, and they don’t.” Ouch! Is that a compliment or an insult? At any rate, each time Sis called, she shared her misery about a physically and emotionally abusive husband. Nothing I said seemed to digest or help her until one day, I suggested something, and she was shocked into an eye-opening moment that led her to file for divorce immediately.

Ring, ring, ring. It was my sister Hannah again. I love her, but I can only take so much of her throwing up on me about her miserable marriage. I wanted to give her a listening ear, show some sympathy, and let her know I cared about her well-being. But trying not to tell her what to do and giving her some ideas at the same time was frustrating. Telling her what to do would be a heavy responsibility and burden on me should the results be unfavorable. 

I think I attempted to suggest what anyone would. Divorce the guy. Think about what you want for yourself and your future. See a therapist, counselor, or psychologist. Get help. Seek women’s shelter. Leave the toxic environment. Decide for yourself what you want. I ran out of ideas to give her, and nothing I implied resonated with her or led her to take action. 

My heart sank to hear her pain. Like a victim, I felt helpless to rescue her because she wouldn’t act. She only talked about it and didn’t seek help other than talking to me. Since nothing I said seemed to help, I felt useless. She kept calling me, and then I felt like a miserable victim like her. What kind of big sister was I? Did she only want a listening ear or comfort to know someone understood the meaning of misery? I certainly didn’t feel good. I hate to be a victim; I hate helplessness. And I couldn’t pull Hannah out of her pain or victimhood.

Finally, I said, “Hannah, I have no more ideas to give you but one. Take this personal development course called the Landmark Forum. I have always strived to do better and deal with my own challenges, but nothing was more powerful than the Landmark Forum, which changed my life in three days. It was the first time I was happy for no reason, and I got that the power was in my hands and within my reach. I know of nothing more powerful and impactful.

To my surprise, Hannah listened to this direct suggestion. She flew into my town to take the three-day course. She could have taken it in her city, but I wanted to be around to support her. After the class, I asked Hannah, “Did you get anything out of it?” Her answer was eye-opening for her. My eyes popped out, too. “Wow,” I said; I was moved. She flew home and immediately filed for divorce.

Hannah said, “It was like I was watching a movie about my life, and I didn’t like it. I saw myself standing in a movie theater in the dark and in a corner, hiding to watch it. I saw myself in the film. My husband was beating me up and giving me a black eye. He said I was fat and called me names. I didn’t like that movie. It was not a movie I wanted or expected to see. My inner voice said no, no, no. It was as if I had transported myself out of my body to watch the film, and I could step back and see myself and my life. I didn’t like what I saw. That was not the life I wanted. I’m going to change the story of my life.” With that, Hannah hopped on a plane and went home.

Hannah immediately filed for divorce. Her husband didn’t want a divorce, and he made the process difficult for her. But now she was determined; her adrenaline rushed through her veins, and she was on a mission. Her lawyer could not help her get things done fast enough. Now that she was clear about what she wanted, everything needed to happen quickly. 

Since the process was slow, Hannah took it upon herself to study the laws related to divorce and take matters into her own hands. Like me, she found the power in her hands and was driven to act swiftly. It took some time, but Hannah did it. She got a divorce and left her abusive husband.

Her story didn’t end there. Before she got a divorce, she had helped her husband with his business, and she did not have a career of her own since she got married while she was in college. Her life seemed to revolve around her husband. And she didn’t go down a path of her own.

Though she got a divorce and was jobless, she no longer acted like a helpless victim. I was relieved; she got that the power was in her hands. She got a job to pay the bills and went to law school. Her experience in the divorce process led her to have an interest in law. Soon, she became a lawyer and had a career. 

I am glad Hannah got a divorce and a career out of it all. But I am proud she saw a movie of her life by stepping outside herself. She didn’t like what she saw and proceeded to take action quickly.

We often cannot see our blind spots, but one way to see them is through others. Hannah probably heard others share in the course and saw herself through them. As the saying goes, we have more similarities than differences as humans. Though we have our individual experiences, we all experience similar emotions, such as joy and pain.

I also learned that though I tried to help my sister, no amount of my efforts could compare to seeing herself through others. The movie you don’t want to see is yourself living a life you don’t want. The mirror before you is the most powerful; you cannot escape it, but it is precisely the one to save you from yourself.

It’s Not Fair
It happened after a language class one Saturday morning outside a rented room in a small church. A fourteen-year-old girl sat on a bench, waiting for her mom to pick her up. Her head drooped down, looking troubled with eyebrows wrinkled in distress. Along came a woman who sat down next to her. The woman was a churchgoer and the girl’s language teacher. The teenager said nothing, but her teacher said, “Emily, don’t worry. God is fair. He knows, and you will have better days.” Those words stuck with Emily for many years until she finally saw something that gave her comfort, that told her those words could be true.

Her mom sent her to live with her grandmother when she was five; she was gravely wounded. Grandma sent her back to live with her parents as a teenager; she had difficulty adjusting to a new set of values and was miserable. Life is unfair, she said to herself. Emily longed to live with her biological parents but was distressed when it finally happened. She was sure life was unfair, and then along came this teacher who said God was fair. It stuck in Emily’s mind because she wondered if it was true. She saw no evidence of it.

Emily saw her older sister get a BMW for her sixteenth birthday. Later, she saw her youngest sister get a condominium when she went to college. Other siblings never got anything as extravagant. Then, when each child went to college, her parents paid for everyone’s tuition except for Emily’s expenses. Emily cried, “It’s unfair!”  Emily was most heartbroken that her parents proved they never loved her for anything.

Emily worked hard and got through college without family help. But when she worked hard in business and endured five years with little income, she screamed at the unfairness of life. She wondered why her tenacity did not pay off. How is God fair? She begged for an answer.

She was furious when Emily went to a language school and was ranked #2 in her class. The teacher claimed that the ranking was based on test scores and the results were public knowledge. Emily fumed because her test scores were higher than the student placed at #1. Emily was a ticking bomb about to explode at the unfairness.

When Emily’s best friend got married, she said she wanted Emily to be her maid of honor but needed to give it to someone else because that person would be heartbroken if she didn’t get the part. And she thought Emily was strong enough to handle it, whereas her other friend would not be so strong. Emily’s silent scream said God was not fair.

Worse, Emily saw her boss in one of her places of employment give a promotion to several people who did not qualify for the jobs. And for the ones who did qualify, she did not grant promotions. Emily saw unfairness surround her, and she was infuriated. She saw more proof that God was not fair.

Unfairness was everywhere Emily went. She searched for it and was disappointed to witness more unfairness than fairness around her. Begging for hope to give her the strength to move on, Emily looked for some positives and found perspectives that gave her a new view on fairness and unfairness.

Emily, that is me, found fairness within unfairness. While there was unfairness on one side of the coin, fairness was on the other side of the coin. 

While I did not grow up mostly with my parents, I was blessed to have grown up with my grandparents, who loved me, gave me a home, and a set of values I am proud to own. Though I worked hard and didn’t get the results I wanted in some situations, I did accomplish many things in other instances. Though I did not get material goods from my parents like my siblings, I gained success habits for a lifetime by living with my grandparents.

Though I struggled to afford college, I gained survival and independent skills. I learned to take more initiative and make a budget to keep myself afloat. The life skills were worth practicing. Though I was ranked #2 in a class, I continued to learn and strive for more achievements. The journey I take to learn and enrich my life matters more than rank or position. Even though my best friend “put me aside” as a maid of honor, I realized that my strength of character was more critical. My willingness to step aside for the benefit of others was a lesson in compassion. No matter how unfairness surrounds me, I muse about all the blessings on the other side of the coin.

Each coin, each situation, has two or more sides. When we have one, we also get the other side. When we want one, we also have to take the other one. When I don’t like one side, I remind myself about the other side. The other side of misery and calamity brings comfort and relief. When I want to scream that something is unfair, I remember that I can also shout with joy for the fairness I can see. Through such lenses, I find comfort amid unfairness.

When I stop counting, analyzing, and judging fairness, I relieve myself from the anger and pain that come with it. When I feel unfairness, I remind myself of the lessons I will learn; I appreciate the insights and strength of character they present.

When I begin counting my blessings, I feel gratitude and enjoy the satisfaction and happiness that come with it. When I have my blessings, I remind myself of the precious treasures; I appreciate and savor the joy they bring.

Whichever side of the coin I may be on, I know there is the other side, which can flip instantly. Recognizing that one comes with the other, all there is to do is be in the moment and get what you can out of it. Celebrate the opposites in life that leave no room for monotony!

Key Takeaways: Though nothing I said helped my sister, seeing the movie she didn’t want to see led her to leave her abusive husband.

Though I find many things unfair in life, I also find many good things.

Next week, you will hear two real-life stories called Simmering Chemistry and What I Don’t Have. If you enjoyed this episode of Eye-Opening Moments, please share it with others, support the show by clicking on the link in the description, or go to www.inspiremereads.com and leave a message. Thank you for listening!




The Movie You Don' Want to See
It's Not Fair
Key Takeaways