Inspiration by Literature: Les Mis (Part 2/3)


This is my second post that is inspired by Les Mis, the movie. I actually just ordered the book so that I can read it. I really don’t need another book because I have tons of other books (and when I mean tons, I really mean tons) that I should read. But, that’s okay! I’ll eventually get through all the books I own. Anyways, the themes that I am going to talk about in this post will revolved around stuggles, pain, strength, and fear. The first three will all probably go hand-in-hand, but as for fear, I would like to tie the lack of fear in Les Mis into a really interesting article that I read in my “Mind, Body, Spirit” magazine.

So, as you may, or may not know, Les Miserables is French for “The Miserables” (and it’s not an ironic title).  These characters should be miserable; abandoning your child into a home that could care less, giving into prostitution because you cannot pay for any other way, the boy who you love loves somebody else, forever running away from the government and living in seclusion to do so, and watching your friends die in a battle. This book/musical is teeming with misery, pain, and suffering. You have images of poor people, dirty and hungry, in streets; they’re dying, or they are dead. You have glimpses and their miserable lives are shown to you and, as the writer/director hopes, empathize with their situation.

Amidst all their suffering and pain, they show a sense of hope and strength. They don’t just sit there and wallow in their pity, they fight, they carry on. And with that their pain becomes relevant, because it makes them a stronger person. Actually, this just comes to me, in the beginning Jean Valjean shows a sense of physical strength; it can be correlated with his emotional and mental strength (his spiritual strength comes later). This strength has him embark on this journey to be a father to his sister’s daughter, and to inspire those around him. He also uses that same strength to save those in need. That strength saves lives.

To accomodate that theme into our lives, let’s talk about suffering and pain in more personal scales. Even though pain makes you suffer and believe that there is no happiness left, and there will never be happiness left, it’s all for a reason. The Universe and God knows your strong enough to handle it, and they want to see your soul grow with strength; because that pain will stay with you forever, and it will shape you to become a better person (if you so choose). We live for the experience, and, like yin and yang, we need a balance between both the good and bad. Everyone is equipped with some kind of hope (I will get into the theme of hope in the last post because it ties in with this theme and the theme I will talk about next), which will get one through the pain and the suffering. Tons of intelligent and spiritual leaders tell you that there is a reason for pain, and I have come to think of their words to be completely true.

I’ve suffered in my own way, more emotional than anything else, and it’s given me a hella bunch of strength, which I thank God for every day. I know that strength will be of use to me sometime in the future. I don’t know what, and I’m not supposed to know, and neither are you; that’s what makes life a gift. Every moment, whether it’s good or bad, is something to cherish, because it’ll always mean something. I’ve talked about my strange coincidences…and that’s just the beginning. I’m so glad that I’m opening up my eyes now, so that I can see how precious and lovely life is. All the good, all the bad, I am now trying to take it for granted. I soak up the rays of the good times the Universe gives me, and I try to learn and plow through the bad. I had a really rough time last month-I wrote a couple posts on it- on how depressed and unmotivated I am; and I am learning from it. These things happen, and will continuing on happening, because…that’s life!

And life not only throws pain at us, but it also throws us fear. Fear…is a very interesting concept in our lives. The only reason why I’m mentioning fear is because I read an article that made me ponder about fear. I actually got so into the article, I started to highlight points that I wanted to bring up in a post. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I could tie it in with Les Mis. You see, there were no characters in Les Mis who had fear in them, and if they did they would not be able to do the things they needed to do. If the little boy had fear of getting shot, he wouldn’t have gone out in front of the French army in the first place; if Jean Valjean had fear of getting caught stealing, he would have never have stole the candles in the first place.

These characters, this fearlessness, is the key into making life yours; and when I mean yours, something that you can live free.

Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

They were at the point where they took fear into its hands, whatever kind of monster it may be, and shook it; they acknowledged what it was, whether it be getting caught or dying, and accepted that. Accepting that fear and truly understanding it, makes them unfear that fear…and frees them from whatever constraints were there in the first place! The lack of fear is what let them pursue their destiny. If you and I could do the same, actually…scratch that, if the entire WORLD can do the same, could you imagine what kind of place this would be?! No fear of anything can make this world be incredible, although, let’s not confuse lack of fear with power, even though it makes one feel powerful. With good intentions and positive energy, lack of fear can be used to make the world a better place. Nothing would be able to hold us back.

Easier said than done, right? I agree. Although, I do not fear what most people fear (death), I do have lots of tiny fears in my life that hold me back. Two fears that I can say right off the bat are: abandonment and people disliking me. If you’re a spiritual person like I am, your fears and phobias can be a result of a past life experience, in which I would tell you to go to someone who can help you with past life regression; but, my fears and phobias have been created in this life, and I want to fix them before I carry them onto my next.

I have a handful of people who have abandoned me, mostly close friends. The worst instance, where the root is probably the deepest, was my best friend of a couple years one day telling me he’s always hated me; he continued, for about a year, to make my life hell. It may sound nothing, but it really rips you when the person you trust most tells you something like this; it really crushes you inside. As for people not liking me, well, I was…different in high school. I wasn’t attractive, I always read books, I was smart, I hung out with kids who were outcasts like me, and I believed in very interesting things. Nobody in high school cared about spiritual ideas, or paranormal books, or things I liked. And, to make matters worse, I hung out with a kid who was slowly introducing me into the materialistic world and making me become arrogant. My last two years of high school I had a Formspring and I got a lot (and I mean A LOT) of hate mail. I hate getting pity for that because I’m not that person any more, although I am deeply affected by it. Although my confidence has grown in the past couple of months, I have been jaded by all those events…and it makes sense why my fear is revolving around those ideas.

They will pop up again; I will be abandoned by people who are close to me, and people will dislike me. But, now that I have learned what fear is and how life should be, I can look that fear into it’s dark, menacing eyes and smile right back at it. I know it’s there, I accept it’s there, but it will not run my life. Just because somebody does not like me, or just because somebody leaves me doesn’t mean that nobody will ever like me, or come into my life again. It’s just a way of life, and I need to accept it. And, when all else fails, I know I’ll never EVER lose the person who I love, cherish, and have the best time with: myself. Once in a vision, a voice once told me,” Michelle, you’re never alone”, and I’m not. And neither are you. I’ll always be here for you.

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About themosthighhistoryguru

College student at Boston University studying psychology. Figuring life out day-by-day.

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