Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni (yes, trying saying that when tipsy) said the following; “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I didn’t realise it at the time but my teacher appeared 20 years ago when Groundhog Day was released. I remember watching it at the flicks and enjoying it at the time;
“Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant and egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.”
However, I was 30-ish and pretty wet behind the ears when it came to this ‘life’ thing and as usual wasn’t really paying attention, probably a tad arrogant and egocentric like Bill at the start of the movie. So, last night I watched Groundhog Day again and had an epiphany, the sudden realisation that really it’s the story of our lives and relationships, isn’t it, I’m stuck in my own Groundhog Day, repeating my mistakes in what seems like an endless loop. Like in the movie, slowly and very patiently, the Universe is doing it’s best to teach me and guide me – despite my best efforts to bugger things up and refuse to learn the obvious lessons.
This is particularly true in relationships, we can go through many relationships making a lot of mistakes and keep on repeating those mistakes until the message finally begins to sink in, only then do we wise up and start to use what we’ve learnt and make some progress. We have to attend the Groundhog festivals in the genuinely right spirit, we have to catch the falling kid from the tree, we have to fix the old ladies tyre, we have to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre to save the guys life in the restaurant and we have to learn French poetry and play the piano like a pro, not in an effort to impress Andie but because we genuinely want to. And learning to speak French and play the piano like a pro takes a hell of a lot of effort and that’s the kind of commitment relationships demand.
These (or their equivalent) are the things that changes us into better human beings and as a by-product, charms Andie and makes her want to bid $339.89 for you in the charity auction and want to spend the night with you. It’s because you do these things not as part of some scheme to eventually play ‘hide the sausage’ with her but you do them genuinely through your heart and it all pays off, you wake up on February 3rd and the cycle is broken and you have the woman of your dreams in bed beside you.
It’s just such a pity both of us have to keep repeating the cycle of heartache over and over again until the penny finally drops. Sigh.
I read the following a few years ago;
“The secret to getting my wife to be less inhibited had more to do with me than her. It wasn’t until I started listening to what she wanted from me outside the bedroom that changes happened inside the bedroom. I needed to show that I loved her by talking to her and treating her as my equal in all aspects of life. Once she became secure and felt deeply loved by me, all her inhibitions disappeared. Damn, I wish I had figured that out sooner. “ Danny G, age 58, husband for 24 years
I know how you feel Danny, I know how you feel, I wish I had been paying attention 20 years ago when I first watched Groundhog Day.