There’s this series of kid’s cartoon movies (there might be a TV series, too) about a panda, a Kung Fu Panda, if you will. The main character is voiced by Jack Black, and there are several other big names attached to the trilogy. They’re pretty adorable and watchable as far as kids movies go, and even have some lines which I consider relatively hilarious. Among my favorites is, “I just ate, so I’m still digesting, so my kung fu may not be as good as later on.” In essence, they’re about an overweight panda named Po who has grown up admiring these five masters in his village. One day he discovers that he is some sort of “Chosen One” and is to become the greatest master of them all. This fits in with no ones world view and there is much hilarity, much learning, and much acceptance to occur within the movie. That’s movie number one. Movie three centers around the discovery of his real family (he’s raised by a noodle-shop owning goose) and the definition of what makes a family yours. It’s surprisingly good stuff for kids. Lately, though, I’ve oddly been thinking about movie two.
A sort of sub-plot in the second movie is that Po is on a quest to find inner peace. It is, of course, at the crux of the entire resolution to the film in a formulaic kid’s movie way, but it’s still pretty great. Po learns inner peace through self-acceptance and recognizing flow of energy and that rather than force things to fit into our idea we need to sometimes go with it and everything can bend together to make peace work out. The reason this has been coming up for me lately, and especially yesterday, is because of the craziness surrounding my medical life every day.
Let me give you some background. This week I have found out that my mastectomy surgery is not the date I had thought and I was generally having a lot of miscommunication with my surgeon. Then I was told by my incredibly disappointed endocrinologist that the company through which we get our insurance has chosen to opt out of the bariatric surgery option. My doctor was so sad because she feels like 1. obesity medicine should simply not be ‘optional’ and 2. it’s really my only hope, in a very Obi-wan sort of way. Don’t get me wrong; she’s certainly not abandoning me, but I’m not looking at results like I would have seen with the surgery.
All of this (plus the insane respiratory virus I’m battling on top of a messy house and muddy footprints everywhere, not having enough energy to make a healthy dinner for the family, etc.) led to a pretty low day yesterday. It led to some heavy crying and aggravated shouts of “I just want to look normal with breasts and be a regular size. I just want to not hate what I see.” I mean, I’m not going to do anything stupid, I am just in a spot in which I wish I wasn’t going to be the fat boobless lady of central PA.
So, what does this have to do with a cartoon panda? It’s all about inner peace. The image they use in the movie (ack! Spoilers! Sorry!) for when Po actually achieves his inner peace is a droplet of water flowing around and over him uninterrupted. There’s fluidity and calmness in the motion. It’s oddly beautiful. I’m trying my best to make all of this news and aggravation and frustration a specific image in my mind. I imagine it as one solid ball, and it flows around me and into me. I’m trying to guide myself along the path of peace in order to gain acceptance of that which I cannot change. I am trying to become peaceful inside so that I can encourage peace to come outside.
It might not be for everyone. It might even be sort of dumb. That’s ok. For me, it might be the right path.