Love and mercy

Hey, love and mercy, that’s what we need tonight
So love and mercy to you and your friends tonight
Love and mercy, that’s what you need tonight.

So, obviously, Brian Wilson had a huge effect on me. I am still addicted to the “Smile” album and keep listening to it wherever I go. It just consoles me – even more so with the images from the movie in my head that showed how this music just seemed to pour out of him.

However, the part about letting out the treasure hidden inside of you despite any negativity that might surround you was just half of the story to me. When I did some research after watching the “Love and Mercy” movie to find out about the truth behind it I found something that impressed me even more.

And that was Brian Wilson’s apparent ability and willingness to forgive. And his focus on the positive aspects of even the worst situations or people.

It seems to be a fact that this therapist clearly bullied and abused Brian Wilson over years. The scenes on this in the movie were almost unbearable to watch. And the reality is reported to have been even worse. In an article published by the New York Post, I read that “the largely unknown true story of his overmedication, psychological abuse, financial control and virtual imprisonment of Wilson is even more horrific”.¹

And still, after going through all this horror and pain, upon looking back, Brian Wilson simply states:

“I still feel that there was benefit (…) I try to overlook the bad stuff, and be thankful for what he taught me.”¹

Simple as that.
It took me a while to take this in. And the more I pondered on this the more it left me in awe.

I believe that it is this attitude that actually helped him survive through all the dark times he faced throughout his life.

It is easy to regret and lament about what has gone wrong. Even easier if you have someone you can blame for the bad things that happened to you. And still I think that this kind of attitude Brian Wilson shows is the one that really helps you move on and let go of whatever bad things you encountered.

And I do believe that we could all do with a little more of this attitude. Because it cultivates a focus on what really matters, which I think is love and forgiveness, first of all. This is what I take from Brian Wilson’s words.

So why not start today? Why not finally forgive those who have done you wrong and focus on the good stuff?
And speaking of forgiveness: why not start with yourself?


¹ as cited by Hardeep Phull, New York Post, June 4, 2015.

Image credits:
"Forgive." by Tony Webster
https://goo.gl/57sKBB
is licensed under a Creative Commons license:
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
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