Friday, January 30, 2009

Bianca is in Town For a Reason

I watched a very touching movie called, "Lars and the Real Girl" a while back. A friend had brought it to my house insisting that we watch it. It was an odd little story, but it was full of messages that I find particularly useful and powerful.

Lars is an odd young man who was raised in an emotionally deprived environment. His mother died when he was young, and he was left with his depressed and grief stricken father. Lars' older brother was off to his own life and wasn't there to help Lars in any way.

After the father's death, Lars is living in a garage apartment while his older brother and his wife live in the family home. The brother and his wife constantly try to draw Lars out from his life of isolation and integrate him into their family. Lars resists all these attempts.

One day, Lars witnesses a co-worker ordering a life sized 'doll' from the Internet. These dolls are intended for men to use as, shall we say, physical companions. Lars decides to order one of these dolls for himself. When she arrives, she is dressed in 'call girl' type clothing. Her name is Bianca.

He tells his brother that he'd like to bring his new girlfriend to dinner. The brother is elated and excited. He is thrilled to think that maybe his strange, lonely brother is coming around to a more normal way of life.

The brother and his wife are shocked and horrified when Lars shows up with Bianca, and treats her as though she were a real person. They haul him off to see a psychiatrist.

After interviewing Lars the doctor speaks privately to the brother and his wife. She explains that Lars is firmly convinced that Bianca is real, and that there is a reason why he has come to this belief. Her advice is to 'go along with Lars.' The doctor says, "Bianca... is in town for a reason." She goes on to explain that there is a purpose for her presence in Lars' life, and that when she's no longer needed she will no longer be there.

Though the story, the entire small town rallies around Lars and Bianca. They all treat her as though she is completely real. As time goes by, Lars learns how to interact with people, and join the 'land of the living' with the help of Bianca's presence and his friends and family's embracing of 'the couple.' Just as the doctor said, when Lars no longer needs Bianca, she fades from the scene (I won't tell you how -you should watch the movie!)

My friend and I talked about the movie after we watched it. "Bianca is in town for a reason" has become a sort of mantra for us. EVERYONE that appears in our life, no matter what the context, is 'in town for a reason.' There is a purpose for their presence in our lives. If we didn't "need" them in some way... they wouldn't be there. Even people who aren't treating us well, who annoy us, or create unpleasantness are there, at some level, by invitation. We need them in order to learn our lessons and grow into the people we are meant to be. If we embrace their presence and engage in our learning and growth processes, even the 'unpleasant' people will give us the gift they have for us, and they will either change or leave our lives.

Got any Biancas hanging out in your life? Maybe its time to take a closer look at what they might be trying to help you learn.

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