In continuing the theme of favorite movie quotes, I now turn to film/comic book series “V for Vendetta” (brilliantly created by Alan Moore and David Lloyd) for inspiration. In the film version, Natalie Portman portrayed the character Evey Hammond, who midway through the film is taken as a prisoner. After being continuously tortured and starved, she is asked if she would divulge the whereabouts of the film’s main character (the mysterious V) to her torturer, to which she defiantly answers that she “would rather die.” Her unknown captor then tells her, “Then you have no fear anymore. You’re completely free.” Immediately after, he walks away, leaving the cell door open for Evey to walk out without struggle or opposition.
How liberating to live a life free from fear, free from considering the opinions and judgements of others, free from concern that our actions are approved by others. For the majority of my early life, I so wanted my father to love and accept me. This came with a price: he made it clear to me that his love for me was tied to my love for his God and for my public display of obedience to this God. My star shone bright within the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization as I became a super-human adherent of the faith. My father’s approval of me came with a sacrifice: that of my own mind and free will. I soon grew weary of being micromanaged and scrutinized by men, being told what to do, when to do it and how to do it on a daily basis. I felt that I could never be good enough for this God or his earthly appointed representatives. I grew despondent and lost all joy in doing what I believed my father wanted from me. I crumbled under the weight of all of it and lost my way, feeling my way around the darkness of a void of my own creation. It was a long time before I realized that my father’s conditional love was nothing more than a prison for the expression of my truest self. When I let go of trying to please him everything changed and I evolved to become the person I am today.
At times, I still struggle with trying to please others, whether they be bosses, children or other family members. There is no freedom to be had when one is afraid of moving forward for fear of what someone is going to think of them, or how they may react. This fear has without a doubt stopped many from fulfilling their goals and desires, and kept more than a few held back by a notion that they may be “less than” or not good enough to become the version of themselves they really can be. We have to be fully invested in our own personal growth; what others wish for us may not be what makes us happiest.
Those who criticize us can only affect us if we let them. I am a firm believer in controlling my response to my external environment. If someone is trying to put me down, I reason that there is some internal struggle or issue that they have not been able to overcome, and will separate myself from the personal attack. I know who I am, and I do not let anyone convince me otherwise.
I’d rather die than give up my free will and independence. I am completely free; are you?
(Source: The Official Trailer)
“V for Vendetta” Copyright © Warner Bros. Pictures / FX Network