"The Other Sister"

with Juliette Lewis

Viewed September 23, 2000

In this video "the other sister" was a developmentally disabled woman (Carla) who was trying to create a life of her own, sometimes with the help of-but mostly in spite of-her socialite mother. Carla had little difficulty expressing her emotions honestly, and that triggered Questions #4, 5 and 6. We commented that sometimes we want to be able to express our emotions more honestly, but that sometimes in our culture (like at work, for instance) it might not always be appropriate. That means that most of us go around in our lives with innumerable masks, creating a public persona that does not match who we really are (Question #9).

We also talked about Question #1, the tug-of-war we sometimes feel as parents (or in any number of other relationships) where we want to "let someone go" and be free to make their own mistakes, and yet we want to protect them from the mistakes they may need to make in order to grow. Two women who are mothers talked about the difficulty they had letting go of their daughters, and how they sometimes just practiced "shutting up!" when they were craving giving their daughters advice.

That provided a perfect segue into Question #8, wherein we realized that our "easy way" that we dearly want to share with others may in fact not be the best way for another person. Furthermore, even if it WOULD be easier for them, it can be a difficult or even impossible task to communicate our "easy way" to someone else in a way that they can accept our ideas rather than resist and/or resent them.

Here are the questions:


  1. How can I protect those I love and yet still allow them the opportunities for pain and failure they need for their own personal growth?
  2. How do I adapt my expectations to the Flow of Life?
  3. How can I be THAT insightful as a friend?
  4. What in my life keeps me from authentically expressing my emotions?
  5. How well do I allow others to express their feelings/needs/emotions without taking it personally?
  6. What keeps me from recapturing my childlike raw honesty?
  7. How can I be part of "the solution"?
  8. How could I more effectively share my "easy way" of doing things with others?
  9. How much of my public persona is a lie?