I was really impressed with the Wonder Woman 1984 movie that was released at the end of 2020. Even though a lot of people bashed its message, I believe it teaches us much about reality. Perhaps many disliked the movie because it pervades a message that they do not want to hear. Even though we all want things our way, desire to have our wishes granted, and live a life we always want to, reality shows us that we do not always get what we want. Perhaps (many times) not getting everything we desire is the best thing that could have happened to us. The world would be in chaos if everyone gets everything that we asked for! Thus, we are constantly reminded that, in this world, the only thing that is worth pursuing and living for is the truth, because only the truth will set us free from the bondage of sins, enslavement to endless wants, and liberation from ever-changing opinions, trends, ideologies, and especially the never-ending desires for “more” stuff.
We often get held back by our own endless desires that never make us happy, especially in a world where we are told that our self-worth is based on how effective, successful, powerful, prestige, well-known, or rich in the eyes of the world or through the approval of others. Greed, which is one of the seven deadly sins, is a never-ending pit! As soon as we get something, we (quickly) become discontent and want more, since we are never satisfied with what we have for long. We constantly chase after things to fill the void that we think will make us happy, but that sentimental, emotional, sensational pleasure or satisfaction will only fill us for a while because nothing in this world can really give us true contentment or rest.
This also applies to people, not just things and earthly matters! Since we are all social and relational beings, we often find comfort in having the approval, “love,” or admiration of others. We often think that we need to be accepted or have this or that person in our lives to make us happy or feel full. Nonetheless, even then, we can still run into the problem of using or needing others to ease the uncomfortable emptiness we have deep from within. The hardest lesson that we all have to learn, even with the people that we truly care about and love, is that sometimes they move on, fail us, or cannot be with us forever. This reality hurts and we do not like it! However, this is the one truth that is consistent but hard to accept.
The hardest lesson is to appreciate, be present, embrace each relationship in the present moment, and let go when the time comes. Letting go is hard but it is so important and crucial. We are still on a journey, for this is not our final destination; and many times, we can only learn, grow, and move forward with our walk, embracing the valuable lessons of life with all their blessings, hurts, sufferings, pains, and growing edges.
The constant and re-learning of curbing, controlling, and letting of our many desires, wants, and wanton pleasures help us to focus on what is truly important. We might not always get what we want, and life is not going to always be great and filled with every one of our desires, but it is still beautiful and worth living for! At the end of the movie, Diana, Wonder Woman, says something that is really touching as she tries to convince Maxwell Lord and all those who were depending on him to grant their wishes:
I’ve never wanted anything more [to be with her lover]. But he’s gone… and that’s the truth. And everything has a price. One I’m not willing to pay. Not anymore. This world was a beautiful place just as it was… and you cannot have it all. You can only have the truth. And the truth is enough. The truth is beautiful. So look at this world… and look at what your wish is costing it. You must be the hero. Only you can save the day. Renounce your wish if you want to save this world.
Maxwell Lord, the villain, responds:
Why would I… when it’s finally my turn? The world belongs to me! You can’t stop me. No one can!
I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to everyone else. Because you’re not the only one who has suffered… Who wants more… Who wants them back… Who doesn’t want to be afraid anymore… Or alone… Or frightened… Or powerless… ‘Cause you’re not the only one who imagined a world where everything was different… Better… A world where they were loved, and seen, and appreciated. But what is it costing you? Do you see the truth?
This message is hard to swallow and digest because it speaks the truth. It contradicts our society and its false, consumeristic, and shallow message of having more and being able to do what one wants! Nonetheless, over and over again, people fall into the false trap that brings much anxiety and depression; and even at times, too, leads to addiction because they cannot accept that they do not have to have everything they want or desire to be happy. Thus, the greatest lesson has always been contentment and being able to appreciate, embrace, enjoy, and grow with where we are planted with what we have. True joy is not found in having more but in the exact ability to enjoy what we have in the present moment! Too many of us have chased after vain and endless “unfulfilled” desires of having more of whatever that we think we need to have but have never really lived life with its simple gift of the present moment.
One of the virtues that are spoken and emphasized much in spirituality is the simplicity of heart, which is the ability to be simple, humble, and able to love, appreciate, and be content with what we have instead of what should, could, or would have to be for us in other ways. Even though the simplicity of heart sounds simple, it is one of the hardest virtues to practice because it requires the constant self-emptying and letting of one’s self to truly be able to see, love, and live a life full of grace, full of love, and full of blessings that come from above! We might not always get what we want, but we have always been given what we need from God who truly cares, wills, and wants the best for us for eternity.
Therefore, look at our very own lives right now and see what is being given and blessed by God at this very present moment. Please remember that we are not promised tomorrow or are able to control everything, so all we can do is love, appreciate, embrace, and be present to the people in our lives at this moment. In each and every moment of life, we can all choose to be courageous, heroic, and steadfast in our truth by standing firm with our God-given and moral values so as to be known as His children and people of faith by how we live and are willing to embrace the truth. We can all learn how to be faithful and diligent in our vocation and daily works, patient with things that are not perfect or not according to what we like, and courageous to defend what is right and just! Even though we might not always get what we want or be popular with others, God sees our hearts if we keep ourselves simple, humble, and fixed on His loving truth that sets us free from ever-changing matters.
It is, indeed, hard to be true heroes of faith and value. It takes a lot of effort to be holy, steadfast, and saintly as God wants us to be! There will be a lot of hard choices to be made, a lot of sacrifices to be had, and a lot of letting go to be practiced. Nevertheless, there are no shortcuts on the true journey of the soul toward our final destination of heaven, especially its necessary heroic acts to choose God, His love, and to keep His commandments above all else. Therefore, let us not be afraid to seek, love, and embrace the truth, even its necessary sacrifices to live a life worthy of our dignity as children of God, our vocation and calling to holiness, especially our mission and purpose to seek and live for our final destination of the heavenly homeland.
It all begins with how we choose to love Him above all things… one step, one day at a time.
— (The picture of the character “Wonder Woman” is taken from the Wonder Woman 1984 movie by DC Films, Atlas Entertainment, The Stone Quarry, and Warner Bros. Pictures) —