Animal Behaviour is an Oscar-nominated short film about the dynamics of group therapy between therapist Leonard and his six clients.
In recent podcasts that I have listened, one reoccurring theme is the importance of developing self-awareness for personal growth. Similarly, in this film, the characters share their deepest psychological issues with the hope of finding a resolution, yet they raise more conflicts within the group. Throughout the therapy, Leonard compassionately involves everyone to try to understand and help each other’s situation. As soon as the alarm rings, Leonard quickly sends his clients to the door, then he familiarly cleans his office, which marks a closure to the therapy session.
We sometimes allow external stimuli to automatically decide what we think and do, perhaps because there is no one like Leonard within ourselves to tell us when to stop and reflect. Beyond finding self-awareness and the motivation for behavioural change, our strength also lies in the ability to decide which road to take, to be conscious of our everyday present selves. But is it faith that ultimately pushes us forward?
Where is our sacred place, a place for reflection and meaning-making, in which we see ourselves and our stories as a whole? I find one of these moments during writing, a process of finding words to tell a story of who I am. Where I find a sense of feeling alive.