How Steven Universe Reminds Me It’s OK to Show Emotion
I was late to the Steven Universe fandom, starting the show in late July. In this past month, I have watched all the episodes so far and fallen in love.
It’s such a beautiful show. From the animation to the storylines, I appreciate everything about it. Another beautiful thing about it is what it can teach adults as well as children: it’s ok to show emotion.
I was always made to feel like my feelings and emotions weren’t valid:
“Why are you always upset?”
“Why are you mad?”
“Get over it!”
What people fail to understand is I need to feel anger and sadness. I need to process what I’m going through in order to get over it. Constantly holding things in will eat away at you.
And the most recent episode successfully reminded me of that.
In the beginning of “Mindful Education,” we see Connie show up to Steven’s house, visibly upset about something. He tries to talk to her about it, but it’s time for training. While Steven and Connie are fused as Stevonnie, things fall apart. Connie thinks back on what has her distracted and it messes with the unity of the fusion. Since fusion is the bond between two Gems, or people in this case, when one is out of sync, both participants need to acknowledge the issue.
Steven and Connie do just that and we find out she hurt a kid at school. The kid bumped into her and her training instincts kicked in. It was a mistake, but she can’t stop thinking about it.
The two meditate with Garnet and she tells us that fusion is about balance. “If one of you is falling apart, your fusion will as well,” Garnet says.
This is when we hear the beautiful song “Here Comes a Thought,” a gentle reminder of allowing yourself to stop, think and feel whatever you need to feel. Once that’s done, you can let it go and move on.
I want to take a moment and say that this is in my top three for favorite Steven Universe songs. “Stronger Than You” is number one and “Something Entirely New” is third now. These three songs make me feel the most emotional. I feel at my most human when I listen to them and that’s why I love them.
Later, we find out Connie apologized to Jeff, the kid she beat up. She says she spent all that time feeling bad instead of doing something. Talking to Jeff helped her clear her head so she can stay focused.
Then Steven gets out of sync while he and Connie are training as Stevonnie.
He thinks about those he hurt: Bismuth, Jasper and Eyeball. These characters all put him in dangerous situations and he had to do what was best for himself as well as those he cared about. He’s reminded that it’s ok to think about it, but it becomes overwhelming. Steven and Connie unfuse and fall off a cliff during training. Steven is upset, but Connie comforts him. They then fuse again and land safely. “I’m here,” Stevonnie declares.
There are other instances where we see the effect emotions may have. In “Steven Floats,” we find out that Steven can control his floating powers, such as how fast or slow he can land, by thinking of happy or sad thoughts. In several episodes, we see Steven use his bubble to protect those he cares about. There were a few episodes that focus on Pearl lying to Garnet so the two could fuse into Sardonyx. This betrayal causes Garnet to unfuse back into Ruby and Sapphire in “Keystone Motel,” where each Gem deals with the betrayal in her own way. There have also been some episodes where Amethyst felt insecure about her size and felt weak because she lost a battle to Jasper, who constantly called her a runt.
Almost every character has a storyline where they deal with their emotions and the actions that come with them. They’re constant reminders to check myself.
For a long time now, I’ve been stressed about finding a job in my field. The job rejections tend to consume me and it has made me doubt my skills and abilities at times. I’ve gotten angry at myself for not doing more or procrastinating or about decisions I made in the past. However, I’m learning to take a moment, breathe and reflect. Things happen for a reason and I have the path that is for me ahead of me. It will be ok. I will find my purpose. I’m here.
Basically, the “Mindful Education” episode was right on time. I’ve been working on positive thinking and letting things go. I’ve been learning to trust the Universe and its process. The more I resist and try to take over things that are out of my control, the harder things are. I can’t say I always think positively. It’s hard, but at least I’m trying.
As adults, we tend to forget to stop for a moment to think or reflect. We’re too busy being strong or putting up a front to show we can always handle what’s coming our way because that’s what’s expected of us. But it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to be mad. Work through it and get past it.
You will be ok. I will be ok.