End of October around here means we’re watching all of the Harry Potter* movies again.
Each year we notice new and different layers of meaning, detail, and nuance… while enjoying all of the familiar favorites.
This year was different in a new way.
Let me share a little bit about how I came into close contact with my own personal facet of …
Uncle Vernon Dursley.
(If you haven’t read the books or seen the movies, this character, Vernon Dursley, is Harry Potter’s uncle by marriage. )
Totally shocking. Completely true. I was taken aback by the palpable knowing and realness of how I have an inner Uncle Vernon.
Usually we talk about lead -& younger- characters we identify with in pop culture chat. So… kind of stunning and baffling that I would identify a source of truth with Uncle V, right?
Early on in the first movie of the whole series, Uncle Vernon goes to any, and many, lengths to prevent Harry from receiving a letter that will change his whole world, his perspective, his dreams… and even Harry’s identity.
Check out this film snippet here as a refresher: https://youtu.be/J0im92OUk5A?si=3sU-mc3SqHM-2a7K
The insight I got was:
Uncle Vernon portrays resistance.
And he does so, so beautifully.
A very scared mind that won’t allow change or growth. Anything outside of his comfort zone that could be viewed (by others and himself) as “not normal” or “strange” is shut down… the sooner the better.
Kind of like when I used to bolt, distract, or shut down painful feelings. My resistance was so immediate and habitual, it was unconscious.
Of course it was a part of my mind trying to keep me safe. Being and feeling scared or untrusting of what is new that arrives FOR ME - my letter, if you will - is understandable.
Did you notice?
The more Uncle Vernon denied the letters to Harry, the more owls (conveyors/reminders) with letters (feelings) showed up?
Same with feelings, my darlings… SAAAAME. Do you see this?
When Harry received his letter, magic became known in his life. In his own dear self.
Magic here in our world can feel impossible, I get that. Peace, calm, tranquility, a mastery over one’s mind and mindset can also feel impossible.
But it is possible. And yes, it absolutely does feel like magic when we encounter it.
Is it unlovely and not fun to share that I identified a bit with Uncle Vernon during my Potter watch-a-thon? It is.
Is it true? Yes. That was my experience.
Did magic come with this realization? Yes. And peace.
These are characters.
Well-worn characters with new, specific names and faces.
And we each hold a bit of them. This is how we know them so well. How we identify them so easily.
Yes, my resistance feels like the character portrayal called Uncle Vernon.
Sometimes wisdom feels like Molly Weasely.
Sometimes sorrow feels like Professor Severus Snape.
Sometimes courage feels like Neville Longbottom.
To me. And for me.
They are not ME.
(They are not you either, love.)
I am not always like Uncle V.
AND, here in my human self, I do hold resistance sometimes and get scared of the unfamiliar… like I saw it portrayed. I made a connection.
The value of stories
Stories hold keys and portals to understanding. Even when they offer unlovely truths, they are - at the very same time - also offering new worlds to me.
The very same can be true for you as well. Yes, with different stories.
Your magic awaits.
It’s on the other side of resistance.
*I and my company are unaffiliated with Harry Potter works, rights, and indicia. I offer this writing as that of a fan, reader and listener of the books, and watcher of the films only.