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I’ve recently been introduced to the Norwegian TV-series SKAM and I must say that it has had quite an interesting effect on me that I was in no way expecting. In fact, I am not sure I’ve ever been affected by a TV-series or a movie the way I have with SKAM, and it seems I am not alone with this experience as thousands of people around the world are watching it with awe, with people saying that it has changed their lives and entire sections of the internet being dedicated to it in various ways.
It is quite extraordinary to me that a TV-show can have such an impact, not only on me but on thousands of people around the world. It hasn’t been marketed or advertised anywhere, but has still become an overnight success due to the word of mouth of young people who have shared it with each other. The series is so remarkable to me because it speaks TO and ABOUT REAL people and real issues. It shows a glimpse of a potential what TV and movies can become in the future, as something we watch, not as mind-numbing entertainment that’s supposed to let us escape from our lives, but instead as something that supports us to grow and develop ourselves and gain insights from watching our lives being mirrored and reflected back to us with messages of courage and strength - messages that especially young people need to hear.
The series focuses on a group of teenagers between the ages of 16-19 who is attending high school in Oslo, the capitol of Norway. Each season features a new main character. The series is created in a such a way that the acting, the scenes, the cinematography and even the music makes it all feel extremely realistic. Not only do you feel like you are right there with them, (and the show does an amazing job at depicting youth culture of today), but I was also transported back to my own teenage years.
The series is so different because it doesn’t speak down to young people, but instead speak directly from their perspective. Many of the adults in the series are for example represented only by the middle part of their body and their voice. So you don’t see any faces and this is such a cool cinematographic concept, because it places the entire focus on the kids and at the same time depicts relationships teenagers often have with adults, of not at all being connected with them.
Season 3 (spoiler alert ahead) features the perhaps most epic love story I have ever seen and it nearly knocked me over with the intensity of the feelings I experienced. I am not going to go into the details of it, because it isn’t important here, but since watching it, I’ve opened up within me to investigate what it is about this particular love story that has moved me so much.
The main character lives a life of being fake and miserable and in total suppression of who he is. He lies to his friends and creates conflicts and basically has a horrible life. That is finally released when he admits to himself that he’s in love with this other boy and they eventually end up together.
Isak and EvenThe scene that impacted me the most, is the first scene where we see the boys finally together. They’re laying next to each other with hoodies on, kissing, hugging and speaking. It is a very ‘every-day’ kind of moment.
Yet it triggered some very deep feelings within me. I realized that it was the experience of ‘coming home’, of ‘belonging’ of ‘letting go’, of finally being able to be completely oneself and be open, of being intimate and vulnerable and without fear.
The whole experience has a tremendous impact on the boys as well and the main character end up saying that there’s nothing he finds embarrassing anymore. He’s walked through the worst, so he has no fear anymore.
In looking at how watching this love story unfold between these two boys, I also identified some words that I could see in them that caused me to react in such an intense way. It was words such as ‘devotion’, ‘intensity’, ‘passion’ and ‘romance’ and specifically related to the way the boys looked at each other.
I find it quite interesting to see myself react in this way and also to see how many others around the world (particularly young girls and women) react in the same way. All my life I’ve been quite a romantic when it comes to imagining being in a relationship. It is one of the first defining things I remember about myself. When I was 3 I started speaking about being in love with the boys in my kindergarten. And it wasn’t in a ‘cute’ romantic way, but more in relation to desiring ‘passion’ in a relationship. This basically continued all the way up until adulthood with a major peek during my preteen and teenage years and then as I had several long term relationships that ended, I started becoming more and more disillusioned with the idea of this ‘perfect love’. What has then been so interesting to see in how I’ve reacted to this series, is how this desire still exists virtually ‘intact’ within me as I in watching the series, have experienced myself exactly as I did when I was 12-13 years old and was yearning after some boy.
In bringing all of it back to myself, I have had a look at how I live in relation to myself – because obviously these intense feelings do not come out of the blue. Looking at the word devotion for example, I could see how I haven’t this lived in relation to myself. Rather than wanting some boy to look at me with total devotion, I can develop an intimate and devoted relationship with myself.
I also looked at how I wished that there was more passion, intensity and romance in my relationship with my husband and I could see how I had been passively waiting for him to bring it into the relationship, due to a specific limitation I’ve created of the gender-roles having different responsibilities in a relationship. I believed it was the man’s job to “seduce” the woman and that the woman more passively had to be the recipient of the man’s advances. I realized that I actually have all the information inside myself of what I’d like to develop in my relationship, so there is no need for me to wait for something to happen. I can create it myself – not only in relation to my husband, but also in relation to myself and my life.
Then there is also the other side of the story that has to do with an experience of ‘coming home’ and ‘belonging’ that we often project onto romantic relationships. In this case it was particularly extreme because it was someone who was denying who they were, and so there is a scene at the end where the main character shares that what he’s so glad about in having met this other boy is not so much the love itself, but how it allowed him to finally step up and be himself.
This has made me look at my own relationship with myself and how I am holding myself back from expressing who I am, but also from being my own ‘home’ and creating a ‘home’ within/as myself. For too long, I’ve lived as an enemy against myself in so many ways and it is time that I start landing in myself. To do that, I have to be a person that I would actually want to be with – and so in a sense, become my own ‘perfect partner’.
If I want passion and intensity in my life, I am certainly not going to get it by watching a TV-series and becoming consumed by ‘feel-good’ feelings – that isn’t real, it is just a simulation. It is the same in most relationships, which is why it cannot be sustained throughout time. It isn't real. So why not create REAL passion, REAL intensity? Why not find out what romance is in a REAL way, as something that isn’t fleeting and based on superficial and volatile feelings of love, but that can actually be sustained over time? Perhaps these 'epic loves' that we are all looking for, were never about achieving some great feeling towards someone else (or someone else feeling that towards us.
Perhaps it was about finding our way home to ourselves all along.
Learn more about this way of living:
DIP Lite – a free online course to get started on your journey of self-discovery and liberation
Desteni I Process PRO – a course for those ready for the next phase
School of ultimate Living – Online community focusing on real life practical change
7 Year Journey To Life Process – People Sharing their Processes of Self-Forgiveness and Self-Correction
Journey to a New Life