Since I was young, I was captured by Kill Bill. I tend to love narratives about growing into ones' strength and identity. Lady Vengeance is another one that explores similar themes.

Anyway, the last scene always struck me. Her tears were so complex yet I couldn't quite understand what they meant. Superficially, it could be read that Beatrix is just sad after Bill's demise. They had a complex, loving and intense relationship after all. However, I read it as so much more. The tension invited my curiosity for many years.

There's grief, there's turmoil, yet there's GRATITUDE. It's a storm of emotions releasing at once. Do you see? It's catharsis. This great mystery of expression resonated. And I didn't figure out why until today, at 1:11. It was like an angel dropped the answer into my mind. 

In Tibetan Buddhist tapestries, Buddha is always in the center. Below Buddha are what look like, upon first glance, demons. However, they're actually called "Protectors", people put on Buddha's path so that he can overcome, grow and learn from the experience. They are in fact, antagonists.

The people who are our "enemies" teach us the most about ourselves.

Bill is, was, Beatrix's nemesis. He put her through hell and committed brutal acts of violence towards her. He took away her chance at a normal life. Because she has so much hate in her heart for him, her vengeance is what drives the entire narrative. HOWEVER, it is important to see it from a broader point of view. Bill knew who Beatrix was. He tells her at the end, "you are a born killer,"

When Beatrix ran away from her career as an assassin and found a new life in Texas where she would get married and raise her daughter in normalcy and peace, Her abandonment drove Bill mad, so he hunted her down. Essentially, Beatrix was running away out of fear: fear that her killer nature was incompatible with her social role as a mother.

Through everything after, he tested her limits time and time again, showing her her true strength and resilience. By the end, Beatrix redeems not only her daughter, but a life in which she could be the killer she was too. Through testing her, Bill gave Beatrix a gift: he allowed her to get in touch with her true nature, one that she denied. He allows her to integrate nurturer with killer, though initially they seemed at conflict. She's crying because she recognizes this. 

This dawned on me today as I truly recognized the value of my childhood. I've struggled with many different emotions during my own healing process including anger, resentment, guilt, then neutrality. Today, I finally reached the peak: gratitude. By placing the obstacles in my path, my own parents, especially my mother, gave me purpose. As a born healer, they gave me a reason to heal. It does not by any means justify their abuse as I am still not in contact with them because I do not condone their treatment of me. Instead, it helps me recognize the meaning behind my trauma. It gave me insight, it gave me experience, and it gave me not only the capacity, but the depth to empathize with the people I encounter. They allowed me to get in touch with a part of the human condition I wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise. They let me redeem myself.

Had it not been what I went through, perhaps I'd be very different today, with little ability to access and little desire to do what I love most, now.

And very often, on this spiritual path, I find that my greatest hurdles are also great gifts. They point me towards what still needs to heal so that I can move forward.

xo M