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Haunted by the Past and Unable to Heal, Woody Allen is in the news again

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I have laughed through so many of Woody Allen's intriguing and thought provoking movies. Annie Hall was a tribute to love, the way we enjoy the one we love in that unique and particular way that can only be felt with that person. And then there was Sleeper with that unforgettable scene of spacemen type sperm rushing to be the first to fertilize the egg and Woody Allen’s famous comment that someday they will tell us that chocolate is good for us.

However, there seems to be a deep dark secret held by Woody Allen, his ex-wife Mia Farrow, and their adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. Just as he was being acknowledged in a nomination for best screenplay for “Blue Jasmine,” his ex-wife and his son tweeted about the alleged sexual abuse which occurred when Dylan was 7 years old.

Life is a great equalizer. Some of us appear to have it all and to be so lucky and blessed. Yet any one of us, at any time, can have our whole world come crumbling down never to be rebuilt. One local woman had 2 beautiful daughters who were on a vacation with their father and never returned because a landslide buried them all. Another local woman had a husband and 2 beautiful daughters who were killed as their car crossed a railroad track. My beloved friend who sat with me at my college graduation succumbed to cancer a year ago right before Thanksgiving.

Trauma, loss, and emotional pain can happen to any of us at any time. Bad things happen to loving, caring and law abiding citizens just as easily as to those who have done something wrong. In fact, it sometimes seems that the joke “No good deed goes unpunished” is really true and that good people actually suffer more than those who are the perpetrators of pain and suffering.

Many Nazi war criminals lived for decades without having to pay any price for their crimes against innocent human beings. But there were groups of victims who never gave up, who continued to track down these people and eventually brought them to justice. Long after they probably believed it had all been forgotten or that they would never be reprimanded, suddenly they were arrested and brought to trial.

So it seems to be with Woody Allen. His marriage to Mia Farrow had ended when she discovered he was having an affair with his adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, daughter of Mia Farrow and André Previn. After Woody married Soon-Yi, and they appeared to be quite happy, his life and work continued only slightly marred by the notoriety. But now it is several decades later and his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, has gone public with a statement claiming that he had abused her when she was 7 years old.

The bottom line is this. We live and then we die. In between, we make choices, moment to moment and day by day. When our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors cause emotional and physical harm to others, we do not necessarily feel the pain or even understand the depth of pain we have caused. When we choose to do our own inner work and acknowledge the truth of how our actions have affected others, as in the famous Alcoholics Anonymous steps, we need to seek the forgiveness of those we have harmed, even if unintentionally. If we look the other way and pretend that nothing has happened, the pain and suffering often festers in the person who was victimized. When the truth finally comes out, years or decades later, it may be in a much more devastating form than if it had been acknowledged and healed soon after the event occurred. Sometimes the only way the victim can finally begin to heal is by making a public accusation which causes the accused person to feel emotional pain, in this case, public humiliation.

This current story is a powerful reminder to make every effort to heal the dangling emotional traumas in your life, sooner rather than later. Reach out, confront, and handle your emotional demons now. Then move forward to enjoy whatever life has to offer during your time on this earth. We are all just human beings attempting to enjoy the short span of life we are given - and sometimes we make choices that haunt us for the rest of life.

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