Sitting with those horrible feelings, and needing to understand them, and putting them into place. In the end, you find: I am those things I don’t like. That is a part of me. I can’t deny that. I have to accept that. And in fact, I have to embrace that. I need to face that and take care of that. Because by denying it, I deny myself. I am those mistakes. For me every misstep has been a step toward epiphany, understanding, some kind of joy. Yeah, the avoidance of pain is a real mistake. It’s the real missing out on life. It’s those very things that shape us, those very things that offer growth, that make the world a better place, oddly enough, ironically. That make us better.
I have a real knack for finding people defend pain. God’s trying to teach me something. Would that I could get it and stop making the same mistakes.
Anyway. I wasn’t expecting this much wisdom from Pitt. There’s something about his character in Burn After Reading that just seemed like him, like it was a role he played without acting at all. Maybe he was that way when he was young, maybe it’s just what Hollywood has made him out to be in public. But there’s much more. In another part of the interview, he offers words anyone interested in getting married, or currently married, should cherish:
I heard one lawyer say, “No one wins in court—it’s just a matter of who gets hurt worse.” And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you’re right and why they’re wrong, and it’s just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.
Divorce should be seen as something quite uglier than the best feminist’s defenses can conjure. It ought to be seen as a “family ripped apart.” Indeed Jolie was Brad’s second wife, but the truth is the same.
As Christians, we have a responsibility to acknowledge and seek to understand how that much pain can become normal, how it can just become apart of someone’s philosophy — that a family should be ripped apart, that divorce and separating children from their earthly creators should be allowed.
Elsewhere, Pitt shows himself to have learned a lot as a father, and from this men have a lot to learn also:
People on their deathbeds don’t talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets—that seems to be the menu. I say that as someone who’s let the work take me away. Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I’m not hearing. I want to be better at that.