By in Movies & TV

Lessons of Heart from Downton Abbey

I am feeling quite a lot of sadness today for some reason. I'm not sure exactly why. P erhaps, it is due in part to my having watched the first two seasons of Downton Abbey in the last five days.

Though I was certainly not born into English aristocracy, I rather feel and identify in many ways to the eldest daughter, Lady Mary. I also feel quite connected with the youngest, Lady Sybil. Each of these two strong characters have a sense of selflessness about them, though it can be difficult to see, at times. Some might see it as selfishness

The elder of the two denies her heart for the good of the family, making sure that all "looks good" and no one need be embarrassed by her. She has often "settled," just to keep up appearances. She is often seen as unapproachable, aloof, and cold-hearted.

The younger denies herself the love and acceptance from her family to go after who she is and what she wants. There is equally painful consequences for doing so. She is seen as impetuous and rebellious.

I see them both as courageous and loving.

I recently wrote this in response to a friend's question about my love life: ... I, unfortunately, gave my heart away years ago. One of those unrequited love stories. Crazy as it may seem, there are some who love so deeply and take loyalty (and love) so seriously that they end up giving away more than they will ever find. Perhaps, it is foolishness for some, but I think that is how I am hard-wired... I think I am destined to live without a love life. I am the quintessential "buddy."

I have often wondered how selflessness can so often being misunderstood or taken as frivolousness or foolishness in women. Worse yet, it saddens me that some can be seen as heartless, when they often are most capable of the most committed love.

© Coral Levang, 2015

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Image Credit » by 800bikuni

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JohnRoberts wrote on May 1, 2015, 6:23 PM

You have got a ways to go. You will see further character development and the fates of Mary and Sybil. I can't be a spoiler except to say have a hankie at hand.

Kasman wrote on May 1, 2015, 7:01 PM

Some of us have developed a 'heartless' facade because of the loss of one who meant so much to us. We are afraid to give again in case we are hurt again

CoralLevang wrote on May 2, 2015, 8:36 AM

I just started Season 3 last night. The other two seasons I am on the hold lists at the library, 32 and 100 respectively. I will make sure I have the tissues ready!

Last Edited: May 2, 2015, 8:36 AM

CoralLevang wrote on May 2, 2015, 8:49 AM

Agreed. I think (for me) it was a bit odd, as the particular person was a "pen pal," of sorts. In the old days, we would have been. The internet made it easier for communication, but the sentiments sent seemed the same. Perhaps, I fell in love with an idea/fantasy? But I really did care, and then we met .... and that's all I care to say about this... but it was magical... and then felt betrayed, when I found out that there were many lies told over the decade.
When I look at this loss, but I also look at the loss of other men in my early life (father issues, and father-figure issues), I think that there are many developments of these "heartless" facades, yes. Perhaps, I have chosen situations where it's been "easy" not to give again...or ??? I have been my own worst enemy in affairs of the heart. emoticon :sad:

Dalane wrote on May 2, 2015, 8:11 PM

I have been re-watching this series and am on season 4. I love this show and will be sad when it comes to an end next season. Of the three sisters, I liked Sybil the most. Mary is too cold and aloof. I wonder if she'll change in the next season.

CoralLevang wrote on May 3, 2015, 2:02 PM

I have two more to watch on Season 3. I am on the list at the library for season 4, but I'm afraid it will be awhile. I will not watch the next seasons until I am able to see 4 and then 5. I may go to Half-Price books to see if I can purchase the 4th.
I, too, liked Sybil, but I see the goodness in them all, and the challenges each face. Sybil is certainly the most likable. I don't see Mary as cold and aloof, though she acts that way. Perhaps, it is because I identify with her as the eldest, the one expected to follow the rules, and unable to be the free spirit because of responsibilities.