Shawshank Redemption: A Message of Self Discovery from the Soul

digging dirt | Dianna Bonny Photography

One of my all time favorite movies is The Shawshank Redemption. In the days when we had the premium cable subscription with a bevy of channels, if I happened to be mindlessly flipping through seeking a source of entertainment and came across it, without question, no matter how far along the movie was, I was hooked.

I’m hoping you’ve seen it too, even if only once.

I haven’t seen hide nor hair of the movie for a few years, but I had an interesting visual in a meditation the other day where this scene appeared: it is revealed that wrongfully accused Andy Dufresne has been tunneling his way out of prison by night, and disposing of the evidence by day, by lining the cuff of his pants with the dirt and discretely releasing it into the grounds of the yard.

In my meditation, I suddenly made the connection that this is what I have been doing for a long while. Burrowing my way out of my self-imposed prison and scattering the remnants into the earth and atmosphere, or at least that is what I am trying to do via therapy, tapping, breathing, meditation and the like.

Choosing to become whole again is very much like willing yourself to begin digging a tunnel in a vague direction with no light at the end. It’s an act of faith and courage. The digging is frustrating and brings one face to face with uncomfortable feelings and truths that can be suffocating and claustrophobic.

Releasing the self you’ve become to make room for your true self to emerge requires an unwavering belief that there is something better on the other side. Something better than living in pain.

I truly believe that peace and well-being exist beneath our suffering, beyond our stories and thoughts. We must find our way through by tunneling out into the open.

Similar to Andy’s journey from incarceration to the outside world, my own healing has been arduous, slow moving and fraught with self-doubt. I have often felt stuck in a proverbial tunnel, where the only option is to back out, feet first.

But at this point, the thought of breaking through to the other side and feeling the light of day, the fresh air and the freedom keeps me moving forward.

So, did I love the good-triumphs-over evil theme? Absolutely, who doesn’t! However, I think my obsessive viewing had more to do with my soul waving a flag and sending up flares from the depths, where it lay in hopeful wait for my return.

It has taken me a very long while to allow these messages to come into view.

Do you have lyrics or movies you are constantly drawn too? Is it possible that your soul is sending a message?


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  18 comments for “Shawshank Redemption: A Message of Self Discovery from the Soul

  1. January 24, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Dianna, I admire your courage to share such a private moment of your life with the rest of us. What a powerful metaphor! I love this movie and I will never watch it the same again after your story.

    I do find that movies and songs show up for me in when I’m involved in meditation or healing/intuitive sessions. Sometimes a song will start playing on the radio in my mind, with perfect lyrics to share. Sometimes, a character will repeat a line from a movie or show, in perfect context. And sometimes I’ll see an entire scene unfold, and I better understand in that moment how to be most helpful. My personal glossary is built on pop culture references that help me to express a concept more easily to my clients.

    Fun question, thank you!

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 25, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Thank you Janet. It sounds like the universe is sending messages to you as well 🙂 How lovely that you are able to incorporate them into your work life. xo

  2. January 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I love movies where Good wins! I loved the movie Erin Brockovich. She fought against so much to help others and get results no matter what. I wish sometimes I could do that but when it comes to abuse on children.
    Great post!

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 25, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      So nice to hear from you Beverly. I loved Erin Brockovich too – so inspiring. I’m sure you have the same guts to get results. We can’t all be a warrior like Erin but even the small things can make a big difference in the world. Thank you for being here. xo

  3. January 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    This is one of my fav movies, Dianna, and I watch it every time, til the end, that I catch it while flipping through channels. Your post really resonated with me. Beautifully written, and it brought tears. Right there with you, Sister.

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 25, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you Lorna. Appreciate all the kindness and so glad to know someone else gets hooked by that movie. xo

  4. January 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    I think I most relate to the movie Eat, Pray, Love – a journey of discovering a true sense of self as well. I think her journey began the moment she stopped agreeing with those around her and started speaking her truth. I’ve not seen that movie but I will try to rent it soon. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 25, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      I loved Eat, Pray, Love as well. Speaking your truth is such an important message for all of us. One I am still trying to master. Thank you so much for sharing Debbie. xo

  5. January 25, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Dianna, what a wonderful post,and I think you really hit the nail on the head when you said

    “Choosing to become whole again is very much like willing yourself to begin digging a tunnel in a vague direction with no light at the end. It’s an act of faith and courage.”

    I am starting my journey soon – and realise how vulnerable and uncertain this path makes you feel – But SO worth it (I’m sure!)

    Thank you for sharing your road to peace and well-being

    Jacs 🙂

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 25, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      I am wishing you well on your journey Jacs and appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I think uncertainty and vulnerability is where our strength is buried. I hope you can embrace them as you travel on the path. Sending love, xo

  6. January 25, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Dianna, What a beautiful post! Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies. I love how you use it as a metaphor for healing and attaining freedom in our own lives. Thank you for reminding us! Martine

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 25, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you so much Martine. xo

  7. January 25, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Such a great post Dianna. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. More importantly, thank you for making us realize how important it is to free ourselves and enjoy the things bestowed before us. Time runs and we should make the best of ourselves before it is too late.

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      So true. Thank you for sharing. xo

  8. January 25, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Dianna, that was one of the movies a mentor of mine felt I had to watch in order to open up a discussion with myself. (I had been raised abroad and was never much of a movie watcher, and his technique was really effective.) I took it in slightly different directions, and am blown away by where you went with it. What amazing work you’re doing; I know your soul thanks you for your courage …

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 25, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      How interesting Sharon. I’ve never heard of it being used to open up a discussion but I love that idea because there are so many wonderful themes contained in the story. Thank you for sharing that with me. xo

  9. January 27, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Hi Dianna,

    I am exactly the same way! I have always loved this movie and I do the exact same thing.. it doesn’t matter where it is, I will watch it even if it is half way finished or only the last 20 minutes. 🙂 I’m not exactly sure why this movie has always moved me and it hits me on a different level now that my husband has experienced prison, and how we’re finding our way back to life. I can’t say that I didn’t ever give up, and it has made my journey that much more challenging ~ I suppose that is one of the best things about the movie ~ Andy finding his way and never giving up.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Dianna Bonny
      January 28, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Hi Toni:

      I am so glad to know there is another Shawshank groupie! How inspiring that you too are finding your way back to life after your experience. I am cheering you on! I had moments of feeling like giving up but I always tried to reframe them into surrendering to what was before me. I look back on when I felt that overwhelming desire to just give up and it seems like it was because I was heading in the wrong direction. I needed to let go and allow another path to appear. Thank you so much for sharing. Sending love and strength. xo

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