I am in the midst of watching a new series on Netflix called ‘The Spy’ starring Sacha Baron Cohen in the lead as Eli Cohen. The latter is based on person that have existed for real and that was one of Israel’s most successful spies. In the series we get to follow Eli Cohen has he goes through some nerve-wrecking encounters with death.
The series effectively transmits the experience of constantly being in danger of exposure that is part of the espionage trade. And being caught spying has always been treated with some of the most severe punishments available. Not only that – being caught spying also implies that your entire social network will turn against you in a moments notice. All of the relationships you have built up with your spy persona will crumble and you will be all alone in a foreign country. And that is a constant fear for the spy – because he knows he is different – he carries a enormous consequential secret that he cannot share with anyone – because if he does – he will be punished.
It is this experience of anxiety that has been the biggest takeaway for me – and it has opened up some aspects of how I function. For example – to me it is important to be honest and genuine. It is also important to have harmonic relationships and thus I will seldom do things to risk my relationships – mostly because of anxiety. And by watching this series I have been able to face some of that anxiety and understand it better. The thing about Eli Cohen is that he does not care about what others think about him. He is completely certain in himself and in his mission. He does not care about losing his relationships. He only cares about completing what he set out to do. And even though that is a limiting and destructive way to see things, when taken to the absolute as Eli Cohen do, it is something that I am able to learn from. Because with me, I care too much about how others see me, and too much about having balance and harmony in my relationships.
If there is something I want to practice and push in my life it is to be less moved by what others might think about me. I want to make my own decisions and live my life with my own self-honesty as my guide and not be moved by what others think is right or wrong – or by the emotional outbursts of others. When I am afraid of what others think about me – I end up living the life of someone else. And what is the point of that?
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