Fans of the PBS hit, Downton Abbey, were entertained by season four’s first episode this month. It seems that the series writers may have had some connection with the TRP® ideas as there were several references in the first episode of ideas similar to TRP®’s Reversing the Flow.
Those who have attended a TRP® training know page 20 of the workbook introduces Reversing the Flow as a process of channeling negative emotional energy into service for others. The result is transformative and helps change the negative feelings of fear, anger, grief, etc. into a positive expression.
During this first episode we find the characters grieving over the death of Matthew Crawley which occurred shortly after his marriage to Lady Mary, daughter of the Earl of Grantham, the head of the Abbey. In addition, Matthew was half owner of the Abbey. Matthew’s death occurred in the last scene of the last episode of season three.
The two people most impacted by Matthew’s death are his wife, Lady Mary (who also gave birth to their child after Matthew’s death) and Matthew’s mother, Isabel Crawley.
Season four begins with several scenes with both of these ladies seemingly paralyzed by their grief. Mary is angry and Isabel feeling useless.
Through the efforts of Mary’s brother-in-law who is involved in management of the Abbey and the head Butler, Mr. Carson, Lady Mary begins the process of reversing the flow of her attention away from her grief to paying attention to the operation of the Abbey.
An interesting exchange occurs between Mrs. Hughes, the head housekeeper of the Abbey, and Isabel Crawley, Matthew’s mother. Mrs. Crawley is grieving and feeling useless. Mrs. Hughes has discovered a homeless man (an old acquaintance of Mr. Carson) who is in need of assistance. She goes to Mrs. Crawley and asks her to take this man in saying he has potential. The dialogue between the two is instructive:
“To be honest, Mrs. Hughes, I don’t see that, it [the homeless man] is any of my business.”
“That’s something I never thought I’d hear you say, ma’am. A wretched man is in the workhouse and he reaches out to us for rescue.”
“He reached to Carson. I don’t see what you want me to do.”
“Mrs. Crawley, I wondered if I could bring him here.”
“If you and I would vouch for him to the authorities, I’m sure we could get him away from that place.”
“But why here? Why not the Abbey? Isn’t he Carson’s responsibility?”
“I’m sorry to say it but Mr. Carson has turned his back on his old pal.”
“I see. So, you want to risk Mr. Carson’s wrath by rescuing this Mr. Griggs.”
“He’s a pitiful being. But, he’s not beyond work. He’s not beyond a decent life if he could find it.”
“You see, in my present state I don’t believe I’m strong enough…”
“But, you are, ma’am. If you could just set aside your grief, and use that strength for another’s good.”
Shortly thereafter, the homeless man was broght into Mrs. Crawley’s home and was on his way to recovery.
Mrs. Hughes is right on. Let’s collect some more examples in our lives.