“Niagara Falls” is a popular vaudeville comedy skit where performers exploit repressed memories and their triggers. In the skit “Niagara Falls,” two comedians meeting for the first time engage in polite conversation. This continues until one uses “Niagara Falls” in the conversation.“Niagara Falls” seems to be the trigger that takes the comedian back to an unpleasant place in his past. He says,
“Niagara? Niagara? Slowly I turn, Step, by step, inch by and inch and I proceeded to kill the bum!”
As he is speaking, he moves closer to his new friend and begins to beat the crap out of him. The attacker snaps out of it and returns to the present. The new friend is confused and asks,
The attacker doesn’t recall his actions until the new friend says, “When I said, Niagara….” As soon as the attacker hears “Niagara,” he goes into a trance again and beats his new friend again.
Repressed memories are usually triggered and brought to the surface by certain actions, behavior, and/or words, as illustrated in this skit.
Case-in-point, I recently spoke with two people who I believe are actually pretty cool individuals. However, when these two people met each other – the area between them immediately turned into a minefield. Each one would step to the other, and explosives would go off.
One person would address the other by his name, and immediately the other would be transported back to the days when he was a subordinate. He would then address her in a certain manner, and it seems as if she was transported back to the ‘hood – a place she seemed desperate to escape. I happened to get caught up in the middle because both thought I was the other person’s referral. eek
Sadly these two would make perfect business allies, but they are so busy trying to keep these spiritual closets closed they decided to guard them even it meant physical and spiritual death.
When we think of spiritual closets, we might think of them as a special place where we go and commune with The Divine. Unfortunately, most don’t dare enter that place because we are ashamed. Therefore, we seal off those parts of ourselves to The Divine and everybody. It’s not until some innocent and unsuspecting passerby comes into our life and says that one thing that flings that spiritual closet door open like a strong gust of wind.
We struggle to close it, as if we are in a hurricane, while we are kicking and screaming at the person who dared to enter. But you know what? Instead of forcing the door closed – do the opposite, if you can. Let this breath of fresh air in. Show them around. Peek in yourself – don’t be afraid. When you let the breeze in and light shine on your old wounds, a strange thing will happen. You will begin to heal.
Thank you for reading.