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He Called Today – Starting Over, 02-28-05

by LauraBelle

I had never really heard of the Butterfly Effect, but I find it an interesting concept that most certainly applies to the women in the Starting Over house. They start out doing such little changes in their lives, and that leads to bigger things, and before long, they have completely Started Over.

Rhonda leads Group introducing the women to the Butterfly Effect. This is an idea by Edward Lorenza, a meteorologist that in 1961 theorized that a butterfly flapping its wings in Peking can have an effect on the weather patterns in New York. Rhonda brings it up to show the women that the smallest of changes you can make in your life will could lead to big changes.

All the women are handed sheets of paper with blank butterflies. They are asked to write down on the Left hand side of the butterfly the small changes they have made in the Starting Over house, and on the Right side the big results that have occurred so far.

Vanessa talks of letting go of others allows her to let go of herself, and that when she respects her failures, it begins to lead to a larger freedom in herself. Renee believes contacting her dad has led to her learning to forgive. Rhonda asks the women to hang their butterflies in their room as a constant reminder that it only takes some small little things to work towards these bigger changes they are looking for.

Rhonda also announces to Bethany that her assignment this day will be to have African dancing lessons. Bethany stops this idea cold and says she doesn’t dance and isn’t feeling very open. Asked to share, she says she doesn’t know what’s wrong. Rhonda believes it is a huge breakthrough for Bethany to begin seeing how her negative body image effects her life and stops her, but urges her to realize many women have the same feelings, and it’s not really a step back, but more a step forward. Not just Rhonda, but Rachael, too, is concerned about Bethany’s hang up over her body image

In a one-on-one with Rhonda, Cassie learns she will be making a video for her son today. She thinks it is a great idea, but she is afraid to hurt the adoptive mother. I’m not sure if she sees it or not, but the adoptive mother has done so much to shut out everyone out of her son’s life. I don’t think Cassie should be so concerned about her feelings. Rhonda asks her why she should move forward if she’s so concerned of hurting feelings, and Cassie says she can’t give up as it makes her feel so much better about herself. To prepare for the video, Rhonda is sending Cassie to a salon. Cassie is reassured it is not for a cut, but just makeup and a”fluff.”

Iyanla holds a two-on-one with Renee and Rachael. They have something so obvious in common these past few days, despite having a hard time originally connecting to each other in their first few weeks in the house. They are both working towards reuniting or uniting with their fathers. Iyanla wants them to see their father’s side, so she is sending them to talk with fathers who have been there. They are going to speak to some veterans that have had breakdowns in their relationships with their children.

Bethany is meeting with Rhonda about her body image problem as Rhonda is growing more and more concerned with this. Bethany had such a hard time the day before shopping with Candy for lingerie, but says it wouldn’t matter what she shopped for, all of it makes her feel like nothing looks good on her. She has felt this was as long as she can remember, but for a person with amnesia, it’s hard to say how long this really is. After Bethany got sick she was put on steroids and gained thirty to thirty-five pounds. She knows she doesn’t weight as much as she used to except in her mind. Looking at her body as objectively as she can, she sees a round face and is upset she can’t see her toes. Rhonda tells her it’s not a stomach preventing this it’s her breasts.

Rhonda asks if Bethany wants to change and she says she does; she wants to be able to shop and dance freely. Bethany believes she is as she has been living too long this way. Rhonda says looking at her she sees a beautiful, smart, charming, charismatic woman, trying to get her to see this perception is only in Bethany’s eyes, making Bethany ask why guys never notice her. She’s not open enough to it, Rhonda explains. Been there; done that, Bethany. Rhonda’s right.

Rachael and Renee have already left to meet with the veterans, but Vanessa answers the phone and it’s Rachael’s long lost dad, Jerry. Vanessa gets Candy as she’s not quite sure what to do. Candy takes the message that Jerry called and he wants her to call him collect. Knowing this needs to be handled with kid gloves, she then calls Iyanla to let her know, an Iyanla decides to call Jerry first, knowing if the wrong feelings are put out there, it could destroy everything Rachael is working so hard towards.

Meeting with the veterans, Rachael and Renee introduce themselves and give a quick history on why they are wanting to reunite with their fathers. The first man speaks up and says his story is actually similar to Rachael’s. His child’s mother and step-mother had passed away within months of each other, leading his child to feel very abandoned. Another man urges them to take their time, as if it’s not handled properly, it can be devastating. Yet another explains that even though they may have never met, the child is still in the father’s heart.

Vanessa meets with Rhonda, wanting to talk about her anger last night. She had been discussing her session with Dr. Stan with her mom, and her mom disagreed with Dr. Stan’s assumption that Vanessa’s parents were living out their own dream and were more disappointed with themselves than with her. Not being sure if it’s anger or sadness at the heart of this, Rhonda asks Vanessa to keep a feelings journal.

After Cassie’s makeover, she meets with Bethany in the park. Bethany thinks Cassie looks beautiful, leaving us all to wonder why she can’t ever see that in herself. He videotapes Cassie’s message to her son, as Cassie says her dream is to meet him and look in his eyes. She tells him she loves him. Bethany is so honored to be chosen to help with this, and says helping Cassie has helped her be in a better mood. Excuse me, Bethany, I do believe that would be that Butterfly Effect.

Iyanla meets with Rachael and Renee when they return to the Starting Over house. They are draped in the blanket Rachael usually reserves for herself, saying they are cold. Renee believes today was all about forgiveness, and Rachael thinks it’s funny the veterans turned the tables on them, wanting to know their intentions in reuniting with their fathers. Renee believes it was great support they were given by the men.

The African dancers, a man and a woman, show up at the house for the dance lesson. Vanessa sees them as joyful and happy. If you have a heartbeat, you can dance by just moving to your own heartbeat, the dancers tell the women. The dancing is explained to them by planting a seed, harvesting and then partying when the work is done. At the end they are instructed to say, “I’m great.” It is explained that God created us and God is perfect. God makes everybody special. Bethany notices that the female African dancer has no worries about her body image. The women each dance individually, and though throwing the cabbage patch in, Bethany does do it, and admits her butt never moved like that.

Iyanla meets privately with Rachael, and says, “He called today.” Rachael knows exactly who “he” is. Iyanla says she spoke to him herself, and that he didn’t know Rachael’s mother had passed away. He also didn’t know that there were moves about trying to get her adopted. If he had known, he would have stopped it. He wants to see Rachael. The first thing he told Iyanla is that he’s been waiting for her. I literally got chills at this point. Rachael is basically just left in shock, but realizes her intuition was right that he would reach out to her with open arms. Iyanla will now call him to let him know Rachael is home and ready to talk.

The show ends, leaving us in suspense, waiting to hear Rachael’s phone call with her dad. As it ends, I notice for the first time, the ever-present blanket is not draped around her, but slouching on her lap. Thinking about that, if the butterfly effect holds true, her father reaching out is leading to something bigger. Perhaps Rachael feeling safe for the first time since her mother and stepfather died.

I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

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