Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks—wow, what a movie! I’d been watching it, frequently through tears, and wondering why so much emotion. Walt Disney’s speech to Ms. Travers, after figuring out why she’d been so obstinate and protective of her Mary Poppins, pretty much summed it up:

“I don’t tell you this to make you sad, Mrs. Travers. I don’t. I love my life, I think it’s a miracle. And I loved my dad. He was a wonderful man. But rare is the day when I don’t think about that eight-year-old boy delivering newspapers in the snow and old Elias Disney with that strap in his fist. And I am just so tired, Mrs. Travers. I’m tired of remembering it that way. Aren’t you tired, too, Mrs. Travers? Now we all have our sad tales, but don’t you want to finish the story? Let it all go and have a life that isn’t dictated by the past? It’s not the children she [Mary Poppins] comes to save. It’s their father. It’s your father…Travers Goff. You must have loved and admired him a lot to take his name. It’s him this is all about, isn’t it? All of it, everything. Forgiveness, Mrs. Travers, it’s what I learned from your books.

Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks

P.L. Travers: I don’t have to forgive my father. He was a wonderful man.

Disney: No… you need to forgive Helen Goff. Life is a harsh sentence to lay down for yourself. Give her to me, Mrs. Travers. Trust me with your precious Mary Poppins. I won’t disappoint you…”

That was one powerful speech!! As I searched for its full text, I came across this blog post:

“….Sometimes fictional stories of redemption can give us hope when the stories of our own lives are too messy and our paths are too long and twisted for us to see that redemption is real. But it is real. The spark of hope we feel when reading or viewing redemptive stories, and the longing we feel for a better and more beautiful world, are not mere wish fulfillment. The understanding of how the world ought to be is written in our DNA, and these fictional stories are a way for us to experience tangibly the deepest truths.”

Yes, I felt that spark of hope, that longing for a better more beautiful world, and watching ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ was the day’s second stop on my “road to redemption”, the road to writing a new ending to my own Mr. Banks story.

The first showed up in answer to a question I’d posed to the Universe the day before. Surprisingly, it was something I thought I’d resolved several weeks ago but there was no denying that I had continued being too unkind, too critical, and too unforgiving of myself; that I still believed on a deeper level that I was undeserving and that others agreed. The truth that was reaffirmed this morning, though, is that I am whole, complete, and perfect JUST AS I AM, just where I am.

The truth, too, is that I don’t need to wait until I’ve met some self-imposed or societal criteria before accepting the truth of who I AM, the truth of who we are: God’s work of art. And as such, I deserve to be treated with love and kindness and be accepted just as I am, flaws and all…especially by my self.

The fact that vestiges of that belief remained reminded me that we don’t always release beliefs, ideas, and agreements the moment we become aware that they no longer serve us. It’s necessary sometimes for it to resolve over time, one step at a time, one layer at a time.

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