During a recent peruse of the many channels of HBO. I came upon an old movie, Defending Your Life, starring Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep. If you Google the movie title, you will see an entry from Wikipedia:
Defending Your Life is a 1991 American romantic comedy-fantasy film about a man who dies and arrives in the afterlife only to find that he must stand trial and justify his lifelong fears in order to advance to the next phase of existence; or be sent back to earth to do it again. The film was written by, directed by, and stars Albert Brooks. It also stars Meryl Streep, Rip Torn, Lee Grant, and Buck Henry.
The movie takes place in a purgatory-like existence where the events of one’s life on Earth is judged. Albert Brooks’ character, Daniel, is somewhat of a sad sack. Throughout the course of the movie, a court including prosecutors and judges, will determine if Daniel has conquered his earthly fears. If so, he will continue on his path of eternity, if not he will be reincarnated to try again to live a life and move past his fears.
What if this were true? Do you have fears either outward facing or deep inside that would prohibit you from moving on in eternity? Is there a stack rank order of fears some more heinous than others that could be judged? Most of you know I have an incredible and very grounded fear of elevators. My experiences would shake even the toughest of men. I have tried for 20 years to overcome that fear and I truly cannot. Would that prohibit my entry?
What about fears of inadequacy or of not being a good parent, spouse, friend or neighbor? Perhaps the solution is to actually be that “good person” now. Live it now and try to think before we act out of fear or anger or worse yet, judgement.
Could you defend your life? Could you justify or rationalize the things you have done perhaps out of fear while here on earth? People act without really seeing. You do not know who you are looking at when you look at someone. Do you see them or just look at them? Big difference.
It is funny how seemingly unrelated events in your life, when examined, force you to look a little deeper and think a little longer. I am not sure if I could defend every fear, action and or incident in my life but I am going to try to be sure I do not add any more to my history. Wouldn’t it be cool if we all tried that?