Amidst all the holiday baking, cooking, travelling and family time I was able to go to the local cinema and find myself caught up in the story of P.L. Trevers’ Mary Poppins as I watched the recently released Saving Mr. Banks. The movie is the journey of the obstacles that Walt Disney had to overcome to put the literary work on the big screen and the struggle for P.L. Travers to let go of her life work and friend that she had in Mary Poppins in order to see the movie become a reality.
During the whole process the harsh, grumpy, very particular woman proved to be a challenge to work with and to satiate due to what we later find out is related to her life story and struggle she experienced with her father in her childhood. Walt Disney realizes that the reason she was having a hard time releasing control over the movie project was due to her experiences she still held on to and carried as a burden after the death of her father.
In a last effort to create the film, Disney travels to London to speak with P.L. Travers. For me the most powerful scene in that film takes place in that quaint London living room over tea. Disney connects with Travers by sharing a struggle he had in his life with his father and then spoke right to the heart of the cold woman sitting in front of him. Disney told her that she had to learn to finish her story differently and not continue to live in the weight of the past. Though Disney thought that it was the unforgiveness she had toward her father that held her back for all these years, he soon realizes that it wasn’t him she hadn’t forgiven but it was herself. She had given herself a harsh sentence to live with and had not been able to release herself with forgiveness.
Seeing that scene I can think of numerous sentences I too have placed on myself. Standards I have created in my head that crept into my belief system that led to shame and ultimately fear and keeps me from finishing my story differently than the way I currently am allowing it to be written.
In what areas are you sentencing yourself when those around you and God himself don’t condemn you?