WGP 043: Universal Lessons in Film – Self-Acceptance

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In this podcast I’ll be exploring another Universal Life Lesson found in Motion Pictures:

  • I’ll explain critical Universal signs that you may be missing
  • I’ll talk about a few movies that deliver the same universal message
  • Finally, I’ll share how you can apply this universal teaching to your life


This is part two of a 3-part series I’m doing on universal lessons taught in film. In part one I talked about movies that delivered the universal message that you have everything you need to live an awesome happy and healthy life as long as you deeply whole-heartedly believe it to be true.

Before I get into the next set of films and life lesson I’ll talk a bit more about reading signs from the Universe.

Now when it comes to accidents, loss of a loved one, heartbreak, sickness and chronic illness, these can be very painful experiences indeed, but these are also signs from the Universe. These painful events that we’ve all experienced are actually working for you and not against you.

This will be difficult for some to understand at first (I know it took me a while to get there), but the most painful, unbearable, horrendous, terrifying and saddest moments in your life also happen to be the biggest lessons that you’ll ever receive in life. These are massive signs from the Universe, this is the Universe talking and communicating with you.

As I mentioned at the top of the podcast I was given a whole bunch of signs about why I was feeling depressed, but I never paid much attention to them because I was in too much pain. So the trick to seeing and realising that pain is actually a sign and is something that needs to be learnt from is to separate yourself from that pain. Easier said than done and that requires a whole podcast in itself, which I will do eventually, but the point I wanted to make here is there are signs everywhere in your life on how to live and act and pain is an urgent message being delivered to you for your benefit by the Universe, that the way you’re living your life needs to change.

Alright before I begin with lesson in films spoiler alert! If you have not seen Kung Fu Panda 2, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and The Matrix Reloaded you may want to skip this episode as these are the four movies I will be exploring right now.

In Kung Fu Panda 2 Po is happily fulfilling his role as the Dragon Warrior protecting the land with his five martial arts friends known as the Furious Five. When they defend a small village from bandits Po gets distracted and has a flashback about his past. This distraction allows the bandits to escape. Soon after Po and the Furious Five are sent to stop Lord Shen, a really bad guy, who is ready to unleash a new deadly weapon upon the world. During their attempt to capture Lord Shen Po has another flashback about his past, which again distracts Po allowing Lord Shen to escape. On another attempt to stop Lord Shen Po inadvertently again gets in the way and the Furious Five are captured while Po gets blown across town with a cannonball. Po is healed by a wise fortune teller who also teaches him to stop resisting his flashbacks and to accept his past. Once Po calms himself he sees his past for what it really was instead of what he imagined it to be. Po accepts his past and finds inner peace. With inner peace Po is no longer distracted and with the help of a few kung fu masters he saves the Furious Five and the whole of China.

A quote from the movie:

“You gotta let go of that stuff from the past, ‘cause it just doesn’t matter! The only thing that matters is what you choose to be now.”

In The Lion King Simba is a lion cub and son of Mufasa, king of the pride lands. Scar is Simba’s uncle and wants to be king so comes up with a devious plan to prevent Simba from being the future king. Scar tricks Simba into waiting in a deep valley and causes a stampeding herd of wildebeests to head right toward Simba. As Simba runs for his life Scar acts innocent and tells Mufasa about Simba in the valley. Mufasa manages to get Simba to safety, but he gets caught in the stampede. Mufasa leaps for his life onto the edge of a cliff where his brother Scar is waiting. Instead of saving his brother though Scar does the unthinkable and pushes Mufasa off the cliff where he falls to his death. Simba sees his father fall and Scar convinces Simba that it was all Simba’s fault. Simba leaves the pride lands with no intention to return and finds a new home with new friends. A few years pass by and Simba still blames himself for his father’s death. When news of Scar’s abuse of power reaches Simba he feels too much shame and guilt to do anything about it. A shaman finds Simba and shows him how he’s forgotten who he is by forgetting his past. After a hard lesson in accepting his past and to stop running from it, but to learn from the past instead Simba returns home and with the help of his friends, his pride, and the kung fu Bruce Lee fighting skills of the shaman, Simba restores the pride lands back to a place of peace and harmony.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”

In Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Luke Skywalker continues his Jedi training and is trained by Yoda a Jedi Master. After some intense training sessions with Yoda, Luke begins to develop his skills using the light side of the Force, but his fears are disrupting his training. Eventually Luke’s training progresses far enough where he can sense that his friends are in danger. Luke stops his training immediately and leaves Yoda to help his friends in need. Luke flies to Cloud City, a beautiful floating metropolis in the sky, but he walks into a trap and comes up against the Sith Lord Darth Vader who uses the dark side of the Force. After a tough light sabre dual Vader slashes off Luke’s right hand light sabre and all and drops a massive truth bomb on Luke. Luke was told by his first Jedi teacher Ben Kenobi that Vader killed his father, but Vader tells Luke, ‘no, I am your father’. This news shocks and disgusts Luke who is on the edge of falling down a deep air shaft. Vader reaches out and asks Luke to join him on the dark side so that they may rule the galaxy as father and son, but Luke refuses and somewhat calmly lets go and free-falls down a long drop to his death. But as he gets close to the bottom Luke is fortunately sucked into an air vent and finds himself outside at the bottom of Cloud City hanging on for his life. Fortunately again with the help of the Force and his friends Luke is saved. When Luke was confronted with the truth about his past he initially rejected it. He could not bring himself to accept the fact that his father is an evil lord of darkness. After taking a second to pause Luke realises the truth – Vader may have been his father in the past, but Vader is an agent of the dark side now. Learning something new about the past does not necessarily have to change anything in this current moment and so it does not change Luke’s mind as he chose to reject the dark side and his father.

Here’s a quote from the movie:

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Finally, in The Matrix Reloaded Neo and the rest of the human race who are not plugged into the Matrix are still at war with the machines. The underground human city of Zion is their base of operations. Neo as the One has been advised by the Oracle that in order to save Zion he must go to the Source, which is the machine mainframe or the central computer system inside the Matrix. Neo plugs back into the Matrix and with the help of his friend Morpheus and others Neo finds the door to the Source and opens it. Neo gets surrounded by a white light and as he comes out of the light he appears in a room with an old white guy. This man is actually a program from the machine world called the Architect. He explains to Neo that everything up to this point has been part of the machine’s plan all along. The machines programmed the events of Neo’s life in the Matrix so that he would one day end up exactly where he was, inexorably with the Architect. Neo also learns that there have been many One’s before him and that he is the sixth one. The machine’s created Zion to hold the people that wanted out of the Matrix. The machine’s also created the myth of the One, a saviour that would one day free the human race. The Matrix, Zion, the One, returning to Source, freedom, it was all a lie, a trick, another form of control.

Neo is told that everyone in Zion will be killed and there’s nothing he can do to stop it. It is after all the sixth time the machines would have destroyed Zion. The Architect also tells Neo that his lover Trinity entered the Matrix to help Neo, but like Zion the Architect states that Trinity is going to die and there is nothing Neo can do to save her. Neo is then given a choice between two doors. Door number one takes Neo to the Source ensuring the continuation of the Matrix and where he will select 23 people to create a new Zion. Door number two returns Neo to the Matrix where Trinity will die, and by returning to the Matrix this will cause a system-wide crash that will kill everyone still plugged into the Matrix. With the destruction of Zion choice number two would result in the end of the human race. Neo has to reconcile everything he’s fought for and believed in including his entire past with what he’s just learned. Has he never been in control of his life, of his own destiny? Are all his current and future choices and actions determined by his past? Neo’s past, his previous programming tells him to choose the first door to save humanity. That is his role and duty as the One after all. However, Neo isn’t like the previous five Ones. Neo is different as he has strong feelings and a very passionate love for Trinity. Neo chooses door number two as he decides no matter what has happened in the past, no matter how he is expected to act, he can still choose in the present moment to be different. With all his will Neo saves Trinity, but the battle to save Zion and free people from the Matrix is still to come.

A quote from the film:

“We can never see past the choices we don’t understand.”

So what’s the lesson and common theme in all these movies?

The protagonist is faced with a past that they do not understand or that they’re running from. Once they accepted and understood the past to be a lesson to learn from and not destiny or programming that must be followed, then they were able to appreciate the now and they realised that the past doesn’t have to impact the future. Understanding their past helped them accept who they are now and that they could choose in the present moment to be different.

How can you learn from a past that you don’t understand or accept a past that you’re running from? How can you live your present regardless of your past? There are many methods to help you reflect on your past and to figure out how your past is affecting you today.

Seeing a psychotherapist is one conventionally accepted way of seeking help for resolving past issues and investigating current behaviours based on your past. A common practise in psychology is CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is a type of talk therapy. Some people love to talk it out, but others won’t so while psychotherapy can work wonders for some many others may get no relief from it at all. There are some people who have done psychotherapy for decades and are still no closer to accepting their past and accepting who they are. You won’t know if it’s right for you until you give it a go.

Another way to deal with your past and to deal with yourself is by using EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. Also known as Tapping, EFT is a type of energy therapy that makes use of meridian energy lines or energy highways that run throughout your entire bodymind similar to how acupuncture and acupressure work. You tap on certain meridian energy points to stimulate and promote your bodymind’s own innate intelligence and ability to heal from physical, emotional, and mental pain. This is a very powerful and deep technique that I use myself. There’s a movie and book called The Tapping Solution I highly recommend watching and reading to find out more about EFT.

One final way I’ll give you for working on accepting your past and yourself is an awareness and change exercise I got from T. Harv Eker’s book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. Eker uses this exercise to help you work on issues you have around money and to change your financial blueprint, but I’m going to change it up a bit. This exercise is a 5-step process and you’ll need a pen and paper.

Step 1: Identify
Pick one area in your life you’d like to see change and improve. Could be health, wealth, love, relationships, career, just pick one.

Step 2: Awareness
Write down a specific emotional incident you experienced around this one area when you were young? This could be being chronically ill, being abused, or being bullied, growing up without food or money, not having your mum or dad present, write it down.

Step 3: Understanding
Write down how this incident may be affecting your current way of being and how you live. This step is a biggie as it forces you to take a good hard look at who you are and how you are behaving and living today and it makes you connect the dots between your past and now.

Step 4: Disassociation
Can you see your current way of being is only what you learnt and is not you? Can you see you have a choice in the present moment to be different? Nothing to write down here, but can you really truly see it? That your past is what happened. That your past is no longer happening. That your past is not here. That you are not what happened in the past. The past is what happened to you. It’s impossible for your past to affect you now because you are here right now in this very moment, but your past, it’s still in the past! This step is about letting go and separating you, the you that’s right here and right now from events that have long come and gone.

Step 5: Choice
Put your hand on your heart and with full conviction and absolute belief say out loud:

“I now release all non-supportive life experiences from the past and from this moment on create a new and abundant future!”

This is the most important step as you’re declaring to the Universe that you are no longer bound to old ways of being and are the creator of your own bright and beautiful future. This choice is very powerful as it acts as an affirmation as well, but you must believe it as you speak it, otherwise it’s just mumblings and the cosmic forces that are here to help you will not get the message or may even confuse your message for something else.

So those are 3 ways you can have a real hard look at your past and to see it in a new light and I say a new light because for a lot of us the past is a very dark place and if you can find the courage and the right support to illuminate what has happened you can then learn from it so you don’t make the same mistakes and relive the past all over again.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

Accept your past. Learn from it what moves you forward, unlearn from it what holds you back, and realise it really doesn’t matter in the end because, hey it’s all in the past right. If you can do this you will come to your own understanding of why you make the choices you choose to make today and with this understanding you will then be able to change your choices and choose something different, whatever it is you want. Choice is humanity’s ultimate power and this power is always with you in this moment and the next. For more about the power of choice check out episode 20 I did on the power of choice.

Here’s a quote by Marcus Aurelius a former Roman Emperor:

“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the world.”

So accept your past for what it was and was not, accept yourself for who you are and are not, and maybe, just maybe you will be able to accept other people and the rest of the world for how they are and are not.

Links and Resources

  • WGP 042: Universal Lessons in Film – Self-Belief
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 on IMDB
  • The Lion King on IMDB
  • Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back on IMDB
  • The Matrix Reloaded on IMDB
  • The Tapping Solution Documentary Film
  • The Tapping Solution — Nick Ortner
  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind — T. Harv Eker
  • WGP 020: The Power of Choice

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