Messages from the Media Angels
By Lynn Seiser
Angels have always been very popular with the media. They appear in ads to sell everything from lingerie to cream cheese. They are everywhere, selling us everything. Advertisers use angels because they know, whether we admit it or not, we believe in them and we believe they want what is best for us. Angels appear in movies as well. They are the messengers from heaven. What are the media angels telling us?
In City of Angels, Nicholas Cage plays an angel who falls in love with a surgeon played by Meg Ryan. There are so many good scenes and good messages in this movies, it is hard to sort them all out. One of my favorites is where Nicholas Cage is trying to help Meg Ryan comes to grips with the fact that our lives are not in our hands. Meg has just lost a patient on the operating table while she actually held his heart in her hand.
It is hard for us to accept and understand that there are so many things beyond our control. Death is perhaps the most humbling of them all. Death is not a matter of our choice; it is just a matter of what is. If we are born, we all will die some day, and that day will probably not be of our choosing. Nicholas Cage does however choose to become visible to Meg Ryan and eventually chooses his love for her over eternity as an angel and becomes human. It would appear there are things angels envy us for and love is on the top of that list.
Another of my favorite media angels is John Travolta in Michael. Michael isnít ďthat kind of angelĒ. Michael is a warrior. He has been on earth many times, but this is to be his last. He is staying with a woman played by Jean Stapleton who has written the national tabloid about her angel. John Heard plays the reporter, teamed with Annie McDowell as a fake angel expert, who is after the story.
As fate, and a good scriptwriter would have it, both have been unlucky in the love department. Both are rather cynical and afraid. It takes courage to have love and perhaps a warrior is the best person to learn it from. Michael loves life on earth, he appreciates it, and will miss it. If only we appreciated it as much as he does. By the end of the story, our reporters find love and John and Jean dance in the streets. Sometimes it takes two angels to make us believe in love.
The Bishopís Wife, in both versions, is yet another media angel with the same message. A man of God has been so caught up in his career that he has neglected the love of his life. When an angel is sent to help him, he has the angel take care of his love so that he can continue to pursue his work. Eventually he realizes that love is the work of his life and that he needs to pay attention to that part of his life.
In a very disturbing movie called Jacobís Ladder, the main character, played by Tim Robbins, is a Viet Nam veteran troubled by very severe flashbacks. His chiropractor friend, played by Danny Aeloa, explains that when we die if we are afraid to let go of our attachments to this life demons appear to cut off those attachments. If we are willing to let go of fear, then all our demons become angels. Eventually our troubled veteran lets go of his fear, his demons turn into angels, and he ascends Jacobs Ladder toward heaven.
There are so many media angels. So many good movies and good actors. Angels watch over us and, at times, interact with us. They seem to want what is best for us. They constantly remind us to let go of fear and to have the courage to let our love out and let othersí love in. Do we really need the media angels to remind us of that? Yes, we need to be reminded about what we already know. Itís an important message, perhaps the most important.
Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey.
Lynn Seiser, Ph.D., is an internationally respected psychotherapist and author with offices in Long Beach and Tustin.
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