I watched Pale Rider tonight, and found myself doing voice dialog with the Preacher a few times. It was very helpful, and gave me some added insight into some long-standing patterns in my life. So this is of course one of the ways of working with movies: Use the characters in voice dialog. Hear what they have to say. Take in their insights. Listen to their advice to you and perhaps some of the other voices.
For me, the main message was that I need to learn to “cut my losses”. My tendency is to try to have it all, to get something while avoiding letting go of something else desirable. This means I create stress for myself when I make choices which mean I have to let go of something desirable. Or by trying to avoid losing something desirable, I make choices that is not aligned with what I know is right, so I am out of integrity and this is also stressful. Either way, I try to hold onto too much, and lose. And those around me lose as well.
I am a coward when I try to hold onto everything at once. When I act with more courage, integrity, and trust, I make choices from what is right for me in the situation, and accept the losses that comes with it. And quite often, by acting with integrity, what I lost will return – often in another form.
You are trying to have it all. Sometimes you need to cut your losses and move on. It’s the only way you can have peace of mind.
Update: It’s the day after, and I have been curious about what The Preacher and other Clint Eastwood characters represent for me. What comes up is integrity. Perhaps not the first most people think of, but it does seem to be a shared essential characteristic of many of his roles, and also a theme in the movies he has directed.