I love the movie An Unfinished Life starring Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, and Jennifer Lopez.
Einar Gilkson (Redford) is a tough skinned, retired rancher who long ago turned his back on memories. Still in shock from his only son’s death a decade ago, Einar has let his ranch fall into ruin along with his marriage. Now Einar spends his days caring for his hired hand and long trusted friend Mitch. Mitch was gravely injured in an encounter with a bear. Einar intends to live out his days in this heartbroken solitude until the very person he blames for his son’s accident comes to town. Jean, his daughter-in-law shows up broke, on the run, and with a girl named Griff who she swears is the granddaughter Einar never knew.
I love this movie, because of the metaphors. The bear in the cage is the metaphor for the characters involved. Every person is in their own psychological cage: Jean because she feels responsible for the car accident which killed her husband, Mitch and his life threatening injuries caused by the bear, and Einar because he can’t forgive, and because his drinking caused his wife to leave. Even the young Griff fears male figures because she has watched her mom date abusive men.
The answer that brings freedom for this cast is honesty.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty teacher at Colorado Christian University.
She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."