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"All too often, of course, we tend to resist seeing with and through 'angel eyes' and to dwell instead on dark, depressing memories and outlooks."

 

Raymond Teague is the author of Reel Spirit: A Guide to Movies That
Inspire, Explore and Empower
, from Unity House. 

He is an award-winning
journalist, an editor of spiritual publications, a popular New Thought
speaker, and a lifelong movie buff. 

His book is available by clicking the "Buy the Book" link above or by clicking here.

  Raymond Teague, 
"Reel Spirit" Movie Reviews

Angel Eyes
(2001, 104 minutes, R)

Literally, the "angel eyes" of the film refer to the caring eyes of Sharon, a Chicago policewoman (Jennifer Lopez) who befriends a mysterious loner who goes by the name of Catch (Jim Caviezel).

Figuratively, the "angel eyes" refer to the Spirit-charged positive perspective that is within our power to bring to even the most traumatic situations. 

All too often, of course, we tend to resist seeing with and through "angel eyes" and to dwell instead on dark, depressing memories and outlooks. In countless times too numerous for our own good, we accentuate the negative and forget the positive; we consider the glass half empty, rather than half full; we cast our gaze down instead of up.

Sharon can't let go of hurtful family memories. Her mother says, "You just think of the bad. You never remember the good." While Sharon herself thinks that she is moving beyond these memories and considers other members of the family stuck in them, she actually is acting out her internal hurt and rage through her very physical police work.

Catch too is haunted by painful memories, and his expressive eyes and lackluster demeanor suggest tragedy and loss.

The situations of both characters clearly show what happens when we let ourselves be engulfed in negative memories, or when we spend our lives trying to run away from or deny those memories -- but still in actuality letting them control us and keep us from discovering the magic of the present moment.

Sometimes, certainly, life presents experiences that grieve, scar and torment us, but we do ourselves and others a disservice when we fail to learn and grow from events. We also hinder growth when we fail to acknowledge that change is the nature of life, and that one of our main lessons seems to be to understand the value of change and learn to embrace changes as opportunities to discover new avenues of love.

Sharon and Catch must face their memories and hurts, and become open to change and new opportunities in the present (including their own relationship). Each has the power to choose to see life with "angel eyes." Each has the power to choose to accept the past - both all the good and all the bad - and to put all memories and experiences in their proper perspective. By choosing to remember the good along with the bad, they can find more peace, balance, and fulfillment in the now.

And Sharon makes an important observation about the nature of experience and the tendency we have to put a label of either "good" or "bad" on any experience. She says, "It doesn't have to be perfect. It can be whatever it is."

The story, written by Gerald DiPego, also shows the value of individuals joining in love to heal their beliefs in being separated from their good. 

With Sharon and Catch, there's also a suggestion of a divinely-appointed connection. "I guess we were supposed to meet," Catch tells Sharon. 

The movie's title song, written by Tamara Walker, is beautifully apropos to the story: "Every heart wants redemption, and deep inside there's a connection that's waiting for a touch . . . it doesn't take too much to set your spirit free, if only you believe."

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