Did you see the movie, “The Judge?” I thought…

Did you see the movie, “The Judge?” I saw it over the weekend and loved the acting. However, the storyline reminds me of how screwed up families can be.

I’m not going to ruin the movie for you by telling you too much, but I do want to give you an overview of the plot and then my thoughts.

Robert Duvall is a small town judge. He can be tough, but often has compassion towards others, except when it comes to his middle son played by Robert Downey, Jr. Duvall sees Downey as his problem child. It’s hard to imagine this because Downey is a very successful lawyer.

As you watch closely, you soon realize that Downey’s success is only on the outside. On the inside, he is an emotional mess and just wants to be supported by his dad. You can tell he’s spent his whole life trying to win his dad’s acceptance and love.

The wall between father and son is palpable. The dissention stems from the past, when Downey got into trouble during his high school years. Instead of having compassion for his son and helping him learn and understand why he made the choice to do something wrong, Duvall was harder on him than most. Duvall even says in the movie that he was hard on him because he felt it was for the best.

But was it for the best?

In my opinion, this movie portrays a typical American family. We think we are doing our kids a favor by pushing and being hard on them, trying to make them “be good.” When we see them winning something, being successful, or “doing it right,” we think we’ve succeeded as parents. But is it really success when your child grows up to be an emotional mess?

Yes, I agree with those of you who will say, “Well, he’s an adult. He’s responsible for his own emotions. He needs to stop blaming his parents.” However, we parents have an incredible opportunity to help our kids grow up and be emotionally successful, but we don’t tend to take that opportunity when they are young because we are so caught up in the future outcome. We just want to make them “be good.”

The “old way” of being family creates emotional chaos. It’s all about performing. That’s what Robert Downey, Jr. did in this movie. He became a huge success to prove to his dad that he was okay. But is that a good reason to be successful?

What if we created a family where, yes, there are boundaries for the kids, but there is also room to expand and learn? What if you knew that you were helping your child grow up into an emotionally healthy adult by teaching him self-forgiveness and compassion? Do you know how that would affect him or her?

When we have compassion and forgiveness for ourselves, life flows so much easier because we feel we are okay. We feel that being human is just part of the plan. We know we’re going to make mistakes and we don’t feel bad about ourselves. And because we don’t feel bad, we give love freely and we are OPEN TO RECEIVE God’s unlimited abundance and support. And that’s when miracles show up. But when we have to always perform and “get it right,” there is very little compassion for our humanness. And in this energy, we shut down to love.

In our home, when we make mistakes, we focus on asking, “What is the gift?” We focus on forgiveness and compassion for ourselves. And the more we do this for ourselves, the more love flows over into the family. We know that no matter what shows up in life, it’s an opportunity to move deeper into love. Not punishment. Not more emotional chaos. Just love.

If you’re reading this, you are most likely an adult. Can you relate to the movie, “The Judge?” What are your thoughts? Do you remember having your parents try to make you “be good?” Are you still trying to prove to them in some way that you are okay? Did you know that this “performing” is what causes your stress and struggles?

The old way of being family and trying to make ourselves and our loved ones “be good” and “do it right” does not work. It sets everyone up for unhappiness and failure. Yes, our kids may grow up working themselves into the ground and find some success, but just think how much happier they would be and how much easier success would come if they felt good about themselves.

It’s never too late to create a different way of “doing family.” My family found a better way. Each day is an opportunity to grow and expand together. As we have walked the path of The Enlightened Family, crap still shows up. That’s just life! But it’s how we face it, embrace it and learn from it that helps us bring more compassion, love, miracles and abundance into our lives and home.

If you’re ready to “do family” a different way, I invite you to check out my new audio series, “The Enlightened Family: Why Your Family Struggles and How to Stop It!” I’ll explain why the old way of “doing family” energetically sets your family up to live on a hamster wheel of stress and struggle. I’ll take you step-by-step with tools and exercises to empower you to create a new kind of family, one that no longer performs for approval, but puts God first by honoring and loving the way each person was created. You will step off of the hamster wheel and step into alignment with God. It is in this connection that you’ll open up to receive more joy, peace, abundance and miracles than you could have ever imagined!


You don’t want to miss this opportunity to create change in your life, as well as your loved one’s! I invite you to CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

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  1. terri it warms my heart to read about your life and your concerns for others but you might be happy that i don’t need your help my marrage has lasted for 50 yrs yes i also look back and think i should have done things differently but my son is a doc& a wonderfull father of 3 and my daughter is a 1st. grade teacher &a wonderfull mother can’t beat that! i also know a lot of people that need your help

    1. Good for you, Bob! That’s wonderful that you’ve been married 50 years. Congratulations! Sounds like your kids are doing great. So happy for you! Thank you for writing!

  2. Hi, Terri. I watched that movie last night and lost it near the end..when they were in the boat in the river.
    See, I found my Dad dead when I was 18, back in 1976
    And that moment in that movie took me right back there!
    wow..it really hit me hard….
    I liked the movie however..take care

    1. Mike, thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry you had to go through that with your dad. Sending you love and light always, Terri

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