Life Is a Stage

Life Is a Stage Life Is a Stage Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why is it that we get so involved in our own lives that we lose focus on the bigger picture?  Yes, we should be involved in our own lives, because they are our lives.

But at the same time we are actors on a stage called life.  We have the option of simply

following the script without questioning.  Anyone can do that – even people who cannot read, can simply memorize the script and regurgitate the lines without getting too involved.

I heard on the radio about this actor who fell asleep on the stage during a live play.  He had been working very long hours on a part-time job, and was quite tired every evening when he went on stage. In his defense, he played the role of a mummy and the requirement was that he had to lie still for ten minutes, and it was the last show of the season.

If we do not learn the skill of detachment, we go through life like that mummy.  We do what is expected of us, we say the right things and follow the script, and nothing more.  And if anything goes wrong, we blame the Script Writer, who placed us here.  Or if we are among those people that fear God, we will be too afraid to blame God, and find other people to blame for the way our life play goes

But that does not put us in charge of our life scripts.

If we want to stage the best play ever, we need to learn the skill of detachment.  That means that we need to become spectators in our lives as well.  We need to look at our lives from a distance, and identify the areas where we can bring in refinements, so that the play can become more enjoyable.

How do we do that?  Is it possible to be an actor as well as a script writer?  Is it possible to be a player as well as a referee? Yes, it is.

We manage to do that when we first think back and remember how we responded to particular situations.  For example, if you work with a bully, what is your natural response to the bully?  Let's for the moment assume that when you are in the presence of this bully you feel insignificant, powerless, unworthy and vulnerable.

When the bully picks on you because you are an easy victim, what do you do?  You cringe and either get out of the way quickly while you hear the laugh of the bully in your ears, or you try your best to please the bully but never succeed, and the bully laughs that victorious laugh anyway.   If you are only an actor, you do this time and again, and your self-worth is chipped away little by little.

However, if you want to become a script writer so that you can be a better actor, you take some time out, take a step back and realize how you routinely respond to the situation.

If you do this regularly enough, you become aware of how you respond, and you grow dissatisfied with that response.  You also become aware of who you really are and slowly start to think of alternative behavior that will reinforce who you really are.

Then the bully slowly becomes more aware that you are no longer quite playing the game.  Yes, you still cringe away, but you become less and less convincing, and that takes away the satisfaction of the bully.  On the day when you can look this person in the eye and respond to the bullying behavior in a way that confirms your view of yourself, the bully will know that it is time to move on, because the job is done.

That will give you the satisfaction of knowing that you are still following the script, and that you are now the co-author of the script.

This approach of detaching from situations, becoming aware of who you are and changing your behavior accordingly, allows you to grow more comfortable with who you really are and to define who you are not.  This is the way to finding an inner peace that guides your life script.

Even when you are on the stage of your life all the time, for example in a relationship where certain behavior patterns have been established, it is possible to find this quiet time to get in touch with your own script writer.  You do not need a routine or a fixed amount of time every day.   All you need is an awareness of the need to detach from your daily environment and become a fly on the wall of your stage for a few minutes a day.

That is how you will qualify to become the Oscar-winning actor and script writer of your own life.

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Last modified on Thursday, 26 February 2015 18:58

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