Tomorrow is election day in The United States of America. You’d have to be living a pretty reclusive life to be unaware of all the fear, anger and hatred being hurled across political lines (and social media, community meetings and, dinner tables). This election has not brought out the best in many citizens of our great country. On the contrary, there is divisiveness and negativity. I’m aware of people who have decided that they can no longer be in relationship with those who are on “the other side”. It’s like a giant theatrical production being played out for all the world to see and, although it may be Tony Award worthy for its drama, it sure hasn’t helped us be one indivisible “nation under God”.
Watching this unfold, since the beginning of the year, reminds me of how we often treat our lives like long-running Broadway shows. I meet people who continually have the same circumstances, events or outcomes play out in their lives. They feel like they’re re-enacting the same realities over and over, like a broken record.
We are often the protagonists in our own dramas—the main character around which the story evolves.
Just like in any really good production any one (or all of these) can be played out: passion, love, joy, subjugation, sorrow, depression, defeat, loneliness, sadness.
Sometimes there’s a lull in the action while the actor prepares for the next scene.
The stage may change—the theater could be anywhere from a remote country farm to suburbia to New York City.
The supporting actors may—and usually do—change.
What doesn’t ever change is the main character—you or me.
What too often doesn’t change is the storyline—we keep performing the exact same scene, expecting a different result.
Dress rehearsals are no longer needed.
There’s not even any “reading between the lines“. The roles are so practiced that, in spite of knowing what hasn’t worked before, we don’t ever consider going “off script”.
We don’t standoff or edit out.
We simply go with rote memorization—each movement is accompanied by a specific emotion and action, while the same orchestra plays in the background.
Thought is no longer necessary because we’re simply following the playbook.
If the main character is always the same
and the story line is always the same,
when the final curtain is drawn,
the outcome will always be the same.
This can happen in our “big picture” life when we’re always playing our, often self-convicted, leading roles. Sadly, this happens in our homes—much too often—as well.
Recently, I reread Eugene O’Neill’s famous “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”. I’ve got to tell you, it was more depressing than I remembered. The fact that it was autobiographical in nature, makes it even more poignant. Mary, the wife, is one of the main characters. Her life is challenging. Her reality is less-than-ideal. In a line that really hit me, she says—about the fog outside her window, “It hides you from the world and the world from you. You feel that everything has changed, and nothing is what it seemed to be. No one can find or touch you any more.”
How many times do we hide in the fog of our own drama?
How many times are we unwilling to rewrite the script?
What stories are we telling?
I’m a huge believer of “dreaming big”. I know that “thoughts become words and words become actions”—I teach that and preach that often. But, what happens when the big dream doesn’t happen?
Is that a sign that it wasn’t the right “big idea”?
Sometimes you have to mourn the “what could have been” to move into “what really is”.
Sometimes, in spite of your strong desire (and best intentions) a dream or concept or idea has to be extinguished, or at least set-aside.
Sometimes it simply isn’t doable in this life.
Sometimes you have to rewrite the play to get the storybook ending.
Maybe that dream will be replaced by something more important, that you don’t yet understand.
Maybe the gift of it was the wholeness of the experience—the learning and growing and stretching that brings you to the next big dream.
Please vote tomorrow.
Please listen to each other.
Please listen to your inner voice.
Please use the time you have left to create the story you want for your life.
©2016 peace full home™/intentional living