There is a part of all of us that wants to be a star. Whether we secretly wish for our “star moment” or we are intentionally pursuing a starring role at work or in the movies, part of human nature yearns to be seen as special. This is the part of our healthy ego that wants to express our individual talents. There’s also a darker side of our ego that is self-centered and craving attention.
With the Academy Awards and focus on movies last week, we were reminded of a phrase we read from a spiritual teacher. He said: “One way to stop life’s internal suffering is to give up being the star of your own movie.”
If you think about it, life is like a movie with different scenes and episodes. If you interpret every scene from the point of view that you are the center of attention, then everything about life becomes about you.
Donna recently had an experience of what “life as a movie” feels like. Here’s what happened:
She was leaving a local grocery store on an average day—nothing different than her usual stop for groceries. For some reason, on this day, as she walked out of the store toward her car, she had the sensation of being on a movie set. She visualized the director in the back of the parking lot, directing the action, lights and cameras. The other people walking in and out of the store were “extra’s” on her movie set. She was the star of this scene, as she walked out of the store toward her car.
Then she had an epiphany. “We are all moving through life being the star of our own movie! This is what every event in life is like, with each person being their own star at the same time,” she said to herself. It was a week later that she came across the quote from the spiritual teacher – much to her amazement.
When everyone is starring in their own movie, all the players are living and acting from an ego, self-centered approach to life and vying for the spotlight. If everyone wants to be a star in every scene, that sets the stage for an award winning “soap opera.” And we all know how much these shows are truly dramatic interplays between the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer.
This self-centered approach does not appreciate that it takes many different cast members to manifest a Creator story. We cannot be Co-Creators if we always want to be center-stage.
We are not suggesting that you should cease creating your role in your movie of life. In fact, to be an authentic Creator, you take responsibility for the parts you play – you are the author of your life. What we have come to realize – after Donna’s parking lot experience and subsequent reading – is that there is a link between the internal suffering that is the DDT and the all-to-human desire to be seeking the starring role and being the center of attention.
As you observe yourself today, notice if you are overly shining the cameras and lights onto yourself. Notice if, when you speak, you expect everyone else to listen to your lines rather than you listening to theirs.
By letting go of the urge to be the star of your own movie, you can join with others to be co-authors, Co-Creators and collaborative cast members in a larger movie of life.