Here in the United States, the summer mega-hit movies are coming out. There are more hero-action films than ever, including sequels starring just about every action figure ever created.
When looking at the list of movies, we were reminded of the phrase we heard from a spiritual teacher. He said: “One way to stop life’s suffering is to give up being the star of your own movie.”
Our egos thrive on being “action heroes” on the stage of life. On the one hand our healthy ego wants to express our individual gifts and talents. There’s also a darker side of our ego that is self-centered and craving for attention.
To the ego, 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 “extras” 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! If unaware, this is what every event in life is like, with each person being their own star at the same time,” she said to herself.
The conflict this causes, by starring in our own movie, is a self-centered approach to life–wanting the spotlight and action focused on us. And, other people are also starring in their movies, competing with us for show time. If everyone wants to be a star in every scene, the stage is set for an award winning “soap opera!”
What if you don’t like the drama story script that you have created for yourself? Do you see it as unchangeable? Are you feeling victimized by the script you have written? Maybe you believe the script has been written by someone else and you are starring in a soap opera you don’t even like.
We’re not suggesting that you should cease creating your role in the movie of life. We are suggesting that unconsciously seeking that starring role will cause you constant suffering and will likely result in a Dreaded Drama script for your life. We are simply suggesting that you reduce how often you make life about you.
As you observe yourself today, notice:
- Am I overly shining the cameras and lights onto myself?
- In this “movie script” do I have a strong need to be right and have the best lines?
- Do I expect everyone else to listen to my lines rather than me listening to theirs?
- Am I playing small role and not stepping into the Creator role that is uniquely mine to play?
This movie metaphor may support you to reflect upon what script you have written for your life. As you see it, now you can choose the best storyline that is written just for you, one scene at a time.