Many times our “problems” seem to follow us and repeatedly pop up around every corner. No matter how much we attempt to shake them, bury them in the past or even ignore them, they always seem to get the best of us. Could it be that something’s are just meant to happen to us because of fate, or is this part of a universal plan?
What if the true root of the issue and answer to the question was much simpler, more tangible and easily overlooked? Could it be the fact that we want to identify with an unhappy story, which causes the chapters of our lives to be written in unison with this created plot? This latter question hits closer to the mark. Our happiness is not dependent on some cruel twist of fate or bad roll of the dice.
Our happiness is tied to our own perceptions, beliefs, disciplines and actions. These are the characters, the settings and the themes of our tale. “We will not be unhappy, without an unhappy story.” Words so beautifully stated by Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth.
Lets think about that sentence for a while…what does it mean to us? It means that the story we choose to write, will only be read and played out in that exact way. The beliefs we hold, the perceptions we have of circumstances or events, the sense of discipline or lack thereof, and the actions we choose to take or not to take, all determine our story. We are not simply existing as an extra in a play, nor a supporting role. We are the main star and the director!
Our story can only unfold in the way WE choose. So why do many of us still feel content with being an extra in the script we wrote and directed? We do this because we love the idea of an unhappy story. With this type of tale, we have no need for responsibility, all we have to do is explain away our circumstances or point a finger to another person or event, and determine that they are responsible for our supposed misfortune.
A star actor commands attention, a director brings to life a vision, an extra fills in blanks which neither add to nor detract from the experience. So what blanks are we choosing to occupy that are more important than the lead role or organization of our adventure? None. There are no blanks in our stories because a story is a lively and ongoing thing. The only true empty spaces there are, are the ones that exist when the book is closed or the movie finishes rolling.
All unhappy circumstances which we continue to feed on and convince others that this is our true experience, never actually moves our story forward. We sit with our book in hand or outside our packed theater, in fear of what wonders may unfold in our life. We become comfortable with unhappiness because it’s easy to blame everything and everyone, but it seems so difficult to be accountable for our own circumstances. The paradox here is that our circumstances may be unhappy because, we not only choose to keep them alive by constantly rereading the same chapter, but also because we do nothing to change them.
Nobody will read our story to us and write the next chapters, for that is a responsibility only meant for us. Instead of rereading the same chapter from one week ago, five months ago or two years ago, we must remember that the characters in the previous chapters of this adventure, are not the same ones that remain now. Some characters are small footnotes, some restricted to a particular scene. Others are sidekicks or companions. Even the lead character is not the same one who begun the adventure. They have evolved, they have learnt, they have experienced, they have overcame, they have fell, the have risen, they have rested and they have triumphed! The timid creature in the introduction, is not the hero who has developed by the conclusion.
If you are ready to finish your chapter of weakness, blame, defeat, misery and unhappiness, only then may you write your chapter of strength, accountability, victory, joy and happiness.
Put down your book of mediocrity and open your library of excitement!
Your best days have not passed, for they are ahead of you.
If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.
– Orson Welles