Monday, September 20, 2010
I was feeling all reflective this morning, with a bit of wistful hope for the future despite the gauntlet of press junkets about to hit us. And I'll be darned if it didn't just take one stupid, callous clumsy comment from someone to dash the mood against the rocks. How fragile. But I feel better now, after I found the silver lining.
Ignore the opinions of others.
I have always found this nearly impossible, despite understanding that I'd be happier if I could do it. It was a bit of a losing battle until I read and began to understand The Four Agreements. And what I came to realize from these helpful books is that we are all cast in each other's movies, playing the parts each other needs or wants us to play. And these parts we are cast in, just like the roles actors play, are sometimes far from who we are (like chameleon Meryl Streep)... and sometimes we are cast in roles that are very close to who we really are. The closer the friend or loved one, the more apt they are to cast us in roles that align with who we really are.
It's about them. It's about what they believe to be true. I am either cast to support their beliefs/reality, or I'm cast as a challenge to their beliefs/reality.
I think we cast the people who match the criteria of the role. For example, if I had mother issues, I might be attracted to casting strong and positive women (or the reverse if I'm not aware of my issues). We are all casting the movies of our lives. Why take other people's movies personally?
Ever meet someone who talks fast, a bit hyper maybe, and they are enthusiastic and they look right into your eyes, and they share their thoughts and their stories... but when you share with them, they don't pay attention to the fact that you've started a story, cutting you off before you've barely begun it? Or they interrupt you as you're responding to them, because something you've just said sparked something they want to share? This is a good example of someone for whom you have been cast as a supporting role in their movie. They could be very engaging, positive and kind, and yet still do all the above. This example drives home the metaphor of being cast in someone else's movie. I certainly don't take their lack of attention span or lack of genuine interest personally. If only I could hang onto that feeling in other social situations and more challenging relationships, I'd be free!
I know my own buttons. I have a justice/fairness complex, for example. "Life may not be fair, but it is just." When someone does or says something rude or unfair, I rev up the Fire Engine of Justice and want to race to the rescue and put out the flames of thoughtlessness. When someone does or says something unkind, or shows a lack of compassion, I feel a compulsion to point it out, to squash the injustice. I'm older now. I don't act on all impulses. But you can well imagine how unpopular this was in my more reckless youth (not to say that there isn't a relapse once in a while).
So today, yet again, I let someone else's opinion push my buttons.
But when I drew the above card, the mood started to lift as I realized I gave my power to someone else's miscast idea of who I am. I am not the role they've cast me in. It's not about me. I don't have to take it personally.
I'm quite certain I will continue to have ample opportunities to practice til I get it right. Like the fourth agreement itself, I am always trying to do my best, whatever that best is at that given moment.
(and if you missed that topic: *Sliding Scale* )
posted by Shephard @
10:19 AM |
10:19 AM |