It’s not personal

Lights, camera, action! Life is pretty much like being an actor in a movie or a play. As Shakespeare reminds us: All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts. However, unlike a movie or a play, where the actors have a script and are briefed about the scene and how they should act, life does not work that way. In the reality show that we are part of, we have no clue what the next scene will be. We can plan as much as we like, and tell ourselves that we are in control, but actually we have no idea what wild card will show up. That is simply the way it is. Life unfolds moment by moment, and we cannot alter the script. We just have to deal with what shows up.

A few months ago, a pandemic showed up in the script of our reality show, and millions of co-actors are currently on stage. Each one is acting out the scene in their own unique way. Some of us are resisting being part of this scene. We cannot understand why we need to go through this. We would like to think we are special. Bad things are not supposed to happen to us. Bad things are supposed to happen to bad people, not to us. We are decent people who live by the book, and we tell ourselves we are divinely insured against such situations. Also, we were quite happy in the bubble we had created for ourselves: Our job, house, family, cars and all our stuff. That is where we feel secure and safe, but now all of this is falling apart and we take it very personally. We feel sorry for ourselves. We feel exposed and humiliated, angry, confused, and disillusioned. Our bubble has burst, and we take it very personally. But we need to realise that it is nothing personal. It is not about good or bad. It is just life happening and it may be useful to remember that life is not happening to us, but  for us. That is how special we are.

We would not have been cast as part of this scene, if we did not stand to gain something from it. Not in a material sense, but spiritually. We would not have been around now, if we did not have what it takes. All we need to do is dig deep and give it our best shot. Face it, ride the wave. That is how we have made it thus far in this reality show. We are indeed special, but not in the sense that we are too good to experience difficult situations. We are special because, inside all of us, are all the skills and resources we can tap into that will get us through any difficult and challenging situation that arises.

But there is a caveat. We should not rely on our eyes and our ears in times of difficulty, particularly these days. Thanks to the media, and especially the social media, we are exposed to millions of views, opinions and suggestions, and we are desperately seeking a trustworthy and legitimate voice. The more we see and the more we hear, the more confused we are. Actually, this is just as well, because that is not where our direction should come from. Ask any good actor how they manage to deliver such a brilliant performance, and they will tell you that they have learned to cut out all the noise. They focus. They become still. They go within. They stay centered. They trust their intuition. That’s when the magic happens. It is an inside job.

This pandemic provides us with an opportunity to deliver our best performance yet, but the choice is ours. We can play the role of the victim, feel sorry for ourselves and try to withdraw into our safe bubble, or we can remember that we have what it takes and face life. All we need to do is to go within: Cut out all the fear-mongering images and voices, and listen to the wisdom of the heart for we will find all the solutions and answers we seek there.

One day we will look back at this time and how we handled it. May it then prove to have been one of our best performances ever.