Years ago Jim Carrey starred in a movie called The Truman Show. It was about a man whose every move from the time of his birth had been scripted and choreographed, filmed and broadcast to the rest of the world. All the others in his life were actors, playing their parts. He lived a perfect life. He had no idea he was not living a real life.
Of course, we’re not Truman. Our lives are not perfectly arranged for us. There is no cast and crew working behind the scenes to make sure we’re always exactly where we’re supposed to be and to keep us on script. We don’t always get what we want, or even what we need.
After Truman discovers the truth about his life, he is no longer content to be an actor living his life at the direction of others. He is ready to be the director. He chooses to live as a real person.
Sometimes we do not live our own life but rather live at the direction of others. We agree to be manipulated so that they will love and approve of us. When we discover what is happening, we can choose to do as Truman did. We can choose to break free of the boundaries – the script, that others have penned for us and thereby, penned us in. We can choose to be who we really are.
Being real means being ourselves. Being real means that we live with the truths about ourselves. We embrace our feelings and we embrace our circumstances. We acknowledge our blemishes and our failures. We also embrace our successes, our strengths, and our dreams. We own up to the incredibly great things we do. We recognize we are wonderful, just the way we are. Most importantly, we accept that we are enough.
Make no mistake, being ourselves is hard work. Not only is it hard, it’s scary!
We fear rejection. We fear we will be seen as weak. We fear others might abandon us. We fear honestly living will be worse than pretending to live.
To soothe the fear, we may be tempted to go back to playing the role others expect us to play.
The irony is that when we start writing our own script and directing our own life, we become the star in our own movie. We get top billing. We choose who plays opposite us and we choose our entire supporting cast. The set, the costumes, the script, all of it is ours. Will everyone love us? No. But not everyone loves us now, they love what we pretend to be. Will everything be perfect? No. But our lives aren’t perfect now, we only pretend the bad parts aren’t so bad, or don’t exist at all.
When we’re the director, the writer and the star, we get a life that is our own. Just thinking about all the power that is waiting for us makes us giddy. We can yell Action! Or, Cut! We decide when we want to declare Take Two! Or Take 100. Or, just take a break. We learn that those who truly love us, love us just the way we are. Those who don’t like our show leave to play the critic in others lives.
Being honest with ourselves and with others about who we are sets us free from living to others expectations and conditions. We are free to be who we really want to be, and to create relationships with others who also know how to be honest. When we learn how to be honest with ourselves and honest with others, we learn how to really live. That’s so much better than only pretending to be living.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: To let people see who we really are, close-up, where the imperfections show, we have to let go of our fear of being judged less than perfect. But when we are able to let people see who we really are, we open the door to living in a way that is honest, open and true.
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