Lately, I’ve been getting a sense that I need to step onto the stage of my life. Directly out front, in the spotlight, and let myself shine. That may sound self absorbed, but I do not mean a public stage centered in external gratification or acknowledgment. What I am referring to is: How do we genuinely allow ourselves to take center stage in our own lives? Do we truly take responsibility for our soul, life, and humanity? Or, are we sitting in the wings watching other people’s lives unfold before us? Are we secretly hoping for some magic invitation to show up and find an adoring audience that conveys safety and acceptance with clear direction?
Some may feel guilty and undeserving of the spotlight. We focus on other’s lives under the guise of “support”, “service”, and “caring.” I write these words in quotes because it can be very easy to justify ignoring our authentic selves under the illusion of generosity. We push our self off of our own stage and step onto another’s. I think that unless we allow ourselves to truly take center stage in our own lives, we are not fully owning and honoring the human experience. We are serving another’s story over our own, and we are limiting our ability to be fully present with compassion and loving kindness.
Often, I think that many people believe that they are living their own life – acting on their own stage – when they are mainly following a script. A script that is handed down to them by the way they are conditioned. I’ve often heard talented actors say that they prepare for a role by discovering the internal and external workings of a character. A foundation is laid, and then they can allow the character to evolve naturally without having to focus on all the details. I think it is the same for life experience. If we are to create space for our soul and spirit to express itself, we have to explore and discover who we are; what makes us feel, think, believe, and behave the way we do. We spend time exploring our scripts and remain open and curious to how we can transcend them. We can foster creative expression based on who we are not just how we were taught to be.
Genuine service is not born from sacrificing our own selves and lives to another. Service is birthed from compassion not an empty performance due to a subscript that subconsciously or consciously serves to boost one’s self esteem. We attempt to feel better about ourselves by sending the message that we are good or worthy because we helped another. But, did we really serve healing, or did we simply massage our and another’s avoidance? In my experience, this can be tricky territory. Intentions can serve another’s script, foster well-being, or simply avoid layers of our own pain and suffering. As I attempt to take center stage of my own life, I do so with the understanding that we are all equal. I am no more or less deserving of loving attention than another. In contrast, when we are the stand-in cast of another’s life, we are telling ourselves that another is more important, deserving, and worthy of loving kindness and attention than we are. In turn, we are fostering a lack of faith in our own worth and the worth of all beings. By taking center stage in our lives, we are inviting ourselves to create a life centered in humanity because humanity is the thread that connects us all as equals. Then, I can attempt to be of service. I can show up to other stages and support them without a hidden agenda. I can fully support by being present and accepting of another’s path as being uniquely his or her own. I can support through trust and faith in all of our ability to heal.
Taking center stage in our own life is how we can truly serve one another. We can take ownership of who we are instead of using one another for distraction and avoidance. We can show up for one another and cheer each other on with loving kindness and genuine hope for well-being and happiness. Happiness springs from healing, healing comes from acceptance and compassion which allow us to bear witness to our own selves and in turn another. Healing creates the stage for our authentic selves to live. Living authentically requires us to step out from the sidelines and shadows and into the light. When we allow ourselves to stand in the spotlight of our own lives, we create space for others to be authentic in our presence. Hidden agendas and intentions fall by the wayside as we seek to fully allow our authentic voice to be heard.
Drama, comedy, creativity, and playfulness will always be abundant. We may as well choose the stage, play, and act that we authentically support. Otherwise, we will merely be part of the set of an unknown life.