We are not characters in our own story

We are not characters in our own story

I hear people talk about their story a lot. I know what they mean, or at least I think I do, and I don’t know if I agree with this whole idea. I don’t feel like I am living in a story. I feel like I am watching one. I don’t think I am a character in my own life. I am the camera filming the action happening in front of me. I don’t see myself in this story. I see everyone else. I’m not in my story, I’m in theirs. They are capturing my actions. They see my choices. I am a character in their story.

We are the camera. We observe life. We watch it, record it, see it from our own point of view. Some of us find interesting angles to view it from. Some of us just sit there like we are a camera on a tripod, watching from a still point. But regardless of how we move through life, we do not show up in the story we are watching, everyone else does.

This means that we are characters in everyone else’s story. I am in your story because you are reading this, and your are in mine because you are reading this.

The question is, “what role am I (are we) playing in the lives of others?” Am I an antagonist in someone’s story? Are we a confidant, a sage, a love interest, a Jester, a hero? What role are we playing? What kind of character do I want to be to my wife, my children, my friends and colleagues?

There are so many wonderful characters in my life. So many friends, sages, heroes. I am blessed by them. I don’t deserve such an amazing cast of characters. Thank you for playing your parts so well.

But there are some antagonists, too. How does my camera capture them? What is my POV on them? How do I show up in their story? What role do I play? How do they see me responding to them?

I am on the other side of the camera. I am not the star of my own movie. This was a humbling and necessary revelation to me because of the flip side of this reality. I am in someone else’s story and that is a great responsibility. Am I phoning in my performance? Am I realizing how significant every part I have to play is? Am I playing my best? If not, then I’m not ruining my story, I’m ruining yours.

We all matter to each other. If only to keep from messing up the story. But we can do more than just “not mess up.” We can star, we can shine, we can be a turning point. And this is exciting.

What role do you want to play?

That’s one of my key questions for 2013.