Let us consider life in terms of a drama or a play and as we go through life each one of us builds our own individual theatre. We choose the players, write the script, set the stage, produce and direct. Players may come and go but it is still our own play. We make all the decisions, do all the hiring and firing and have the power to change the script, as we deem necessary or desirable.
- Do you feel you no longer have a space of your own?
- Do you feel your time is no longer your own?
- Do you feel you have been ousted from your favourite chair, your room, your garden or your home?
- Have you been pushed aside by family, friends, relations or work colleagues?
- Are there more and more people making demands on your space, your time and your money?
- Have you forgotten what it is like to be master of your own destiny?
- Have your forgotten where you are, who you are or where you fit in?
- Are you wandering around aimlessly, not knowing where you are going?
Let us consider life in terms of a drama or a play and as we go through life each one of us builds our own individual theatre. We choose the players, write the script, set the stage, produce and direct. Players may come and go but it is still our own play. We make all the decisions, do all the hiring and firing and have the power to change the script, as we deem necessary or desirable. Now consider what would happen if a person did not exercise that power and never changed the script. Naturally the various players would take it for granted that they were there to stay and that they no longer needed to make any effort to retain their parts.
To illustrate how this situation might unfold, you are invited to place yourself in the position of one person for whom this becomes reality. You may find some parallels between elements of this story and aspects of your own life. Consider the theatre as the house you bought with your hard-earned money. You find yourself a partner/wife, who you think will play out a particular role supporting you. However instead of being of help, she decides not to take any responsibility for the part she accepted, regularly returning home late, overspending and always grumbling about the insignificance of her part. She says she would like to expand upon her role, so you both agree upon the new part of “mother” which she says will keep her occupied and give her more of a sense of purpose.
Consequently, an extra player “baby” is announced so the script is changed to accommodate his arrival, which is greeted with rapturous applause and tears of joy. He soon asserts his presence and makes his feelings known. He does not conform to the mealtimes, sleeping times, or the schedule, which you scripted. He has a schedule all of his own.You asked for him and he arrived with a one-way ticket. He is on your stage and you must re-write the script all over again.
You have accepted responsibility for him until he is old enough to write his own play, which will be based on a combination of what you teach him and his own learnings. Your partner does not adapt as well as originally anticipated to the new role of “mother” so you both decide to hire another player “childminder” to look after the new arrival, so that your partner can get another job in another play. You have now introduced another player to your stage – the childminder.
As the years pass the number of players in your play continues to increase, but the stage has not changed. You feel the script has taken on a life of its own, and that nobody listens to you anymore. The other players seem to write in whatever parts suit them and write out the parts that do not.
You have now lost control over your play and regularly feel used and abused. Sometimes you assume the role of the night watchman, who lies awake at night wondering when and if your children will return home safely. Other times you are the cook who prepares meals to which nobody arrives on time, if they turn up at all. Seldom do you get a “lead role.”
There are now many players playing different parts from different plays on one stage. It used to be your stage, but you got squeezed out over the years. You are unhappy with this situation. The most hurtful thing is that the other players do not seem to care or even notice anymore. Why should they? They may not have played their parts very well, but then you did not last very long at your part either, always changing and moving to allow more players in and thinking more players would solve your problems.
This begs one to question, your reasons for continuing to allow this unhappy situation to persist. Conditioning perhaps or maybe you have lost sight of your original character and forgotten the fact that you had the power to change the script to suit your character.
At this point, what can you do to help yourself to regain centre stage in your own play?
You cannot send the other players all packing – or can you?
Are they too long established and set in their ways to make the necessary changes and move off your stage?
This sounds like a complicated situation and a lot of trouble for all concerned, including you.
Pause for a moment and consider this dilemma. It is not as hopeless as it might seem. Remember you once wrote your own play, but in trying to accommodate everyone else, you allowed your own role to diminish. This is your play and only you can solve the problem. Maybe you could write a new play, after all you wrote the first one.
You can write it, play it, direct it and produce it all yourself if you want, but this time you may need to be more selective with the type of players you choose. You can create new boundaries for them and for yourself. You can decide upon the extent to which you allow negativity to feature. Since you control the lighting, you can decide whether to highlight hope rather than hopelessness or to focus on joy rather than misery. You can choose the aspects of your life to which you will give prominence. You can decide whether your theatre is filled with tears or laughter. Your life is your very own play and you have the power to play it out whatever way you choose. Remember, that no matter how powerless you may feel, you are still the master of your own
This is your play and you have the power to play it out your way.
I am the person holding the pen and I start to write my new