Are you the leading role in the story of your life? This is something I have been reflecting on since yesterday when I was asked: “Is life happening to you, or for you?”
I was sitting in my yoga teacher training class when this question was brought up and there were two things that came to mind as I thought about my answer.
The first was, I felt like my life was neither happening to me or for me, rather it was playing out in a way where I sit on the sidelines and observe. It was in that moment, as I pondered this question, that I came to the realization to the fact that I’ve felt this way for most of my life. Ever since I was a child I have always felt like I’ve been on the outside looking in.
I believe this feeling sparked when I was bullied as a child. To avoid being picked on I chose to stay in the background and try not to stand out in the hopes of being ignored by the mean kids rather than being a visible target. In turn, I developed this protective way of shielding myself from others by putting up walls and never really fully coming out of my shell to let people in and get to know the real me. I convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of positive attention; I was never going to be the popular girl, the prettiest or the smart one. And thus, I pulled up a seat and watched life unfold around me.
Which leads me to the second thought I had: why am I playing a minor role in my own life? This thought prompted me to remember a scene in the movie The Holiday which I absolutely love:
Arthur: In the movies, we have leading ladies, and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You’re so right. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God’s sake!
For a while now I’ve been thinking about how I need to take a leading role in my own life, but after hearing that question and reflecting on it I am more determined than ever to finally make it happen.
In the past couple of years I’ve been taking down walls, being more open about who I am and letting people get to know me better, but I still don’t allow myself to shine and it’s time to put an end to it.
This is why I’ve been on a path of self-reflection and self-discovery recently. I want to really get to know who I am, what my dreams truly are, and what my purpose is. It’s time for me to star in the leading role. After all, this is my story.