Movies, they can be like an inverse mirror showing how our lives could be. If only our own lives could be so poetically structured. The call to action of discovering we were put on Earth for a reason. Striking inspiration and overnight success. Meeting that special someone under a yellow umbrella. Living happily ever after.
Vicariously living is a diversion as we falsely wait for the stars to align for ourselves. For us to gain permission to begin living out our creative dreams. It’s easier medicating and consuming entertainment for two hours than facing the deeper truths which lay inside. We have to be the catalyst of our own lives. The hero of our own story.
The Greatest Lie
Perhaps what makes so many of us too overwhelmed to confront life is the disharmony between where we find ourselves and where we dream of being. It’s easier to hand responsibility for our journeys over to someone else. Let life happen to us because it feels as if there’s no other option. What Paulo Coelho called the “greatest lie”.
“At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That's the world's greatest lie.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Your journey being dictated by the expectations of others is a trap because the goal post will always keep moving. Today, it’s postponing studying your dream subject because other’s don’t see the value. Tomorrow, it’ll be ending your creative venture because of disapproval. One of the unfortunate realities of life is we can’t wait for others to see us, to value us, to understand us.
Happiness doesn’t come from an external source. As the character of Arthur said in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, “true inspiration is impossible to fake”. Adopting other people’s visions of success and happiness for you, it remains foreign to our creative souls which produces antibodies to fight back. So what’s the opposite of the greatest lie?
The Greatest Truth
The greatest truth wouldn’t be that we have control over everything in our lives. That’s also not true. There’ll always be call to adventures, ordeals and tests we couldn’t foresee. Perhaps the greatest truth is a simple one: you deserve happiness. You deserve to become the truest, most creative version of yourself regardless of who you were or what’s happened in the past. To become the author of your life and contribute a verse during your limited, precious time on Earth.
Living your creative journey starts by cultivating and nurturing a deep, loving and respectful partnership with yourself. The most important relationship any of us will ever have. Other characters will be part of your story — loved ones, friends, adversaries — but it’s your inner soul that will be present in every situation. Every moment of triumph and pain. From page one to the last. Reconnecting with your creative soul builds the possibility of rediscovering your definition of happiness.
Becoming Your Own Author
That may mean letting attachments go. Saying goodbye to those we consider inseparable, maybe forever, or maybe for only this phase of life. Leaving entire versions of ourselves behind. Being your own author means taking a leap of faith, placing one foot in front of the other on the path of a thousand miles. Betting on yourself. Facing reality with authenticity isn’t easy and a part of you may wish to continue hiding. But I believe it’s only by walking our authentic path that we begin to live. That we become alive.