Thinking that you are alone in your ‘stuff’ – your struggles, insecurities, hopes, fears and desires – is completely false. You think you’re alone because it’s scary to open yourself up to other people. We’re scared we’ll be judged or rejected or abandoned. Or that we’re freaks or messed up or flawed in some way no one else is. So everyone just puts on a happy face. As a result, the standards we hold ourselves to are often derived from media images that don’t exist in reality.
How many times are we fed a Hollywood fairytale about someone and it feels as if our lives are miserable in comparison? We often ignore the truth of that person’s life, which is sure to have been a series of emotional challenges, setbacks, insecurities, disappointments, heartaches, losses, joys, victories and breakthroughs. Just like all of us.
The media is selling personas. Don’t be fooled. Personas aren’t real. We equate celebrity with perfection. Becoming famous – through whatever means necessary – means we’re guaranteed the byproducts of fame: privileges, material abundance, adoration and happiness. In short, nirvana. But just because we “make it” or become famous or win a million dollars or star in America’s Next Top Fill-in-the-Blank doesn’t mean the “stuff” we have goes away.
One of the profound things about life is that it’s a great social equalizer. At some point, everyone has to face his or her stuff. But many of us get stuck in our stuff… feeling trapped. Alone. Hopeless.
But realizing you’re stuck is insight. Because without awareness, you can’t do anything about it. So the real work is learning how to get unstuck.
So how do we do that?
We keep going. We don’t give up. We stop measuring ourselves against fantasies. We open your hearts. Weexamine and re-examine the beliefs we hold. About ourselves. About the things we’ve been taught. And about how we choose to see the world. To face head-on the things we most want to avoid. To know that we’re bigger than the set of circumstances we face or the abusive thoughts we hold about ourselves. To know we’re all worthy of love. To realize that the only way out of something is through, never around. And we’re all going through this thing called life together.
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Anthony Meindl is an award-winning writer/director/producer/teacher and Artistic Director of Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop – where the “right brain rules” – in Los Angeles and New York. He is endlessly inspired by his students’ fearless creativity and is tireless in discovering new ways to help us all get out of our own way a little bit more each day. He just finished writing/directing his first feature film, Birds of A Feather.
Twitter – @AnthonyMeindl