This morning I was asked the question (paraphrasing here) “How do I know if this <keeping situation anonymous> is the real deal, or if this is one more frustrating step that I’ll ultimately need to learn from and leave behind?" Boy have I been there in life - personally and professionally! Maybe you have too?
My answer in short was this: Can both things/people involved move toward health, whole-heartedness and authenticity at the same time?
If both can be doing what they need to be doing to be whole, healthy and REAL… then it’s the real deal. But if there's only room for one person to move toward health and wholeness... then it may be time for a "scene edit," as we say in improv.
Here’s the really good news about things that are “the real deal.” You don’t have to treat them with kid gloves. Things that are the real deal can handle:
Relationships, places, opportunities that are a healthy, viable, longterm match can accommodate what it takes to thrive and blossom as the highest expression of yourself.
I have an #unpopularopinion when it comes to commitment in general. I don’t believe in promising forever… in any context.
First of all, since I don’t know the future and have no control over other people’s actions, I have a fundamental gripe with making promises that are outside of my control to fulfill. But secondly, I believe we are all improvising all the time — we’re all improvisers. And the job of an improviser is two fold:
—> contribute with your full attention, full authenticity and full creative power to the current scene
—> notice when it’s time to edit, and don’t belabor the point. When a scene is done, let it be done.
This sounds harsher than it is in practice. Editing a scene **DOESN’T MEAN** that the relationships created, the information gained, or the themes established won’t show up somewhere else in the show… it’s just an awareness that this is done for now, and it is best served when it is edited at a high point and can be recalled favorably by the audience and the others on the team. If we want those characters/themes etc to make it to the next beats, we can’t exhaust their potential by prolonging the inevitable edit.
Perhaps you’re already reading the parallels here.
I don’t like the idea of signing away - either in reality or simply in believed reality - our ability to determine that a scene must be edited. I especially don’t like it if the reason we’re not editing is out of fear that letting go means giving up on the future potential for something beautiful to be created.
It’s not my experience that letting go, ending a relationship, leaving a job, etc means the END of what can be beautiful in that situation. Quite the contrary, actually.
I’ve made it my life’s MISSION to be an improviser that believes in the collaborative power of YES, AND and NO THANK YOU equally.
I have worked very hard to cultivate a true sense of permission to say “no” when that is what brings me the most peace and freedom.
And guess what — I’ve held on to something beautiful every time. I believe those beautiful things would have been sacrificed had I not been willing to say “Nope, I’m done now.”
Because, when we exhaust a scene, we lose sight of what made it wonderful. We only remember the feelings of shame, frustration and murderous rage (if you’re dramatic like me!) that were coursing through our bodies when we finally did leave.
My intention for writing this is to give you the emotional perseverance to hang in there if you’re in a “hard but good” patch of something that is healthy… and the courage and self compassion to **edit the scene** if you’re realizing that is what will cultivate the most peace and freedom.
Living abundantly with our whole hearts is a process of constantly asking “Does it bring me to life to keep building here, or is it someone else’s turn to build?” When I'm asking that question, the answer usually lies in looking at the long term and determining if there's room for me thriving to my fullest potential or not. The answer to that question gives me all the clarity I need.
Love and light friends,
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