The Do Over?
Your life is a movie and you, the director, have the opportunity to reshoot the scenes in your life.
What scenes would you choose? Which events in your life do you wish you could “cut” and “retake”? Do you find yourself choosing to erase mistakes, missed opportunities or decisions you later regretted? Have there been scenarios in which you didn’t realize you had some control over the outcome until it was too late? Perhaps what came to mind was a time you were deeply hurt or hurt another.
There are certain scenes we might choose to redo because of our actions and behaviors. Others might be more about the emotions we expressed or didn’t allow ourselves to feel. Did you find yourself imagining a reshoot of scenes where you expressed some or all of the grief or anger that you kept inside on the first take? What about missed chances to express love? Joy? Maybe you still carry shame from what you perceived was an overreaction and wish you could back some of the emotion out of that situation.
What if you can choose only one scene in your life to live over? How do you choose? Maybe you decide on a scene from the past or you leave your one shot in the bank for something from the future. Hard to pass on that one! Remember both the bad and the good that came from your retake will be altered. In other words, broaden your perspective of each scenario to consider the positives that may have emerged after the fallout.
Okay, time to review yourself as director and examine the retake. How are the interactions, mood, tone, and pace different from before? Who is in the frame this time and whom are you leaving out? Is there anyone you are allowing to be closer to you? Anyone in particular you are pushing away? Note how your behavior has changed. Who are you treating differently and how are you treating yourself in this retake? With this potential opportunity to review and renew, do you notice a need to be kinder to self and/or to others?
Most of us know pretty quickly the thorns we bear and may jump at the chance of a do over. However, there are just as many who wouldn’t change a thing. Perhaps all of us have moments or days we would never dream of living over or dare change, for anything else in the world.
Life is a mixed bag no matter who you are. The wrong turns, stumbles and falls are what brought you here. Maybe life isn’t about getting things right the first time. Perhaps it is about figuring out how to be in our lives as they happen, noticing more moments, living every day deliberately, as if it were being filmed in one take, on that very one special day.
Yet living in the moment can seem ominous. Can any of us truly be present in each and every moment? It seems a lofty goal we are bound to fail given the nature of our busy human brains. But perhaps on the way to this goal of being in the moment, we can start with being in our days. What helps you set aside tension and worry so that you may notice, each day, how wonderful the world can be? Jot a note? Stretch? Set a timer? Call a Friend? Take a walk? Breathe deeply? Pause? Share a quote? Perhaps find something you can do daily to remind yourself to relish this remarkable extraordinary one life we get to live.