Be the hero of your own story
Your life is a story.
A story played by three familiar characters:
The hero is brave and courageous. Not always but on most days they try. The hero embraces their weaknesses and vulnerability. They pursue passions. And listen. And forgive. They enjoy people. Talking and laughing and shouldering life with people. The hero, for all their accolades, is profoundly flawed. They have dark hours. Hours consumed by self-doubt, self-pity. But the darkness always passes because they’re inspired by love. Love of people, of passion, of wonder. Love of how their story contributes a chapter to the stories of others.
Too often we play the villain in our own story. We self-sabotage. We procrastinate, fabricate, and over-medicate. We manipulate ourselves and others. We take short cuts and convince ourselves that we’re fooling everyone even though we’re really fooling no one. The villain is fueled, not by love, but by indifference. They’re selfish. Egotistical. And fail to realize their choices have elastic consequences that stretch far beyond their knowledge and their short-sighted imagination.
The minor character
When we’re not playing the hero or the villain, we’re the minor character in our story. We’re a spectator leaning against the wall the of church, letting good and evil wage their eternal wars in front of our earthly eyes. Unchallenged. Uninterrupted. Passively farting away, riding the capes of others.
So, right now my friend, fold back the pages, read your own story and ask, “What character am I playing?”
Your life is off-script. Your exhaling and shaking and crying and lost. Right now you’re playing the villain or the minor character in your own story.
But the hero can be found again.
Look hard enough. Persist long enough. Acknowledge that your own life has meaning and purpose. Live intentionally. Love intentionally.
And, if you have the courage do so, you’ll find the lost the hero that resides in you.
I believe in you.
Tim O’Brien finished signing my copy of “Dad’s Maybe Book”, thoughtfully looked at me with a pair of tired eyes. His face weathered and crisscrossed with deep lines. Still staring at me, he ran his hand across his chin while footsteps clicked across the marble atrium floor.
“Gosh, That’s a big question,” Tim said. “I guess I would tell them to be a donkey. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Be passionate. Don’t let tell you that you can’ t do something. Yeah, I would tell them to be a stubborn, passionate, persistent donkey.”
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