WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF A SECOND LIFE BASED ON YOUR FIRST ATTEMPT?
We try to fit some form of cultural experience into our lives each month. We mostly end up going to Cape Town. Living in Somerset West, I call it the “big city” and actually get dressed up for the occasion. We normally see a theatre production of sorts.
Our September outing was a trip to Alexander Bar and Theatre, in Cape Town. We saw a play called “Selwyn & Gabriel”, written by Richard Kaplan and directed by Matthew Khalil.
This is not a critique of the show, but a reflection on what I got out of it. We saw the closing performance of the run and heard from the Director that there are no immediate plans to take the show somewhere else. My opinion is that the show is delightfully excellent and that further opportunities to get it on stage elsewhere should be sought.
The show really got me thinking and engaged my partner and I in intense conversations about how we live our lives and the underlying messages of the play.
My take on the essence of the show is: How do you live your life and would you deserve a second chance at it?
These are a few of the questions that came up for me after the show. Am I living my life honestly and in integrity? Am I doing what I want to do in life and living my life the way I would like to live it? Or am I allowing myself to be prescribed by society and putting limitations on myself and on my ultimate happiness? Are my fears holding me back in any way? If I could critically scrutinise my life today and make changes, what would that be?
Being in a few twelve step programs, taking a regular inventory of my life has become part of how I live. During these inventories I have an in-depth look at things like my resentments, fears, guilt and shame, relationships and abuse. I also look at my sexual conduct, my feelings and what I am hiding from others and why. I even get to look at my assets and what I like about myself. I try to see how these things are present in my life and how they have been influencing how I engage with life. I analyse my part where these things have a consequence for me and try to ascertain what the root causes are.
I have done quite a few of these inventories in my life and trust that many will follow. What Selwyn & Gabriel highlighted for me was, that even though I am blessed to have this tool in my life, I gain most from it when I am rigorously honest with myself about myself. Without self-honesty I am not allowing myself to extract true value from the process.
I have, for instance, never really grasped how intensely I have allowed fear to rule my life. I have examined my fears, yes, but I was never really willing to stand back and look at the bigger picture. I recently discovered how my fear of economic insecurity has ruled so many decisions I have made in my life. I have put my personal wants and needs aside for the next pay-check and in the process convinced myself that that was what I wanted in life. I have chained my personal growth and creativity to a bank account, which frankly, painted quite a bleak picture of what I thought of myself. I was not living in integrity with myself and there was no congruency between my soul’s needs and my concept of happiness.
Due to a change in circumstances, I was given the opportunity to re-evaluate my life. At the age of 50 I was given the opportunity to ask myself what I really want to do with my life and what I want to get out of it. These were really not easy questions to answer. I realised that I have never allowed myself the freedom to have options in this regard. My fears dictated this on my behalf.
For me, Selwyn & Gabriel highlighted how important it is that we find ways and means to feed our souls and live in harmony with our true selves and our hearts’ desires. To look ourselves in the eye and realise that there are hardly any second chances. This is IT. I need to make the best of this one chance, because tomorrow may not be presented to me as another opportunity.
Sometimes we need guidance to help us on our path of self-discovery and search for happiness. Use the resources at your disposal.
If you were the judge and jury in evaluating an inventory of your life for the purpose of deciding if you were going to be granted a second shoot at this goal called life, would you give yourself that second chance?