Dead lions do not roar Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Thursday, 21 April 2011 17:50
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You know that Metro Goldwyn Mayer lion that roars when a movie is about to begin? Well, that's the one I have in my head. Every once so often he gives off a mighty roar as a sort of announcement.

I've always presumed that he tries to warn me about something. There are occasions that I expect him to do it, but sometimes he catches me completely by surprise. Let me tell you what I mean. I received this beautiful gift from friends with a quote painted on it. It says: "The years teach much which the days never know."

Boy, did that set my lion off. And when he's like that there's no arguing with him. Still, I think I'm starting to understand the kind of fear he wishes to awaken. This is the way I interpret his quote-induced 'Aaurghh':

Maybe every day keeps you so busy that you can't even begin to see the big picture and then one day when you look back you'll see that your days didn't count; that you didn't make a mark; that you weren't important; that you changed nothing; that it's all just bitter, burnt-out ash in your mouth. Like that, you know. Short and sweet in lionspeak.

This tends to happen when comparing yourself to others, thinking that their fame, success or material power affirms how little your own life amounts to.

Whenever we feel that we need to be bigger, better or more exciting, we send a message to ourselves that we are not enough. And don't tell me that you've never-ever tasted this kind of ash in your mouth. No? Then I'd suggest checking your pulse. Thing is, you might already be dead.

According to author Madisyn Taylor, self-rejecting or belittling beliefs come from childhood as a simple tactic to keep yourself safe or to help you make sense of confusing situations. You may have felt unseen or unheard and decided that there was something wrong with you, rather than with the attention span of the people around you.

So, of course one of your tactics might have been to desperately try to please. Granted, approval is a great feeling, but when you start depending on it, you may lose your way on your own path.

There are people who will never like you, no matter how desperately you try to please them. Madisyn says that usually when people don't like you, it's because they are not like you. They may see something in you that is only a projection of their understanding, but you have no control over their interpretation.

Once you let go of the need to be liked, it will be replaced by the joy of discovering that you are finally meeting like-minded people who can understand the truth of who you are. It is then, Madisyn says, that you free yourself from trying to twist into shapes that will fit into the spaces provided by others' limited understanding. And this would be your lion's death knell. The untwisting, I mean.

If your lion is still roaring at random, chances are you're still distorting yourself into all sorts of unnatural shapes and that you're allowing the twisting to guide your actions. It's then that you start comparing and develop this irresistible urge to please.

Hey, you have to get good feedback, don't you? And if you're not getting it from yourself, you'll try to get it from others, and if being yourself doesn't give for a good response, you're going to fake being someone else until you get a reassuring nod or two. Who knows, the applause might get louder the more intensely you keep faking. Therein the temptation lies.

So, how do you strip down all the pretences to become real again? However small or intimidatingly huge that might be. The answer is easy: Just ask yourself what you love doing.

Did you really think that the meaning of your life is supposed to be found in something that you hate?


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