There are lots of people out there who need a bit of encouragement. And, sometimes, just one thought can turn the tide in favor of fighting a little harder or having a bit more hope. So I’m going to let you in on one question I share with clients of mine who seem ready to throw in the towel and give up on themselves.
HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED THAT NO ONE WALKS OUT OF A MOVIE JUST BECAUSE THE LEAD CHARACTER IS IN TROUBLE?
Think about that. When a character played by Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts or Will Smith is up against it, when everything seems to be spiraling out of control in that person’s life, do you see anyone mutter, “Well, looks like he’s screwed, let’s go,” then get up and head for the exit? No. That would be ridiculous, right? Everyone stays in his or her seat, thinking, “I wonder what’s going to happen.” Or, “How’s she going to overcome this trouble?” Or people look at their watches, expectantly wondering how everything is going to turn in favor of the lead character before the film ends.
One of the only times we are vulnerable to walking out on an unfolding narrative, losing faith that everything can still turn out for the best, is when the story is our own—when we are the lead characters. That’s when we are at risk to stand up and walk right out of the theatre.
I’ve had those feelings. I’m human. Recently, I had to deal with multiple bizarre lawsuits (which were all resolved, thank God) and then go to court and listen to a woman claim I was stalking her (a claim the judge, thank God, threw right out of court). Watching all that unfold was like watching a double feature of horror films.
But I’m here to tell you that it makes no more sense to walk out on our own possibilities for victory and redemption than it does to walk out on those of a lead character in a film. As long as we are living and breathing, as long as there is time left on the clock counting down our days on this planet, we have every reason to believe that we can still triumph over adversity. The necessary ingredient is belief—faith. Because faith insulates us from despair and fuels the fight inside us. With faith, all is possible.
Are you feeling like walking out on your potential? On your dreams? On your family? On your sobriety? God forbid, on your life? I am telling you this, with unwavering certainty: If you can at least resolve to stay in your seat and take an interest in the evolving narrative of your own existence, leaving the door open to every possibility, then you will be restored.
Now, let me tell you a secret (and if you already knew it, all the better): You can actually create your own storyline through the miracle of intention. You can resolve that events turn in your favor, just like a screenwriter would script the triumph of a lead character in a film. And your resolve will make it so.
Keith Ablow, MD
Dr. Keith Ablow is the Founder of The Ablow Center.