I spent the last couple of days on the set of a commercial shoot for a major car company. The set was filled with professional actors and actresses, technicians, directors, and artists. To perfect one 30-second commercial, the entire crew worked for a total of 16-18 hours on production. This does not count pre-production and post production editing, which could be hundreds more hours. Within the 16 hours I was involved, we filmed and acted the same scene from different points of view and perspectives for about 8 hours, making sure the lighting and every action was not only perfect, but also so the director/editor would have plenty of takes to choose from while making the final project.
We reenacted the same emotions and actions down to the tiniest hand movement and head position.
I mention this because I want to give you an example of real reality. When a reality TV show is filmed, how often do you think the “real fight, emotion, and outtakes” actually take to film? You can often tell by how many times the perspective changes. If there were no mistakes or hiccups in the initial reactions, the steps it takes to get a well-oiled clip to show as “real” are many. We think we are watching reality TV. We, however, are probably watching people reacting as if it’s reality, then acting the scene over and over again until it’s dramatic enough to show on television.
I believe the same is happening in real lives, all around us. We expect reality—even our fights—to be perfectly choreographed, enough to be viewed and discussed.
Continue reading below.
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Continued from Above:
Your personal life can often present itself as a version of reality instead of what you actually feel in the moment you experience the emotions. Let’s say that the organic feeling is the Reality, and the version you project onto your true feelings and the actual actions—is the DRAMA.
You have been observing the actions and words of a friend or partner for a week. He seems to be indicating that he is dissatisfied with you drinking too much. It appears that every time you head to the kitchen to pour yourself a glass of wine, he comments on it. His comments are innocuous, but you have stored up emotions and counted each time subconsciously he mentions your drinking.
You have a bad day. You sit down to dinner and realize you have forgotten your glass of wine, which really needed right then. Just as you get up, your partner reaches for your hand to say a blessing for the food, and you suddenly feel guilty—like he is pitting your desire to drink with your relationship with God and spirituality.
Instead of praying, you ended up lashing out at him for everything you have been feeling about his drinking comments.
The lover looks at you as if you are crazy, not understanding at all what you are talking about. Your partner begins to question his own intent. Suddenly, you both are quiet, eating, not praying, and feeling sick to the stomach.
The silence continues until just before bedtime, when one partner goes into the other and says, “Hey, are we actually going to stay mad at each other for something I don’t even understand?”
In the example above: The entire beginning of the fight and what led to the disagreement was imagined. It wasn’t reality at all. The authentic reality and the real conversation began when the DRAMA was over and the question was asked, “Why are we fighting?”
When you forgive me for harming you, you decide not to retaliate, to seek no revenge. You don’t have to like me. You simply unburden yourself of the weight of resentment and cut the cycle of retribution that would otherwise keep us ensnarled in an ugly samsaric wrestling match. This is a gift you can give us both, totally on your own, without my having to know or understand what you’ve done.
Ultimately, I don’t believe any couple wants to be in constant turmoil. Yet most people find it hard to get back to reality in relationship, because of our eschewed ideas about what reality is.
Reality IS NOT COMMENTARY about something. Reality is the NOW. Reality is NOT REACTIVE, it is CONTEMPLATIVE and understanding, most times. The jumping to conclusions and our stories about what’s really going on in our lives are often mistaken as our reality.
I know this scenario is not always the case, but after life coaching for 30 years, I realize that unraveling a person’s feelings and story about an incident in relationship often leads me to the real problem, which doesn’t look much like the fight or the reaction at all.
The reality is deeply seated, coming up from past pain or an infliction from the past.
To get to a real place of commitment and love, we have to be transparent with our partners about all things present and past so that each person in the relationship can be prepared to step away from the perceived battle long enough and clearly enough to look for the answers to the problem from a healthy perspective.
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You don’t get to this voice if reason or recognize it unless you spend time with yourself in silence, asking yourself important self-talk questions. This is like dating. You must get to know the voice of the Spirit by spending time in meditation and silence. This is the only I know to clearly download the power of wisdom and recognize the voice—IN TIMES OF TRAUMA—that is always directing YOU into safety!
Coming soon, my partner David Menton and I are planning to start a Vlog with Vegetable Based enriched recipes from my plethora of fun and easy ways to make food taste amazing. Enjoy!