Imagine that one day, Scriptwriter Stephen went to the office of his Literary Agent Anne for a meeting about his latest script.
Anne: Hello Steve, come in and have a seat.
Stephen: Thank you, Anne. Did you get time to read the script?
Anne: Yes, Steve, I did.
Stephen: So what do you think?
Stephen: Yes, Anne. You know you can say anything you want. I rely on your frank honesty in these matters.
Anne: OK, Steve, well, I have to say there has been a bit of a departure from your usual style and, to be honest, this script is, well, how can I put it tactfully, AS DULL AS MY NINE YEAR OLD UNDERPANTS!
Stephen: Really? Do you think so? I thought I'd created something rather lovely. I wanted to move away from the complexity of my previous work and create something that made everyone feel good.
Anne: I feel you may have gone a little too far in that direction, Steve. Let us take an example. Scene 1: Some really nice people meet up at the house of a really nice person and they are really nice to each other. Nice haircut. Blah blah blah. Love your shoes. Dum de dum de dum. Children doing really well at school........ and lets move on a bit. Scene 3: Cut to a street scene where passers-by are being really nice to each other, breaking from whistling or song to say cheery hellos to one another as the sun shines on the birds merrily chirping in the trees and the bees and butterflies flit amongst a wonderful technicolour array of flowers.
Stephen: Nice, isn't it?
Anne: Well, yes, Steve. It is 'nice'. But I'd be lying to you if I told you that I am going to bother approaching any producers with this.
Stephen: Why ever not, Anne?
One of the questions that has bugged theologians over the years is the problem of evil. If God created the world, why did he create so much suffering in it? The question usually pre-supposes that 'god' is in some way separate from the person asking the question.
Now imagine that what you refer to as 'your life' is just an elaborate fiction created by you. A three-dimensional movie in which you are identifying with the main character. That main character encounters lots of other characters, but this is a first person story, the main perspective always rests with this main character.
Why would you want to create a story for that character which contains all this drama, these ups and downs of emotion, good events and bad events, highs and lows. Why would you create something like that? Why not create something that is nice and lovely and pleasant and beautiful all the time?
Take a look back at Anne's brief synopsis of Steve's script and you might get an inkling why.
Maybe you are persuaded by thoughts that try to encourage you to work hard to turn your personal story or the world in which it takes place into something always rosy, beautiful, pleasant, comfortable, gentle, kind ..... Maybe now you will consider listening to some other thoughts.
Here is one thought to play with: happiness is not making your story into one like that which Stephen has written. Happiness is simply remembering that it is just a story, and that without the highs and lows, without the variety and the contrast, it would be a very dull story indeed.
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