What Will Your Story Be? A Dull, Monotonous History or A Riveting, Compelling Tale?

Have you ever watched a movie or a television show so predictable your mind goes numb?

My mother loves to watch her soap operas. I remember our evenings as a family when I was in grade school, the television set is always turned on from dinnertime, at six o'clock in the evening, till bedtime before 9.

With only 2 channels available, it's not like you have any other choice. (By the way, this is before Youtube and Facebook.) Because of that, I was able to commit to memory the show's usual storyline progression. The pattern is so easy to remember that even an elementary grade-schooler would learn by rote.

In Philippine dramas, the stories always have the same themes: the main character is adopted, revenge, the hero's relative (mother, father, sister, or whoever) died in an accident or in an ambush but it turns out they didn't, the main character got rich or married someone rich.

Repeat that story over and over, change the actors to the hottest stars of the new generation and you'll get hot pizza reheated from the microwave.

When I see a new Philippine drama series today, I could immediately predict what would happen next that my mother is amused. She thinks I'm the next Madam Auring (a fortuneteller in the Philippines) peeking behind a crystal ball.

life lesson
[photo source]

Those soap operas no longer excite me. There is no unexpected turn of events that surprises me anymore. No plot twists that catch me unawares. No rude awakenings.

Some of us back away from those monotonous stories. We jeer at the screen, mocking the lazy writers behind those repackage shows for wasting hours of our precious time.

(Nope, I'm not saying I'm better than my mother or anybody else for not watching 'some shows'. I have my own mind-numbing guilty pleasures too, only it's not Philippine dramas.)

Yet, we don't mind living in dullsville. We're comfortable in a narrative where nothing pretty much happens: no challenges, delays, fork in the road moments, bitter spices of life. Nada!

We sure have a strong aversion to them but hey, if you haven't figure out already, frustration happens! It comes at a time when you least expect them. And they're actually doing you a favor.

Growth and character development take place during difficult times! If you're comfortable staying where you are for the rest of your life, wandering round and round in the wilderness of the ho-hum, then bring out the trusty megaphone, shout out those wonted complaints and checkout on life.

The hard truth is... you'll still have to face them, why prolong the agony?

You don't know what you're capable of doing until you have to do it.
~ June Osbourne from A Handmaid's Tale

Face them eyeball to eyeball right there and then.

The husband was disappointed these past days due to a failed expectation. Of course, my job is to encourage him. When I'm the one on the pits he also does the same. So I said.

Don't dwell on things you can't control. See the possibilities before you. What are the options available? (We assess them together.) Let's work on what we can.

This delay or disappointment might be a plot twist for a better story. We won't know which path to take unless we move forward. If a door closes, check out the other doors. Ask. Seek. Knock.

We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall. (Proverbs 16:33 NLT) Nothing will be determined unless you throw that dice. So throw it out! Act! Move!

How you handle the frustrations that come will determine how you'll fare in the future.

Success is buried on the other side of frustration.
~ Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins 

When you actively participate in life, you'll realize you're not actually stuck, new doors open or has been opened, your course is simply rerouted, redirected. Change is uncomfortable but you're also changing.

Old stories no longer serve you, so embrace the new one. It's doing you a favor. It's for your good.

Will you? What will your story be? A dull, monotonous history or a riveting, compelling tale? The choice is up to you.