Construct: an idea containing various conceptual elements; typically one not based on empirical evidence.
We have so many constructs built around life.
What success looks like.
And fulfillment in our work.
And how show business works.
And what’s possible for us.
But what if we realized that those very constructs can also be part of the paradigm (and prison!) that keeps us from actually enjoying – and living – what we have now?
I guess it’s human nature. From an early age we’re painted pictures and spoon-fed images of what our future is supposed to look like. Once we get there everything we’ve been taught when we’re kids will be fulfilled, living happily-ever-after.
But what if those constructs are illusions?
At one level, they can be positive because they keep us on target for creating goals and having a vision and pursuing our dreams.
But at another level they can have a negative effect because they make us denigrate what we currently have in favor of some future thing. They make us compare-and-despair and live our lives constantly chasing the construct rather than celebrating what is in our lives now. This can show up in life in the form of complaining, feeling depressed and hopeless and self-critical, to becoming cynical and jaded and eventually just giving up.
Constructs can lull us into this anesthetized state of taking things for granted, so we end up ignoring what we do have in favor of constantly focusing on what we don’t.
Life, however, can equalize those constructs. Battling a serious illness will do that. Getting older. Watching a parent decline. Losing someone. Witnessing tragedy. These life events generally shake us awake into living and fully celebrating our lives right now rather than waiting for some idealized future.
But why must it take these kinds of events to wake us up?
The art of acting is a great teacher of life as it reminds us that in order to fully embrace each moment as it happens, we have to first be there to receive it. It works exactly like the mechanics of life itself – our constantly being distracted by the ideas of a moment or how to say a line or what we think a character looks like or how we want a scene to go – puts us in our head trying to fulfill constructs that are never as good (or real) as the real thing. The work is to get out of our heads and live the moment.
The more we become aware of how much our constructs – in acting and in life – keep us from really being free – released, available, expressed in the moment – the more free we become.
We stop waiting for the future to create. We start giving ourselves permission to do it now.
We stop comparing what we have in front of us to what we’ve been told we have to have to be happy.
We stop beating ourselves up for where we’re not and instead start investing fully in where we are.
We get out of our heads and the games our minds create and start dealing with reality in an alive and present way.
Spiritual teacher and author, Byron Katie puts it best. “To believe that you need what you don’t have is the definition of insanity.”
Indeed. Break free from the constructs that prevent you from seeing what you already do have and watch how your life will open in ways that are much more magical than the construct anyway.
Because unlike constructs, those moments are real. They’re called your life.