We all have words we say to ourselves, our “inner script”, and we all have the words we say to others, our “outer script”. If our outer script is primarily cleaning up our inner script, exercising mature discretion, creating a civilized space between stimulus and response, all well and good. However, if the discrepancy becomes too great, we are at risk of living unauthentic lives, an unexamined existence. Furthermore, our scripts, inner and outer, are based upon our world views, our belief systems, our interpretation of reality; they are NOT necessarily accurate renditions of reality.
When we have the courage to appropriately speak our inner scripts, we have an opportunity to test them against reality: “Excuse me. I’m confused. It seems to me that ‘x’ is happening and that feels off to me. Do you see it differently?” Or “I’ve a dilemma. I understood ‘y’ was supposed to happen now ‘z’ happened. I’m not clear on how to deal with that. How do you see it?” It takes courage to be vulnerable but one can be both vulnerable AND strong, indeed only the truly strong are willing to step outside their fortress walls. Demonstrating openness while remaining centered and composed generates deep respect.
We so reflexively and rapidly switch between our inner scripts and outer scripts that we are often unaware; learning to stand outside ourselves and observe is a powerful personal growth tool.
“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” – William Shakespeare (Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 3, King Claudius’ chief minister Polonius to his son Laertes)
“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
“All of us wear masks. They can be worn out of love and the desire to remain close to those around us. To spare them from the complicated realities of our frayed psyches. We trade honesty for companionship and in the process never truly know the hearts closest to us.” – Sarah Connor, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Season 1, Episode 108
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier