‘The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.’ ~ Steven Furtick
I was watching a program that talked about bucket lists. It got me thinking that I would rather call it a life list. The term bucket list reminds me of dying; a life list reminds me of living.
As I pondered what new things I would put on my life list, I was feeling a bit discouraged. It was as if I didn’t have the energy to even think about writing a list, let alone doing it. Perhaps it is because I am considered middle age, slowing down a bit, or because I hadn’t been feeling at my optimum level of energy, for most of the summer.
Instead, I got out a large scrapbook and started writing all of the experiences that I have had in my lifetime, so far, that I would consider to be part of my personal highlight reel. I began to jot down some of my most memorable moments, vacations, opportunities, experiences and life events.
Going from being discouraged to feeling energized, I realized that if I was to compile a video or photo slideshow of the bits and pieces of my life to date, it would certainly seem pretty exciting to an onlooker. I bet your highlight reel is the same.
Often we get stuck in a rut, unable to appreciate, recognize or notice that we have it pretty good. If we don’t have it pretty good now, maybe we did at one point. Maybe if we thought of our lives in a pile, instead of a linear existence, it would be exciting to accept that our lives are way more interesting than we realize.
If we shared our highlight reel with those around us, they may be envious of us, wishing that they had done the things that we have done. Maybe we would feel better about ourselves. Maybe we would open our minds to the fact that the troubles, pain, problems, obstacles, grief, or trials that we have encountered along the way, have actually been weaved into the middle of quite an interesting existence.
When I listed some of my highlights, I would be prepared to admit that my life could make a decent chick flick. I have stood on the edge of the west rim of the Grand Canyon, at the steps of the Parthenon in Greece and was the class speaker for over 200 graduates at my Police College graduation. I was a solo speaker at the Halifax Metro Centre where over 2000 people were listening to my words.
I stood next to my daughter in the front row of 60,000 fans, where she got to be a hand length away from Justin Bieber (years before he self-imploded). I attended a High School of the Arts as a dance major, danced in Japan and New York and ushered for a Professional Ballet Company in the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, all as a teenager, dreaming of a career in the arts.
I have done Yoga overlooking the side of a mountain in Puerto Rico, watched sunsets in Mexico, spent six weeks on an island in British Columbia, exploring and taking photos of purple starfish in the Pacific Ocean. I drove around beautiful Prince Edward County, for my first summer with my motorcycle licence, in my forties, visiting every Provincial Park that was in riding distance, by myself.
I received a call from a producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show, was first in line to see Oprah in Toronto, interviewed by seven news stations there, was able to attend two of her live conferences, and got to be in the audience of one of her television shows.
Tony Robbins did a life coaching session with me, which I consciously manifested, at a conference of over 6000 people in London. I have attended two live events with speaker and co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul empire – Mark Victor Hansen.
I have written a book, did a CD and DVD program, hosted Internet television and radio talk shows, wrote columns, and worked at mile one of the Alaska highway, in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. I was the executive producer of a full length feature film, now available on DVD.
I placed second in a singing contest in Nashville, Tennessee, danced, sang and acted in various community theatre productions, got second runner-up in Miss Bon Soo in high school and ran for Mayor. As a police officer, I was a hostage negotiator, in an intelligence unit, did a number of positions and in various offices, before teaching at college level, in policing.
I travelled across Canada with the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference and have written articles for a website that reaches millions of readers across the globe. I lived on a 50 acre piece of country paradise for eight years, where I healed. I am surrounded by my loving family and loved ones who have journeyed through life with me.
I brought a beautiful baby into the world, I have loved, I married twice, in fairy-tale settings, and now get to bask in the glow of being a new grandmother. Most of all, I have experienced some of the most magnificent images of nature, glorious sunsets and breathtaking scenes of our natural world that I feel as if I keep touching the edge of heaven.
When I look back, I realize that I am well through my life list, doing the things that I am passionate about and have so much to be grateful for. Although there are still items that I want to do and experience, I have decided that the summation of my life so far has been more than any individual could possibly ever ask for.
I have been blessed. I have enjoyed so many moments and experiences of joy and excitement. My life list is an ever growing record of the journey that I have been on; on this planet we call earth.
If you jotted down all of your best moments and life experiences, you will find that your highlight reel is extremely exciting as well. You will have done many things that I haven’t. Your life list so far, would be worth watching, talking about and admiring.
Each and every one of us has a unique place in the world and if we look hard enough, we will all find that our life story is worth remembering and appreciating. You are the lead in your own reality. I hope that you take that into the next stage of your life list. It makes no sense to see it any other way.