Gretchen Rubin has a great post on her Happiness Project blog. She talks about the realization that everyone around her is the hero of their own stories just like she is of hers, but also that they are playing the supporting roles in her story as she is in theirs. As she says:
It’s a very unsettling and interesting exercise to think about the people in my life and to imagine myself in a minor, supporting role. How do I fit into their fates? Am I helping?
I try to teach this realization in the Hero Workshop, but she did much better by including four examples. Once you do recognize that you are a player in the hero’s journeys of everyone around you, you can make the conscious decision of what role you want to play. It’s a liberating realization and can help you clarify some of the relationships in your life and make yourself a more active part of other people’s lives.