Being able to see how role playing can run our lives brings a wonderful freedom and a chance for us to change.
If you can see this you are aware; but if you can’t then role playing may be defining your life.
The roles we unconsciously play usually lead to an underlying tension that can at times burst out in the form of exaggerated stress, sleeplessness and even panic.
Now we usually accept this as “normal” life; for instance we can be “pushing” ourselves at work to move outside comfort zones, we may have a worrying relationship or are caught up in a difficult financial situation.
Here we so often say “this is life, its tough - get used to it, some day it will all be ok”.
But this perceived “toughness” of life can go on and on and can often lead to an underlying unhappiness and even ill health.
Playing here does not mean a pretence or a performance because you see the roles as the real you that must be carried out and protected.
But you can become aware, see the roles you are playing, break the attachment to them, reduce stress but also carry out your responsibilities more effectively.
Becoming aware here means being able to see that although you may perform the function of teacher, sales person, accountant or even victim of an economic turndown, there is another you behind all this that is not that role playing personality.
At times you may feel this, even know this, but events and the ego’s conditioned response to them keeps you trapped.
Ego convinces you that you are the role and makes you feel you must protect this at all costs.
It will even push you to achieve success in the role but only you will know what the cost of success might be.
If this is familiar to you? Do you want to take steps to change? Then know that awareness is the first giant step in breaking the ego’s hold.
Take time out -
It’s better not to take this time to specifically set yourself the task of identifying your roles.
Are you labeling yourself as a particular somebody (the accountant who must live a certain style of life) and as a result is the wider community you operate in labeling you too?
What are the expectations from this definition of you and how strongly are you protecting this definition?
Describe yourself -
Next time a stranger asks you about you – describe yourself differently – see how this feels.
The ego will tell you that this is a lie, it will take up a defensive position and may even convince you to back track and say – “well really I’d love to be a writer but I’m really an accountant ....”
This will then feel more comfortable but it will help you to see the ego at work - the process will have begun.
This is not about dropping what you do because you realize you are attached to a role.
It is about the empowerment of realizing that you are too narrowly defined by the role, it is only what you do – it is not you.
By being aware you can be more open in the knowledge that if the role is challenged you will be less defensive.
You will see more clearly other people's motivation behind destructive criticism and not react and add fuel to the situation or begin to build resentment.
You will be more objective about how you perform and more willing to take on new ideas and suggestions.
You may even realize what it is you really want to do.
Can you see the freedom this will bring?
Relaxation and meditation will help you see the unconscious assumptions driving your attachments and this awareness means you will not have to believe in every thought you think.
It may not be easy to get to this position – it is a paradigm shift – sometimes this takes time, sometimes it arrives after an accumulation of insights, sometimes it happens quickly, either way is ok.
The goal is a new freedom from role playing, the way there is most likely through patience and trust.