To be honest with you, in this life, I don’t know how to separate myself from the roles that I play. I also don’t know how to not play a role. For example, I don’t just write, but I’m playing the role of a writer.
Is there some holistic, penultimate, unifying person that I’m supposed to be? The Self? Maybe, but I’m not completely aware of it.
So I continue to play the various roles of my life, all the while being aware that I’m doing it. There’s someone there at the heart of the matter who feels like me, but he/she/it is invisible and often imperceptible.
It’s too hot to be working on cars at the moment, so I’m taking a break. When I’m not working, I usually play the guitar. I’ve gotten a lot better (at work and guitar).
I used to play Dungeons & Dragons, and realized that the attributes you assign each character is also helpful for self-improvement:
I work on improving these attributes, and that’s essentially what self-improvement is all about. D&D’s alignment system is interesting to contemplate, too, as it relates to ethics and morals.
We’re all role-playing to some degree. How much or how little we do it isn’t as important as how comfortable we are in the roles we play. I now have a better understanding of my character.
There’s a certain kind of comfort and security in playing your prescribed role in society. Being who I am, and living the life I’ve lived, I’m sometimes painfully aware of various roles we’re asked to play. Roles can be fun to play, but they can also be quite confining, especially when you don’t realize that you have the power to choose the role that you play. When you become truly self-aware – which means knowing that we’re all just role-playing – then you can really have fun and be the master of your destiny.
You can’t be the master of your destiny unless you realize that you’re free to choose, and you can’t be free unless you take full responsibility for your experiences. This can be yet another painful wake-up call. Some people don’t even know that they’re free. Some have a sense of freedom, but resist it. Some have actually tasted freedom, but run back to their illusions. Some helpful affirmations could be:
- I know that I am free.
- Show me the way to freedom, and I will follow.
- Sometimes I may be afraid, but I will always take a step toward freedom.
- Freedom is my natural state. It’s who I am.
To be the master of your destiny, you must realize that your beliefs about anything comes first, and you can tell what you believe by how you feel. Emotions aren’t caused by conditions. Negative emotions are caused by negative thoughts. Positive emotions are caused by positive thoughts. Even though we can’t always choose what we think because there’s too much momentum, we can choose what we pay attention to. This is called mindfulness. The way of slavery is to react to conditions. You must go from reaction to creation.