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.
Up before dawn, with hardly any sleep, I get ready for my new job. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had to get ready for work. The fan belt of my car squeals in protest at the cold morning air.
Starting a new job is like stepping onto the set of a new sitcom. We’re introduced to the characters. We begin to play our part.
I put on an apron and a name tag. I weigh roast chicken and slice and dice fruit to be delivered. I come home–exhausted–do my usual routines, and take a nap.
It’s a breezy, gusty, windy kind of day. It’s also the 6th week of 2016, which is something I keep track of. My theme for this week is family and relationships.
I’ve come a long way in my understanding of family, relationships, and the roles we play. I feel more comfortable in my relationships with others, but most of all, I feel more comfortable with myself. There has to be some distance between who we are, and who we think we are, for there to be a relationship within.
Right now, my family consists of my mom, dad, and the shop cats. I interact with various people every day, and it’s fun. The main thing is that I feel whole.
Things feel better in the light of a new day. I’m enjoying this sense of inner freedom. Archetypes are like modern gods and demons, and I’m glad to have faced them.
I see people who are prisoners of the roles they play. Fear is a big part of it. Part of facing our fears is having the courage to define our own roles in this play.
It seems like I used to be afraid of everything, not just socially, but also existentially. Because my intention is to improve myself, I experience things that give me that opportunity. I can definitely see who I am more clearly, and most importantly, be happy about who I am.
I’ve learned that I can have different personae – roles that I play, and masks that I wear – and still be true to myself. The key is to be in tune with what feels good to me, and in that way, I’ll always be aligned with my True Self.
When you do what genuinely feels good to you, you’ll always be on your path. If you’re used to playing a role (identifying with your persona), what genuinely feels good to you may not be apparent, because you’ve used other people’s criteria to determine what you should be doing.
We use our persona as psychological clothing, like the way we clothe our bodies. We’re the ones who decide what’s appropriate or inappropriate, and it’s usually up to the non-conformists to lead the way. Society is meant to be stable, so it will never change as quickly as the individual.
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.
People like to define things. We like to differentiate, compare, and put up boundaries, and that’s not a bad thing. Language is a tool we use to define our world, yet each of us live in our own world, and although we use language as something to bring us together, it can also be a barrier to understanding. People use language as part of their identity. When I speak Laotian, I play a certain role, and when I speak English, I play another role. This can be limiting, unless we find a way to break through the barriers.
There’s another kind of language that we all speak, and that’s the language of vibration. When something resonates with us, or “strikes a chord”, we understand its meaning without words. This language is the most powerful of all, and it can break through barriers that block us from understanding each other. That’s how I meditate. I go within to where there are no words, only feelings, and I find the dwelling place of my True Self. The ego is the meeting place between “me and you”, and the Self is the meeting place between “you and You.”
I used to think I was a chaotic mess, but now I realize that I just have a lot of instruments in my personal orchestra. It can be fun and challenging to be the conductor of our life. Music is a universal language, and so are feelings. Thoughts are, too, before we dress them up in language. When we get to the heart of the matter, we can break through any barriers.