Roles

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I recently listened to the 10 week series with Eckhart Tolle and Oprah.  I haven't yet read the book it was based on, A New Earth.  One of the lessons that resonated for me was about the roles we play in our life, and how it is important to not allow our ego to become identified with the role and to forget who we truly are, which is much larger than any of the roles we play.

I have so many roles. Mother. Teacher. Partner. Artist. Expressive Arts Practitioner (to be). Graduate Student.  Those are my prominent ones right now, but I have many others, as do we all.  Seeing those roles as parts I play in the movie of my life changes my perspective on them.  

I remember when I studied acting how we would play with motivation.  The same words and actions can take on different meaning depending on how we do it.  Once, when my daughter was two and stuck in her car seat in the back seat, she declared to us all that she had pooped.  She then proceeded to say "I pooped" in an amazing variety of ways, especially considering her age.  She sounded just like an actress playing with motivation.  She said "I pooped" like it was a big birthday surprise.  She said "I pooped" like an ancient warrior.  She said "I pooped" like it was the saddest tragedy in the world.  Well perhaps I exaggerate the memory now.  She hates this story, by the way. 

The way I play my role affects my experience of it, and being aware that it is a role, a tiny little costume that the immense Real Me squeezes a toe into, helps me to play it better.  I get sick of my roles, often feeling under-qualified to do them well and yet I have to anyway.  I get lost in the overwhelm and forget who I am, that it is a role, one that I will probably not play my whole life.  When I get upset, I identify too strongly with the role and so it feels like too much is at stake.  And the huge Real Me is just watching and laughing.

What are the roles you play in your life? Are any of them in conflict?  Share your thoughts below...