Wednesday, November 30, 2011

role playing

role playing

by deepian   from impressions
In life we all have roles. Sometimes these roles are necessary functions, but often we are just play acting unnecessarily.

It is one thing to perform a necessary function, and quite another to play a role that you have identified yourself with. For example, a mother has the role of looking after her child, and this is a necessary function. But if the mother becomes too identified with that role, then she gets stuck in it. She then cannot let go of the role when it is no longer relevant or useful. So, when the child grows up and becomes a teenager, she still behaves as if the child were small. She still tries to control and protect, when it is no longer appropriate to do so. This can continue even when the child has become adult.

When you adjust the way you interact with others, then you are role playing. If you talk to children differently, or your boss differently, or your friends differently, then you are acting out a role, rather than being true to yourself. To stop doing this, You have to first recognise what you are doing. Observe yourself. Once you have awareness of your role playing, you then have the ability to stop doing it.

People often want to know what we do, rather than who we are, or what we believe. They want to see if we can be of use to them. They want to find out if they can play their role with us. Many judgments go through people's minds automatically when they meet someone. You can avoid them labelling you with a role, by simply answering "I am". With care, you can actually talk quite normally about yourself, without identifying yourself with a role.

You can perform a role without identifying with that role. The problem is when you behave and act as if it that is who or what you are. You then get trapped inside a conditioned personality, and that personality acts out in everything you do.

For example, a doctor, who is playing the role of doctor, often doesn't see his patient as a person. He has become so identified with his function that the function has taken him over, and he has become a role. His patients no longer feel acknowledged in their beingness. He might be very competent as a doctor, but something vital is lacking in the interaction. And his patients feel completely dismissed and disconnected.

When you embrace presence in your life, and live increasingly in the moment, your awareness of your conditioned behaviour patterns will grow. At first, you may only notice what you have done after the event. You may play a certain conditioned role, and identify that role as being you, but afterwards you realise: "hey, I did it again, I played that role again".

As you work on being more present and aware, the time gap between the event and the awareness gets shorter. After a while you will realize that you are playing a role even whilst you are still in the middle of it. Finally, the awareness will be there before you even enter into the conditioned pattern. Then, when you feel that impulse inside, to play the unnecessary role, you can stop yourself from doing it.

You are a spiritual being playing roles in a human body. Be aware of your role playing. See your roles for what they are. They are just roles. They are not you. Do not identify with these roles. Do not become attached to them. They are only roles. Relinquish them, when they no longer serve a purpose.

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