William Shakespeare wrote these words, which are relevant to how I am feeling today. When you look at our behavior in life, it becomes clear that not only do we play many roles in life, but when things become difficult or uncomfortable, we revert to the parts we have played in the past and follow the scripts we wrote long ago. Is it because they are comfortable? Is it because they helped us then, and we need that reassurance now? That I what I am writing about today. Why do we go back to the scripts from parts or our previous life’s performance because of today’s situations? Look at your life and behavior and honestly evaluate how your actions and treatment of other people are based on some script you follow from your past. You may be surprised to see how well you learned your lines and played your part.
Back to Childhood
Sometimes we get to a certain point in our lives, and because we are afraid of the next thing, we fall back into programming we used in our past to help us feel more comfortable and safe. These scripts were often written in our childhood experiences, and they provided us with a chance to find security in our lives or a feeling of power in a world where we are seemingly powerless. In relationships, some people get to a certain point with someone, which becomes an opportunity to build an authentic connection and be vulnerable, which can be scary. At this point, a person often reverts to an excellent safe script they used in childhood.
This is not a conscious decision. It is written in our subconscious and rises to the surface when feelings of vulnerability and fear start to rise. The part you play gives you the illusion of power and security. But it isn’t real. You are simply putting on a costume you have worn many times. You are choosing patterns of behavior that build walls and isolate you from any real connection that might bring fulfillment to you and happiness to your life; how better to take control of something uncontrollable than to go to a place in yourself where you feel powerful. But again, it is just a role you are playing and not real power. You are a prisoner of your past. And worse yet, most often, you are the prisoner of your childhood.
New Roles to Play
Life is an experience of growth and change; in this human experience, sometimes nothing is more terrifying. That is why people’s true bravery is the ability to move out of the roles we have long accepted as ours to realize we have been miscast. There is a starring role for us in our lives, and we need to move past the costumes we have worn in the past and learn the new lines or our best part yet. That role is the one of being our best self. What does that mean? Find out what makes your heart sing and makes you feel most alive, and do that. It sounds simple, but when you look at the complexities of the human condition and the fear, shame, guilt, worry, and sadness that are a part of things, it is a wonder if anyone ever finds their proper role.
But those roles exist, and the best part is you are the writer, the choreographer, and the director of your little production of life. Are you an adventurer? Are you a performer? Are you a great family person? Are you an example of the great things people can become in their lives? All of these answers are up to you; you can be any of these things if you choose to be. Our programming has led to our beliefs, allowing us unlimited access to our abilities to assume any role or limiting us to being the perpetual understudy in our own life’s play. What role do you accept?
Write the Script
It is your choice today what lines you will speak and which role you will play. You have the ultimate power in this choice, and too often, the fear of that power forces most to revert to the cages placed around us with doubt and fear. When you can choose anything in the world to be or do, all choices can be confusing and more complex than a limited choice. All choice is no choice or at least a very difficult one. It is time for you to choose from. The time for excuses is over, and the time to move forward into creating a life you want is now.
Write a role for yourself that will make you happy. Not one that is safe and sound and a part of your past but one creating the person you want to become. Too often, we want to move to the happy ending of our own story, which skips the hero’s journey and the many valuable lessons learned along the way, which gives that happy ending a powerful meaning. I know a good story has a character we all love (you) in it, and then the story throws many challenges. It is the hero’s reaction, determination after failure, or triumphant triumph that endears them to the audience’s heart. Sitting in a safe little cocoon doesn’t create a very interesting or in-depth story. That is the choice of the playwright of your life to make. The adventure drives the story, and the challenges faced to define it. Move forward boldly to the center stage of your life.
Choose Your Role
Finally, I want to make sure that I choose the roles I play in my life’s production. Rather than letting another person put me into a position that suits them, I want to find the parts which fit me, my goals, and my talents and bring me a feeling of fulfillment and joy. Look at your programming, why you are doing the things you are, and exactly what your voice in your head is telling you about them. Some people play the role of college student because they were told that was a path to success. Then they are in 50,000 dollars of debt, and their lives are no longer theirs. They must assume the role of the worker to pay that money back. Much of the play has passed them by the time it is paid off. But…………
We all can write our script and should never forget that. No matter what, negative energy and people have entered your life, bringing fear and doubt with them. You can write the lines exactly as you want to say them and create the situations you want to experience. What is the scene? What is the setting? Who are your co-stars? Who moves into the role of background players? Are you letting a background character play a leading role in your drama? All of these things are up to you, and it starts by looking at the scripts you are following today. Make sure they are not something you created in your youth, playing on a loop continually through your life as a behavior pattern. Make your choice unique to today and the situation you are in.
“Identity is your role in life, the part you play. Individuality is who you are, and who you are is revealed to you if you can get to complete presence.” – Tom Spanbauer.
“The world wants to assign you a role in life. And once you accept that role, you are doomed.”—-Robert Greene
“Perhaps the most important vision of all is develop a sense of self, a sense of your destiny, a sense of unique mission and role in life.”-Stephen Covey.