Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
Our relationships can be the source of our biggest highs and our lowest of lows. They can drain us, leave us feeling annoyed, numb, and also contribute to our feelings of excitement, passion and fulfillment. In our relationships, we can play certain roles that we may have unconsciously cast ourselves into; playing the role of the rebel, critic, victim, rescuer, caregiver, conformist, bread winner, or martyr.
All roles can limit us. The caregiver may be ignoring her needs. The critic may place focus on what’s wrong with her partner, and exaggerate the flaws. The martyr may inwardly fume as she feels over worked and under appreciated. The victim is waiting for someone to take responsibility for them. The rescuer is helping everyone else, to avoid dealing with the issues of her own life.
When we assume a role or assign our partner a role to play, it limits us because we are running a part of our life unconsciously, and placing it on auto pilot. This takes us out of our power, narrows our perspective, and creates black / white or wrong / right thinking. The roles that we play in our relationship have usually been learned in childhood, from our teachers, parents, movies, religious role models, watching television, reading books, and comics.
Have you heard the saying “Opposites attract?” When we occupy a fixed role often, we will find our partner playing the complimentary role. It only takes one person to change for the relationship dynamic to improve.
Imagine you are dancing with you partner and he is leading you into a waltz. You know the dance steps by heart, and suddenly he changes the dance pattern. Your dance is now different because the pattern was interrupted with a new dance step.
Today I invite you to take one fresh new step, and identify what role are you playing?
- Awareness is the key to your first step. This step creates transformation, because it places you back in your power.
- Choose your favorite outdoor location where you will be undisturbed; the ocean, the woods, a grassy park, filled with flowers. With one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly, take one deep generous belly breathe, allowing your tummy to expand like a balloon. Then exhale fully, pulling your stomach in as you exhale. Repeat 2 more times.
- Now, ask yourself what role am I paying in this relationship? Take your time and allow the answer to surface. You may find different memories arising, or a specific incident that comes to your mind. You may find yourself being completely surprised by the answer. If the answer does not come immediately, do not concern yourself. Know that your answer and the information you seek is on its’ way to you.
- Now write down your insights in your special journal.