Life Roles (Series)

The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part Five

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Life role certificates; a fun keepsake

 

Once you have agreed on the expectations between you and the person in relation to your life role, you can then write it up, framing it for a fun and sentimental keepsake to keep in the kitchen or around the house.

 

Be as creative with it as you want, print it on weathered card for effect, experiment with fonts and even put a wax seal on it if that takes your fancy.

 

This serves as a reminder of how you can work together, finding compromise in a respectful way and will act as a template reminding you how to get the most out of your life role in such a way that it not only serves and supports you but others too.

 

How to successfully juggle life roles

 

This is where your core identity really comes into its own. Juggling life roles is never easy but it gets increasingly stressful and difficult if you are either wearing masks for each role and have no clear core identity. Your core identity will allow you to remain quintessentially yourself even though you may be switching between roles out of necessity.

More

The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part Four

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Life roles; how to have them serve and support you by bringing the subconscious or unspoken into the conscious and communicated

 

So how do you begin to shape your life roles so they serve and support you? The biggest way is to bring what is usually the subconscious or unspoken into the conscious and communicated. There are many approaches you could use to do this, but as it is an emotionally charged  topic it needs to be handled in a delicate and sensitive way using assertiveness, otherwise it could do more damage than good.

 

Remember, assertiveness is not about winning or getting your own way – it is about working together to find a mutually agreeable solution in such a way that it respects not only your rights but the rights of others.

 

Our rights

 

For a recap on our inherent rights take a look below:

 

“I have the right to state my own needs and set my own priorities as a person, independent from any roles that I may assume in my life.” This right recognizes our existence beyond the roles we inhabit (whether they be that of a husband, wife, mother or father) and accepts we have priorities beyond the realms of those roles. We are all, at our core, individuals and this right highlights we should be treated as such. In truth, to have priorities for ourselves outside of the roles we inhabit is healthy as it promotes a sense of autonomy and individuality.

 

“I have the right to be treated with respect as an intelligent, capable and equal human being.” This is one of our most basic rights and yet one that is violated all too often. Absolutely all of us deserve to be treated with respect.

More

The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part Three

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Life role expectations; how to avoid destruction and incompatibility

 

Your own subconscious expectations

 

One of the most subtle but debilitating ways our life roles can destroy us is by the subconscious emotional baggage that each of us carry, suddenly exposed when we take on new roles. I encountered this when in my previous marriage, but only recognized it as such in retrospect.

 

Has anyone ever told you that marriage changes everything? Well, this is what they are referring to, even though they may not be consciously aware of it. In truth, if you are an agnostic or atheist, marriage is just a piece of paper. However, beneath the surface often lies a psychological battle waiting to manifest itself once you sign on the dotted line. The good news? Once you are consciously aware of it, this battle loses all of its power over you, rendering it redundant.

 

The psychological battle and emotional baggage I am referring to? The subconscious expectations you place on yourself for each life role. Naturally you will have conscious expectations as to how the new role will play out however what I am speaking of goes much, much deeper.

 

In the case of marriage it originates from what your notion of a ‘good wife’ or ‘good husband’ is but it doesn’t stop there – the subconscious notions of what constitutes a good wife or husband stem from your parents, from how they modeled this role, to how happy their marriage was and even to how they spoke about it.

 

Indeed, the ways your parents modeled these roles to you have provided you with things you subconsciously believe to be a good wife or husband, or may have given you the belief that in order to be a good wife or husband you must avoid certain behaviors.  If neither of your parents were married, this might have subconsciously modeled indirect messages of what it means to be married, impacting how you see marriage itself.

More

The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part Two

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Identity and life roles; how to avoid isolation and devastation

 

Throughout life there will be roles we inhabit which we identify strongly with, like being a parent or professional. Although it is healthy to identify with these roles, the old adage that too much of a good thing is bad for you can be quite true. The danger in identifying with any one role too greatly is, should the role dynamic change or even cease to be, it can devastate us. Have you ever heard of the ’empty nest’ syndrome? This is how it happens.

 

For me it happened when I identified too strongly with being a model, as soon as I no longer was one, I was depressed, as if part of me had ceased to exist. I soon found other roles to latch onto, which I now know only perpetuated the problem, rather than eradicating it by choosing to focus on my core identity instead.

 

On reflection the issues I had surrounding my identity were compounded by the fact I often hid behind different masks for the life roles I inhabited, never quite being authentic and revealing my core self. During those years it was a very lonely existence. It was as if the rough seas of my life roles had thrown me overboard and I was trying to swim against the tide, with my fear of intimacy battling against my authentic self so that I would remain masked and stay hidden.

 

Of course it is natural each life role you inhabit will draw on different elements to your character, but your core self should always be the captain of the ship, steering you on a calm course throughout each life role, letting your genuine character and authenticity shine.

More

The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part One

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Throughout life there are many rough seas to navigate, but few catch us more by surprise than the savage waves of the life roles we inhabit. In today’s society, whereby we inhabit many roles, our lives are becoming increasingly complex and compartmentalized. At any given time you could be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, professional, student, painter and patient. Juggling this can not only be exhausting but challenging too.

 

Moreover, each role brings with it subconscious emotional baggage, often played out in destructive ways, which take us completely by surprise. In this month’s series we will delve into the dark side of life roles – exploring the issues that create disasters and how to avoid them. Finally, we will examine the ways we can ensure our roles serve and support us, rather than define or destroy us.

More