Many superheroes in our favorite comic books (I know I am not the only one who read comics or watched cartoons) always had two identities. Superman was Clark Kent, Batman was Bruce Wayne and within their dual identities there would always be some written or unwritten role that the superhero’s roles were designed to show inner conflict and destined to never live in unison- personally looking back I wonder if the writers ever realized how deep this was during character creation. Now remember I am no superhero, so I have never spent a lot of time studying their roles and the internal battles they faced, it is hard enough being human with no cute costume and fancy gadgets. But what I can appreciate is that we all play so many different roles throughout each day to achieve different tasks and for different people, many of our roles require different skill sets and sometimes we have to pull on various emotions and inner voices, to master each role (we don’t have magical capes or the ability to move at the speed of light).
Many of us have to open our eyes and take our first breaths every day already in our first roles as parents. This role requires the true supernatural power that allows us to leap out of bed after a few hours of sleep, find missing school supplies, change diapers and make breakfast; all while reassuring our kids that this day is going to be better than yesterday. Did I mention that a lot of us do this while trying to get dressed for work with minimum effort, as most of our efforts goes into finishing off school projects, that couldn’t be completed by the little child genius? Thus the likelihood of hot glue getting on that black suit is very real. The parental role never really stops as being a parent is 24/7; however that quiet drive to work after you have dropped them off to school can be freaking beautiful and somewhat spa-like….ahhhh I digress.
Depending on your job, age and location the roles that encompass the rest of your day can include being a decision maker, peace keeper, lover, maid, counsellor, friend, employee, indentured servant- yes I am serious, chef, personal assistant, psychic, event organizer and nurse .These are just some of the roles that I personally play, so I know there are other people who try to balance much more roles. Within the 24 hours in any day, we change costumes so many times, balancing so many roles; that even though we may look like super man and wonder woman on the outside, inside we are simply circus clowns fumbling as we try to balance plates on a stick.
Recently my internal balancing stick has been causing me a lot of turmoil as each emotional plate twirling in place seems unnecessary. Note, I can twirl a role plate like the best twirler out there; but are these even my plates? and do any of them help me to achieve my three personal P’s (Passion, Purpose and Peace)? Lately the answer has been NO. I have spent so many years filling the roles that were pre-determined for me based on my gender, race, financial assets, location, age and place in history; that twirling and balancing each one, no longer makes sense to me.
I need to look past the wonder woman role, the internal circus clown and the various other roles and ask myself that important question. Who roles am I playing for me? Which roles do I play in my life and in my decision making? Am I a supportive force to myself, do I invest into myself as much as I invest in others? Have I become my own judge and jury? Do I love myself with the same passion that I give to my children or even with the same ferocity that I have loved past loves? Seriously between all of these roles that I balance for everyone around me, which one of these plates actually belongs to me; and are they even healthy roles.
Though I would normally try to write my thoughts in one post, I think that today I am going to have to break this up a bit and do it in two or three parts.
So what roles do you play for you?