Your tensions are memories. All of them whether intense or more subtle are even potentially scars. Scars are not flexible, but for every tension, especially chronic tensions, there are memories.
The human brain has a function. It’s always ongoing and subconscious, and it’s often called reality testing. It checks input in the moment against repetitive patterns of input. Like scanning the environment while driving, if everything is going as you were taught driving should go, then you are calm and it’s all okay.
In the case of our roles there was something that came before it, the desire to pair bond, the desire to birth and nurture children, and then there is a lot of artificial thinking that changes radically and usually doesn’t even need the stimulus of experience. What we say a role is; what we say it is to be a male, to be a worker at whatever job or career, to be a member of a religion, doesn’t stem from a pre existing state of being. They stem from thought, and not even perception. Just the process of cobbling together an idea of what we want to be and then pretending we are that. Am I off center to say this?
Simple truth, we aren’t what we want to be. We aren’t what others may have communicated they want us to be. This is usually the product of the same sort of thinking and usually not reflective of their real instincts or deepest desires.
Are you saying we are all pretending to be who we are? No. I’m saying we pretend to be who we are not.
Our roles are defined by society? Our roles but not our being, and I would offer we can function without those prejudices.
Sometimes people lose who they are? They lose who they are because they take up roles. They seek validation, approval, and thus they are lonely. Because in all this madness, this great game of roles and even the teams we form, that part of our mind that fact checks our experience always finds inconsistencies. It already knows who and what we are but that scares us, and when we are in the grip of this crisis of identity it often scares others. “Oh, no! What’s wrong with him or her? Why aren’t they happy? They are married and working and have things, everything is supposedly in order, so why aren’t they happy?”
Pretending to be someone we are not is a means of trying to fit in and to not be lonely. One can be rejected for their true self? That is the intent but does it ultimately succeed after we are all burned out, after all the trying, or attacking others because you don’t feel they are trying as hard as you? Not to mention the resentment. The resentment that makes people attack those who originally they played that role for, makes the loving mother, the supportive husband, the loyal friend, stop the act. It makes it all seem so unstable and meaningless.
What if stopping the act feels like an act? There is another way of being. If you are trying to do anything by will (which is a poorly understood word much like good or evil), your activities will feel like an act.
But in the end, surely there is only so far you can undo all the life’s lessons you have been shaped by? All the prejudices as you have gone through life? You are in a way what others make you as well. Yes, valid point and well said. I’m not saying stop everything you’re doing. I’m saying realize what you are doing. In a sense really engage what you are doing. Do it on purpose. Do it by choice and make choices.
Willful? No, you will choose without will. If I give you something odious to eat you won’t have to will yourself not to eat it.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.