By Gini Grey
There’s a part in each of us that yearns to be free. Free to do what we want, feel what we want, be what we want. We really shine when we’re just being ourselves. Unfortunately, most of us grow up covering up our real selves. We learn at a very young age how to shift and mold ourselves in order to get our needs met. Combine that with all the comparisons and competitions we take part in, and it’s no wonder we lose ourselves. By the time we’re adults we’ve become so accustomed to wearing a mask that we think we are the mask.
To get back to our true selves we need to uncover the layers of traits and roles we’ve adopted over the years. In exploring our character traits we can discover the parts that are us and the parts just covering us up. One person who feels shy and reserved may be that way because of a negative experience they had when they were young and upon self-
We often become trapped in the roles we play as well, letting them define us. We all have family roles we play at one time or another, being the daughter or son, brother or sister, parent or grandparent. But what about the other roles we take on within the family, workplace or society? The responsible one, the caretaker, the joker, the mediator, the victim or scapegoat. We may pick up these roles in our families of origin, but if we’re not conscious of it we may become these roles permanently or just trade them in for new ones as the group dynamics change. For example, if a person who grew up being a scapegoat, getting blamed for everything and feeling victimized, married someone who plays even more of a scapegoat role, they might unconsciously shift into the role of the over-
Exploring our character traits and the roles we play can be the first step in uncovering who we really are. Discovering our true selves inspires us to follow our dreams and passions in life, and this is where true freedom lies.