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Are You Living Your Real Self?

Or just living a role?

Grey-haird woman wearing blue jeans and deep bright blue top, holding cup of coffee, standing amist flowers and vegetables.
I have a lot of roles at Evergreen: gardener, cook, vacuumer, coffee drinker . . .but I always try to remember to settle into the deeper, more real and lasting centre of my being.

I’m writing a memoir about moving to the country during a mid-life religious crisis and finding inspiration and healing in the garden at Evergreen, where I live.


To help me shape the memoir I’m using the Hero’s Journey principles, as taught by Louisa Deasey. (If you want to write a memoir, I suggest you type her name into your favourite search engine.)


Using the Hero’s Journey concept means I must think of myself as the HERO of my story. I will hear a Call to Noble Adventure, Meet the Mentor, Approach my Innermost Cave, undergo a Supreme Ordeal, experience a Resurrection, and so on – the sort of things real heroes do every day.


Hmm. I’ve never seen myself as a hero.

I’ve never rescued a cat high up a gum tree, led a freedom revolution waving a flaming red flag, or swung on a rope wearing only a loincloth to bring justice to the jungle. However, for the sake of the memoir I will take on the role of a hero and see how I turn out as one.



We take on many roles throughout our life.

School kid. Apprentice. Student. Lover. Hospital patient. Mother. Mortgagor. Someone in a line. Friend. Complainer. Passenger. Old person.


The trouble is we identify with these roles so deeply that we forget that these are just roles.


We are more than our roles.


I can’t remember where I came across it, but I recall reading about how we get lost in our roles. The writer used the example of an actor – we’ll call him John Crow – who is playing the role of Macbeth at the local playhouse. John is a great actor, exuding a lust for power and glory until his gory end with his lopped head tucked under Macduff’s arm.


The only problem is that after the final curtain call, John Crow goes home and, to the horror of his family, keeps being Macbeth. He struts and storms, he waves an imaginary sword, and he looks fearful, secretive, and villainous. He’s forgotten he’s John Crow.

Don't get lost in the roles you have to play in your daily life.

Are You Living Your Real Self?

Do what your life situation requires but don’t get absorbed into the role Don’t aggrandize or minimize what you are doing. Just do it, never forgetting that you are more than that.


What do I mean?


I’m referring to the presence we sense at every birthday – that which never changes deep inside us. That which is ageless. That which looks through our eyes when we’re not lost in thought. That which has been with us since we were born and will be there at our death.


I’m referring to what Tolle calls in Oneness With All Life (Tolle, 2020, p 47):


. . . the Being behind the human, a field of pure potentiality rather than something that is already defined.


We have roles to fulfill in our lives, but the secret to life is to not take our roles too seriously.


In The Wise Heart, (Kornfield, 2008, p. 72) Jack Kornfield wrote:


Freedom comes when we hold our roles lightly.


We are more than our roles.


Even when I’m playing the role of Hero in my memoir, I’ll try to let the Being behind the human shine through.

Live your real self every moment of every day.

Let the real you always shine through.


With love, Marlane


Tolle, E (2020). Oneness With All LifeLondon: Penguin Random House.

Kornfield, Jack (2008). The Wise Heart. London: Ebury Publishing.

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