Who am I? Beyond the roles I have always played

For those who prefer to listen rather than read, you can do so here.

Who am I … 

Who am I if I am not someone’s mother? Sister? Or daughter? 
Who am I if I am not someone’s wife? Friend? Or lover? 
Who am I if I am not a worker? A contributor? Or a mentor? 

How many of us know ourselves outside of the relationships we have with the roles which help define us? Whether it’s the infamous mother-daughter relationship or the sister-sister relationship or the wife-husband relationship, most women have come to know know themselves only relative to the relationships they cultivate in their lives. 

In my reality, no matter how much we evolve, we often come to the crossroads of the infamous perpetual question: who am I?

I am not the roles I have played my whole life.

So many of us, me included, walk around terrified, often out of our awareness, of who we might become if we were not the roles we have come to fearfully cherish so deeply. If I exist independent of the roles I play… if I create a life of meaning just for mySelf, then am I alone in the universe?

Probably not, but … I will have to pull up my big girl pants and show up for my life, differently.

I once wrote about the sacredness of personal responsibility. Truly, in my world, there is no greater accountability than to mySelf. What is that? Who is the ‘self’ that I am? What is the Self that I AM? Why is Self discovery so challenging for us to unpack? What I know is that the reward is as great as the challenge.

The deeper we are willing to delve, the more freedom we discover lives at the bottom of that bottomless pit of Self-discovery. 

No matter my active 18 year long journey of Self-discovery, I am at a point in my life where I am realizing how captive I have been to the roles I play in my life. Yes, I am Declan’s mother. I am Jacob’s wife. I am Denisa and George’s (older) sister. And, I am Alma and Fatmir’s (firstborn) daughter. The anchors I have internalized as real, out of my awareness, when it comes to how I show up in the world depending on who I’m engaging with, have functioned to keep me small. Small in the presence of these very people, in an effort to stay within the proverbial box of my perception of their expectation of me, of who I am bound to who they believe I have always been.  

As real as my part in those roles has felt, I know that none of that is real. It is all an illusion that I keep perpetuating because I don’t know what else to do.

How does one let go of a role they’ve played their whole life?

How do I now engage with the people in my life as fully independent human beings that I choose to be around, not because of blood or familial obligation, but because I want to? 

What’s the fear of letting go of the role?

I suppose the perception that the role is what has kept me safe, that’s what comes up. Is that true? Or is it true that the role has become immensely limiting and I am showing up as not-my-authentic self because I am showing up as the role? 

The early years shape us.

No shit, Sherlock.

The truth of it all is: human beings are complex. Our minds, our nervous systems, our habits, our strategies are all formed before the age of seven. Because of the state of our consciousness, evolving, during that time our conscious awareness is less ‘active’. Instead, we are in a receptive state where we learn and pick up by osmosis (in scientific terms, we live in Theta brainwave activity). Everything we witness becomes our ‘reality’ … and, most importantly, how we learn to interpret reality. After all, what we call reality is but a holographic illusion… 

So many illusions get installed during the early years. Things like it is dangerous to be alone, so you better find a tribe. Make yourself small so you fit in the tribe. Don’t threaten the tribe’s authority figures. Don’t take up too much space. Don’t trust your instincts; trust the traditions and myths of the tribe. Believe that the people who raised you are humble and  brilliant delivery mechanisms of “truth”. Believe that the culture you’re born into is always right. Believe that the myths you’re exposed to are the only “true” ones. 

Yes, 5000 Gods being worshiped on planet earth today, but ...your god is the only one who knows and preaches Truth and eternity if you believe.
But, I digress. 

What this next phase of evolution is demanding of me is that I let go of any tenants inside myself as any role. We’re hysterical beings; I know mySelf as I AM Darkness, Revealing * (that’s the language of the unique “Signal from Self” that I know myself to be on this planet, at this time as discovered in the Manifesting a Meaningful Life experience), yet when it comes to certain roles in my family, I was hiding darkness… My body had been speaking to me; my external reality demanded I pay attention. Eventually, I did. Once I realized, and it smacked me in the face, I know that is not how I choose to live my life. 

I am left with: How else might I choose to live my life?

(now that I am aware of a deeper layer of the truth that I carry)? 

So, what does it take to notice? To see through the veil of illusion that dancing alone is dangerous? That the people who raised us knew more than they did or could do any better than they did? That they were not fragile, hurt people also looking for validation from their parents / culture / roles? What does it take to own it, inside ourselves, that we are so much more than the roles we play? And that I alone am responsible for myself, my well being, my evolution?

For me to integrate the paradoxical truth of it all, without shunning certain aspects or willing them away or affirming them away, I must mindfully integrate all the nooks and crannies I hold as ‘real’ when it comes to how I hold myself within ‘roles’ as opposed to simply being myself and telling the truth. I am grateful for the paradigm Louise LeBrun has discovered and then shared with the world. It is because of her work that I am able to stay in the tough conversations with myself, differently. It is because of Sheila Winter Wallace’s audacity to step in and educate those hungry enough, that I stay in the tough conversations out loud.

It is impossibly hard to explain what I mean in words, partly because I have been living in this paradigm for over five years now, partly because words generally fail to convey how I (we all) feel inside. Words are matter in the domain of sound, which means that they compress the experience into what’s definable. First there’s the wave (energy, inflow) … then there’s the story (words), but the story can never capture the essence of the wave. So it goes… 

So, maybe consider for yourself: 

  • What do you want out of life? 
  • What kind of life do you envision for yourself
  • Have you ever considered yourself, your wants, your dreams, etc as an individual outside of the cocoon of perceived safety of “someone’s role”? 
  • What would your meaningful life look like if you were to honour that which is sacred inside of you?
  • What would your life look like when it belongs entirely to you? 
  • Who would you give yourself permission to become if you weren’t someone’s mother? Daughter?  Wife? 

In the model of the world I operate from, it is critical to engage with people in such a way that honours their uniqueness and individuality while simultaneously holding space for co-creation, knowing: I AM (we each are) interconnectivity itself. No-thing exists in a vacuum…

I believe it is time for us all to begin to consider that there is an “I AM” only inside of us that knows our own unique truth, independent of what anyone else believes. It is much harder to access that unless and until we begin to notice that we are distinct and separate from our mother, our sister, our husbands, our children.  

The only question remaining to explore is: are you willing to discover who YOU are? 

Listen to this podcast episode from Reclaiming YourSelf: Women Unedited and Engaged titled

The Men in Our Lives

as you listen…ponder (as Louise LeBrun invites us to in this blog post):

  • Where do the men in my life, fit into my life? How do I relate to my partner/mate/spouse; to my sons and grandsons; to my father and brothers? To what degree am I contributing to their staying captive to the roles that we play out in our lives?  It is so easy to stay in the habituation of what, over time, has come to pass for ‘reality’… even when it is proving to be other than life-enhancing for us all!
  • Am I willing to go first? Am I willing to have the conversation that goes on INSIDE of me MATCH the one that goes on OUTSIDE of me, as I engage with the men in my life? Am I willing to decloak and reveal that which I hold to be deeply meaningful to me, to the men in my life? Do I feel safe – physically and emotionally – in doing so? And if not, how else might I choose to engage?  Can I engage with RIG (Respect, Integrity, Generosity of Spirit) in open, clear, honest and direct expression of what holds meaning for me – and am I willing and able to hear what is shared with me, by another?
  • And finally, am I willing to let go? Can I trust that in letting go, we each become more able to find our own way? And that in that journey – both shared and alone – our paths will continue to cross if it is life-enhancing for them to do so? The men in our lives are up to the task of their own evolution. Are we willing to give up the job of making their journey, our own?

For those seeking to delve deeper than reading or listening in the privacy of their own homes and minds, I invite you to join me and a small group of curious women in conversation, differently.

Next monthly conversation coming up February 20th @ 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM

The Genious of Addiction

If you are curious about how else you might relate to the nominalization we call “addiction”, then this conversation is for you.

Sheila Winter Wallace’s Conversations That Heal February 8th at 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

7 Week Experience (in person and online)

Practice what’s possible…

7 week experience deepening our rapport with the body through yoga, breathing, dance, somatic stretch, intuitive flow, journaling, and CODE Model coaching™ conversations intended help us decode the messages of our body through the expansive lens of the CODE Model™. Experiences will be deepened through weekly emails with an educational component to help you reconsider from an empowerment paradigm how else to engage with your body. 

IN PERSON (Ottawa/Wakefield area) 

Every Friday from February 3rd until March 17th at the Wakefield Community Center from 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM. 
Cost: $110 for 7 classes or $20 drop in 


Every Monday from February 6th until March 20th @ 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST. Zoom link will be provided to those who sign up.
Cost is $85

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