Who do you have on center stage? Understanding our internal cast of characters

“Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It’s a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other.” –Eric Burdon
I have always known that there were different aspects of myself that I chose to allow others to see.  Growing up I was a ‘good girl’ in school.  I took on the role of the shy kid in class who didn’t dare to get into trouble.  When I came home though, it was a different story.  Throughout our lives different characters take center stage depending on what situation we are in.  I am a different person when I’m talking to my boss then I am when I am talking to my son.  Several theories of counseling talk about internal characters or parts of us that gain control.  I like to think about it as a cast of characters who perform and take center stage at different pspotlight-802634_640oints throughout the day.  Some of the characters are darker aspects of ourselves, others are lighter.  While we need all of the characters, if the character on stage is in alignment with our authentic self, we feel good but, when it is out of alignment, we feel disconnected and disappointed with ourselves.   The important thing about this analogy is that we are not any of the characters that are on the stage; we are the director behind the scenes.  Many of us were never taught that we get to control which character goes on stage at what time.  Most of us simply react to situations and the parts get to choose for themselves which ones go on stage.  Sometimes we are happy with the part that stepped up to center stage, other times we are embarrassed by it.  When we realize that we are able to pause in a situation and internally choose which character to place on the stage we uncover a hidden power.  When we realize that a dark part has been on center stage, then make a decision to pull that character off stage and replace it with a more authentic part, we begin to make different choices about life.  When we are the director we are able to yell, ‘cut’ when a part has gotten out of control.  Are you ready to sit in the director’s chair?

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