Can I Reverse Roles With Myself?

I often wonder what happens when I reverse roles with myself and see me for who I really am. I believe that there are really 3 primary masks an individual wears in his or her personal life. The first mask is that of the public figure. It is the mask we wear that is the product of all who we believe we are in interacting with the members of the public.

This mask hides the person we really are and shows us how we interact in a group setting. I say this because I see most everyone wearing this mask in everyday interaction with others,, it becomes a mask that seems to allow us to fit into society on a personal basis and be accepted as part of a group we interact with daily.

A lot of times my mask may be made of hollow comedy, humor, confidence, or any other such emotion that I allow it to be. For instance, I use this mask to fit in and try to be accepted by the group. I do not  want to be the social isolate, or maybe I want to be the social star,, but I use the mask of humor most often as it has served me well in my life in interactions with those around me. I am the class clown for lack of a better term. I make fun of myself and hope that others will laugh,, hence accept me as the good old boy,, but for God’s sake,, just accept me.

Wearing this mask, I seldom speak my own truth,, I speak the truth I think I want others to hear and I speak and become the

role I hope other will not reject me. I am competent, professional,, etc., in this role. I adapt, because I instinctly know which one to wear. I firmly believe  that this mask is a product of a scene in my life where the necessity of becoming this role allowed me to survive and hence it will work again. Stored in my memory forever,,, I sense a similar situation (trauma) that requires this particular mask to survive as it had done so very effectively in the past for me.

When the dust is settling, I may move into the second mask,, by chair-backing and becoming the voice that is closer to me and my belief system. I may say the Democrats are closer to my real beliefs,, rather than Rush Limbaugh. I may treat the situation as one of absolute trust with my dearest and closet friends,, not necessarily what the first mask might say. I am now closer to my own truth and this role reversal is closer to the true me. I reverse roles with this mask and find that it is one of partial truth and acceptance in my close community with those that I trust as time marches on. It is no longer a survival mask,, it is more of a mask of guarded friendship.

I will reveal truths that are not on the surface and are only to be told to those I trust. In a courtroom setting,, it might be a question like this,, well,, Mr. ________ you are now off the stand and you are so very glad that asshole defense attorney did not ask you the following question, _____________,, so what is that question that you are so grateful that he or she did not ask you,, just what is that question?

I’m so glad that he did not ask me ____________, I say. I was staring at the documents just wondering why he did not ask me the most important question about the batch numbers, etc. It is the one question that would have won the case for them,, but thank God he did not ask me.. I am so very relieved ,, (thank God I did not have to answer that question,, because I might have lied,, or not remembered,, in any event I would feel better if I had been asked and answered the question and just come clean,, but I didn’t have to and I escape facing any moral quandary over this. If I now look into the mirror, I can see what I’m really feeling and I don’t like it one bit. I am feeling afraid,, I might think. Notice that now the action has gone from thinking to feeling. A key ingredient in role reversal is now becoming uncovered,, getting in touch with our feelings not the cognitive portion of our brain,, but feelings.

A look inward into feeling at this point in our role reversal begins the cathartic reaction that is prevalent in our process,, it is the inner most beginning of the examination of our psyche. It must be accomplished with the help of the group and must occur in a safe and secure environment for this process to work.

Finally,, the 3rd chair is in the isolation booth,, one where we are alone,, no one can hear us, no one can se us,, we are alone with our feelings.

It is here that the question is asked ,, what secret will you take to your grave,, the one you will never reveal to anyone? I sometimes ask the others in the group to turn their backs to the protagonist. This is  symbolic so that no one will witness this deep secret, this very essence of who we really are.. It is then we truly discover the true character of who we really are,, the core being. Acceptance of our core being is the key to our understanding and acceptance of ourselves and others.

A number of people may double for the protagonist, to find the true self,,, one that no longer hides behind masks. In the end we may find a truth that is simply this,, I sent an innocent man to prison,, or I am a racist,, or I am a thief,, or I am lazy,, but whatever the result,, the truth is in the third char and the truth is real. It is who we are,, all naked and alone and it is our character.. I will close with this,, the truth will set you free and don’t forget the  warm-up is the first chair,, the truth is the second chair and the truth of our  character is the third chair.

What you choose to do with this is whether you want to be in the first, second or third chair when directing your client’s story.

May peace be with you as the journey into discovery you continues and my this be a happy joyous and free day for you




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