Are they consistent? Do they change?
Do you know that as an Occupational Therapist we deal with peoples roles every day that we go to work, there is quite a science to understanding people, the roles that they participate in and how this affects them and others and also how the environment affects their roles. But I really struggled to write something on this because it can be so big and yet so simple.
A role/s that a person has is a group of tasks/activities/behaviours that a person participates in to do that role ie a teacher is a role, a parent is a role, a rugby player is a role, a mother is a role. As you can see in adulthood we all participate in multiple roles. Sometimes we struggle with the roles that we participate in, sometimes we are soaring in our roles, sometimes we cling to roles and never ever want them to change and sometimes we happily move into different roles. For most of us, we let roles define us, and I think this is where we struggle. A role is not who we are.
Who are you? Who am I?
As Dr Seuss wrote:
“Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no-one alive who is you-er than you!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn the more places you will go”.
So with that in mind, I want to ask you some more questions and have you visualise something to make you really think about who you are, what your roles are and how they can change.
Today you are a mum, and you have dropped the kids off at school, you are crossing the road on your way to get a coffee and catch the bus to work in the city. A car hits you. This incident does not kill you, but you wake up and when you finally come to, you are in the spinal injury unit at a big city hospital. You are told that you will never walk again.
Incidences can change our lives and therefore our roles, they can change the way that we participate in our roles. I have seen so many people rebuild their lives after catastrophic incidences and also life-changing challenges. And I will never cease to be amazed by how people can move forward regardless of what is thrown at them. On the flip side, I have seen people dwell and cling to things when what they need to do is look at ‘who they are’ so that they can redefine roles, activities and how they do things and grow as a person.
Imagine how much rebuilding of a life is required after an incident as mentioned above happens. Many of us will not go through such a traumatic incident however, many of us will have times in our lives where we are so challenged that we need to review what roles we do and how we do them and at the core of all of those challenges is…. Who we are? When we can answer that, then we can move forward, and this will change over time. Who you were 5 years ago, is not necessarily who you are now or who you will be in 5 years time.
Quite often we think we know who we are and life will through a curve ball at us and it will make us redefine ourselves and the roles we participate in and how we participate in them. When we are struggling with a decision, ourselves, changes, self-esteem it is quite often that something is challenging ‘who we are’. When we are clearer about who we are it is easier to move forward and read more, learn more and do the things that we want.
Are you struggling with roles, with changes, decisions and do you need assistance? If so let me know [email protected]