So what is a play? It is our individual reality, constricted by our wounds. Our wounds are from a specific time and place (well, we won’t get too existential here, so I will say that is totally correct). They can also be from sources passed down to us (ancestral, past life, and so forth).
We act out these wounds again and again until they are healed. Until they are changed.
Nature doesn’t like loose ends. The cosmos (as it were) doesn’t like for things to be unresolved. Most of us are a mess of unfinished wounds that never got the healing, the compassion, the hearing of (or the witnessing of), and the closure that they needed to dissipate.
This is a result of trauma.
When I began to realize how I was casting my play, I began to wake up to why certain people were in my life. Why I attracted certain types of people to me, and why I couldn’t seem to move past certain perceived barriers in my life.
Although healing this is complicated in some ways, in other ways it is incredibly simple. When you realize how and why you have cast someone in your play, you act differently.
You reflect on what wound you are recreating (people will often say they do not know, but pretty much most people have childhood wounding patterns, and so you can just start there) and what your part and the part of the other person is. You notice how you react, how they act. And then gradually you recognize a pattern, a particular “play” enough, that you let it go.
You may be wondering why I still have internet trolls if I have let go of this much. What happens if you release all of the baggage I listed above (and, you know, acknowledge it when you don’t and put it on your to work on list for meditation) it is not that the world is any more kind or loving to you. You will still have people cut you off in traffic, or try to be unkind or manipulative to you, and all of the sort of things that people do who are in pain and don’t know what to do about it.
But you begin to notice their play (step four). I began noticing their projections. In the case of the internet troll (of this varietal, at least) he began appearing to me not only as a perpetual teenager who hasn’t moved through the rites of adulthood, but as a screaming toddler who didn’t receive the proper nurturing from his mother.
I realize that this may sound like projection to some of you, but when you really start to notice patterns, it doesn’t remain about the person any more. You recognize that a lot of people act and think similarly because they are wounded in similar ways.
And you begin to feel compassion for them. Because people are fighting against so much. They really cannot help but be who they are… and they are the sum of their parts, and the parts that were given to them. They are simply acting them out again and again. Maybe at some point they will wake up, and realize the pain and illusions that they are creating for themselves. Or maybe they won’t.
Most people are battling themselves, creating plays and illusions to perpetuate their wounds again and again. It is their decision to stop doing so, and to look at the chaos of their lives and begin to heal and take responsibility for it.
By this point I no longer talked about “people” as if I were separate from them, by the way. What happens in realizing “oneness” is not that you have reached this perfected “guru” state where you start to talk in riddles and never experience any pain or difficulty in your life again. You realize that you are a person, someone who is continually working on their patterns and flaws. The only difference is the conscious realization and decision to work on what arises within you… and the ensuing freedom and peace that is created by doing so.
Basically, at this state I realized I was a person. Someone who had to continually work on herself. Someone who was willing to do so. I also realized at this point that there literally was nobody talking like I wanted to about subjects like this (or it was fairly rare) because when you reach any sort of spiritual realization, it is a tendency for the ego to tell you to speak as if you are some sort of exalted being that knows everything. And this is the opposite of what happens. On the path of spiritual awakening you begin to realize how small you are, how little you know. How human you are. And how it really is a choice to take personal responsibility for yourself and to work through your own wounds, even if those wounds contain beliefs and things that we know to be true that we are totally sure are true. Because chances are, they are false.
At this point (this was about 3-4 years ago) I began to feel really tired. I saw all of the plays, all of the illusion (and delusion), and believed our entire reality to be false, and it upset me that it was false. I was angry again… not at individual people or even the world. I couldn’t place this anger for a long time, but it lingered, and was from a part of me that felt incredibly tired at witnessing these plays and all of this illusion happening. I saw the same things happening on repeat.
I began to be tired of my own patterns and wounds. When you have worked for so long on yourself it can at times feel like drudgery, and the idea of going to another healing session, or doing more meditation, or questioning your beliefs and reactions again and again became tiring. What happens when you “awaken”, or begin that path, is that you begin to see your own patterns very clearly. But at a certain stage acknowledging things doesn’t mean healing. It can take years for a pattern to break apart, even with consciously working on it.
As with all things, I turned within and found that this fatigued part of myself was incredibly tired of being human. This is an incredibly different sensation than being suicidal or depressed, but a sensation of weariness on a spiritual level that so many people were in pain, and projected so much, and created such chaos for themselves.
I sat with this for about a year, not getting much of anywhere. At this point I had been meditating for about 17 years, and so I didn’t force that fatigue to do anything. I had visions of myself falling through the Void(s), of being in virtual nothingness, and of having visions of the chaos and patterns that surrounded people as grids, as a sort of inexplicable geometry. I was upset at how the whole universe was a lie.
I also felt incredibly peaceful. Whenever I noticed a projection, or mirroring, or myself in a play (or others trying to cast me in a play) I simply acknowledged it and worked through it. I do love Ho’oponopono for this, at least for a start: I am sorry, Please forgive me, I thank you, I love you are said when envisioning the person who harmed or creating emotional reaction in you. These words are spoken to creator, to the person, to whomever you feel as if should hear them. There is then a softening of your reaction to the person as you repeat these phrases to them (this may take a long time for some people, as in years. But it is worth it).
I began really fully realizing that what remained in me in my reaction to others was a desire to control them. Although I had realized this before, I didn’t have the clarity necessary before (I was clouded by emotion and my “play”) to really understand it. I wanted people to act the way I thought of as appropriate, or correct.
I started asking myself a question of Am I trying to control this person (would I like for them to act differently?)
The answer is almost always a resounding “yes”. Yes, I would like for internet trolls to realize that I don’t care what they have to say, and to realize that I don’t want their emails. Yes, I would like for those trolls to realize that if I wanted someone to “teach” me, I would find someone to do so. Yes, I would like for the trolls to awaken from their narcissism just a tiny bit to ask themselves if they are coming off like a complete asshole and if their “expertise” actually warrants a random email to someone such as myself. Yes, I would like for those trolls to see the “hey I can’t respond to emails except about my classes” and actually realize that yes, that message is meant for them too.
By the way, I have that on my contact form (I can’t reply to messages or give free advice) not to be mean, but when you have written a book or have a blog about a spiritual subject and/or are a spiritual healer, you get a ton of emails. And there is nothing that makes someone like me want to go live in a cave somewhere or disappear (or consider the “help wanted” sign at the local Target) than having five hundred emails in my Inbox from people, many of which were vaguely or considerably inappropriate, psychotic, or from people who just want you to spend several hours for free giving them free advice and healing because free.
After I let this desire to control go I still had the fatigue, the weariness. Although I would say that this about 70 percent gone (some days more gone than others), the fatigue isn’t much in reaction to people any more. It is the fatigue of someone who has seen too much, perhaps… and is still somewhat admittedly in reaction to the illusions of the world, the chaos that people create for themselves, and sometimes the amount of delusion that specifically is in the “spiritual” space.
I still occasionally react to people. It is somewhat rare. But when I do I realize (and yes, I do realize that this is incredibly trite) that they are my teacher. They are showing me something that I need to heal. And I go through the whole list: mirroring, projection, what play I may be casting them in, if I am wanting the person to act differently/to control them.
And when the next internet troll contacts me, I will do what I always do now. Have compassion for the wounds that they are showing me, and what they are trying to project onto me (what role they are trying to cast me in). And hit “delete”.
Summary: Steps to this Process
- Step One: Look at your mirroring.
- What part of you is represented in this person? What age?
- What emotion is this person exhibiting? What wounds does this person show you that you may relate to (and may need to acknowledge?)
- Step Two: Projection
- What emotion are you feeling? Is this person creating much more emotion than is warranted for the situation? Are you two, or five, or fifty times the reaction that you should be? (For more clarity, who or what are you actually angry/sad/fearful of? Chances are that it may be the person you are reacting to– a little bit– but mostly you are projecting a whole lot of emotion and belief onto the person)
- Step Three: Casting your Play
- Who is this person in your play? Do they remind you of anyone (mother, father, sibling, friend from grade school)?
- A good hint to this is to notice what types of people are “magnetized” to you. They are coming into your life for a reason
- If it is not from this lifetime (or you are acting out family issues) you will notice the same type of person come into your life, or be attracted to you, without you being able to place it. You likely will need a healer to help you with this.
- Step Four: Noticing their Play
- What role are they trying to cast you in?
- How are they relating to you? Are they treating you like a mother who they express anger towards? A nameless someone who is out to get them?
- What age are they relating at? You can begin to notice their wounds, and this will help to develop compassion. Nobody wants to be a two year old and have to navigate the world that way when they are forty. It must be difficult to navigate the world with such wounds and beliefs constricting them.
- Say “no” to their play. This goes the same for your play, but if you want to heal yourself from a whole lot of stuff act differently. Don’t play to your role (the one you have given yourself or the one that others have given you). Refuse to do so. Notice what is repeating in your interactions and act differently
- Step Five: Letting go of Control
- Chances are that you are seeking control of the person. Basically, you are wanting them to act differently or in a way that you deem appropriate. Consciously choose to let go of control. Say “I am letting go of control of you” internally when you notice this pattern arise. Repeat as much as you need to.
- The part of this that always is sticky is that chances are very good that you are right. Do not let that get in the way. The person may be acting atrociously, they may be violent or aggressive or filled with hate. They may be doing things that not only you but society deems inappropriate or incorrect. Let go of wanting them to act or be any different.
It is hard– the last one (the letting go of control). But as you achieve distance, and work on your own “stuff” you will realize that people are people. They cannot be expected to act any more than the sums of their wounds. It would be lovely, of course, if they would awaken and heal those wounds… but having compassion for someone without wanting to change them is a powerful act. We always have a choice to change, to heal, to awaken. But it is our individual choice, and it will be in our own timing. Letting people be who they are, without desire to change them, can allow for a lot of release and healing. All of this work can, and I do hope that those of you who stuck through this whole blog gathered something useful from it.