In ‘Let your past go and live’ Avril Carruthers indicates that there are eight steps to freeing ourselves from our ‘characters’, our unconscious behaviours that we become locked in to playing the same role over and over. See my previous post Losing Our True Self for more of an explanation of this.
The eight steps:
1. Awareness of the automatic behaviours that indicate a character is operating.
2. Observing this character’s behaviour, thoughts, emotions, body language, clothing choices etc.
3. Source the character by asking yourself ‘when did it arise and why?’.
4. Understanding the character’s script; how playing this role once worked and now doesn’t.
5. Letting go of any significance attached to the character’s existence and behaviour.
6. Knowing that you have a choice to do what the character has always done, or do something different.
7. Taking responsibility for the automaticity of the character, thus robbing its power.
8. Practicing being in the present, so that our character acting from an old script is rendered powerless.
I have a colleague who plays the character of gossip spreader in the workplace. Even if the stories he tells me are not based on fact, he takes great joy in talking down our fellow colleagues.
It is obvious, to me at least, that his behaviour has a lot of history to it. This character he plays is an unconscious attempt to mask the emotional scars left long ago, probably since his childhood.
He was hurt and left with emotional scars, and as these scars have remained unresolved he continues to behave in this way to compensate. These scars are so powerful that they have locked in to play the same role over and over again. He will probably live his entire life in this state, unable to find his true self.
I have a lot of empathy for him, and rather than feeling anger towards him I feel sorry for him, but I don’t know if I am the person able to help. Any suggestions?