Saturday, July 11, 2009

An Opportunity for Evolution through Roleplay

The Society is hosting an erotic role-play themed party on July 25th. One of my fellow Impresses has challenged me to be some aspect of myself, or someone other than myself, that I haven’t been before. This is more of a challenge for me than anyone I’ve discussed it with seems to understand. My brain just isn’t processing through the idea of role-play from a personal perspective, although I love to experience others doing it in theater, film, event play, etc. Every time I try to imagine who I could be, or what archetype I could express, that is different from every day me, I feel blocked, like there is a big blank wall. I just can’t get there.

Puzzling over this I realize that I have always projected a strong external identity because expressing my identity has been a matter of taking control of the only thing I could in a chaotic life as a mostly uncontrolled empath – my body (I will write more about being an empath in this blog, as it’s one of the primary reasons I do what I do as an Impress and am so invested in the Vibes component of our events). I am realizing that this is the core of the role-play issue for me. I experience other people’s emotions so much on the inside that holding tightly to an outer expression of my identity is vital to retaining a connection to who I am, especially in social situations. I don’t ever feel the desire to role-play/pretend because I already spend so much time feeling the emotional experiences of other people. I want/need to feel like *me* as much as I can.

I have not worn a “costume” since I was a small child. The only time I have pretended to be someone other than myself that I can remember, even in appearance, was when I played Rizzo in my high school’s production of Grease. I don’t fantasize about sexual experiences I’ve never had, or about material things I might want to own, or about places I’ve never been. Even in my writing I have never written fiction or made up a story, I’ve only written about my actual experience or what I’ve felt from another person empathically.

When I dress up for Halloween or parties or whatever, I always dress up in something that reflects a part of me that normally doesn’t get to come out and play but is still very much a part of every-day me. I love corsets and bodices, so I tend to build an outfit around them for dress-up events. I have always been a Goth girl at heart, so I tend to wear outfits that are based in black, sometimes with red or silver accents. My lover pointed out to me when talking about this that I always have a bit of an edge to the way I look, which may be a form of protection. It was a stretch for me when I wore a very ruffly, short red petticoat and ruffly red panties with my black bodice for My Kinky Valentine. It was much more girly-girl than I am accustomed to. Under The Sheets was the first event I wore no black--or had no edge--at all. I wore a lovely purple sparkly dress in a Marilyn Monroe halter sort of style with silver sandals, and that was something very different for me. But the idea of role-play is about more than just clothes in my mind. It adds a dimension of embodying a different energy than I normally do, and maybe that is the heart of the challenge for me.

I don’t remember playing pretend as a child and know that I haven’t as a teen or adult. I have never fantasized anything that wasn’t based in a potential reality. I am not a person who wants. I am happy with what is. I strive for growth as a person and a professional and I enjoy the rewards that come from that. But I don’t spend time thinking about the future, how things might be different or better. I strive to live in the moment, grateful for the abundance of love, opportunities for evolution, and physical/material comfort that exists now. Some of this comes from poverty consciousness, both physical and emotional. I have struggled to pull myself out of financial poverty and severe family dysfunction. I don’t take the material abundance I have now, which isn’t so abundant from a cultural point of view, for granted because it’s better than anything I’ve had before. After years of choosing unhealthy relationships due to old familial patterns, at 35 years old I am experiencing many facets of healthy, abundant loving for the first time in my life. Again, it's better than anything I've had before. Some of this also comes from my development spiritually, I do my best to live in the moment and accept what is because suffering comes from living in the past or the future and resisting what is now. I see this related to the role-play challenge because I do not *ever* think about being different than I am, or wanting something different than what is. I don’t fantasize about anything in any facet of my life, I simply appreciate what exists now.

I have decided I am going to read Deborah Addington’s book, Fantasy Made Flesh, in order to expand my consciousness around the whole concept of role-play. Maybe something there will help me find my capacity to imagine something other than what is. I am also contemplating various archetypes that might be buried with me that I have never given life to. What archetypes am I most drawn to in stories? Can I find a story character that embodies a particular energy that I would like to express?

Although this seems like a such a simple thing to others, I think there is a great opportunity for me here to learn how to imagine possibilities of more…more abundance, more love, and more positive experiences for myself. My lover has been telling me that maybe I need to learn that it is ok to want and that I deserve to have my wants become a reality. Maybe if I can come to believe that, I can figure out what I want beyond what I’ve already been offered or who I could be beyond who I am now.

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