There is a great story in First Nation US folklore about the origins of the crow. In the story, the crow was originally created in many beautiful colours and loved his colours deeply and how the light shone on them. But when he noticed his shadow, behind him, black as black, he became increasingly perturbed and started to peck at that shadow, to try and make it go away. Over time he became so obsessed with the shadow that he forgot about his colours entirely. All his attention was on the shadow and he pecked more and more… until the day that the shadow had had enough and pecked back, swallowing the crow up and leading to the black bird (with a shimmer of other colours) that we know today.
Life coaches and gurus of various types will often advise you to “act as if” in order to manifest your deepest desires. There are all kinds of good reasons to “act as if” and one of them is that doing this draws other people into the game. We all learnt this at an early age: whether your fellow child went into doctor mode or cowboy or superhero or hairdresser/beauty consultant, the invitation and compulsion was there to play a corresponding role… and we carried right on as adults. Just put on a white coat, or a clerical collar, or a high-viz coat or carry a clipboard, or alternatively step out of a limo wearing Versace at the Oscars, and people will start to play along, even if they are not sure of the game yet.
Quite often, sometime deep into a session, a client who has come to me with a recurring behaviour or a set of feelings or some other part of their life weighing them down, will turn to me in a moment of bright-eyed discovery and say “Hey! I see now! This does not belong to me!”. It happened recently with someone who had felt burdened by something all his life and then discovered it was not his burden: it had come from one of his parents and he had never thought to set it down.