“You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.”
~ Alan Moore.
Have you ever put on an act?
You know, trying to appear a particular way, hoping people will believe something about you, something that isn’t real, but you want it to be.
Or perhaps there’s something about you that you’re not comfortable with and rather than be exposed you cover it over by putting on a ‘face’.
In everyday life we all wear masks. It’s part of the reality of living that we have different masks – one for parents, another for teachers or bosses, one for friends and totally another for subordinates.
There are masks within masks too!
We force a smile when we'd rather not, or pretend to know things when we're clueless. We try to appear strong even when we're filled with fear.
Yes, these are considering a necessity, but what’s important is some conscious awareness for what we’re doing and being able to see the masks we wear that interfere with healthy living.
So, where does it all begin?
We then start wearing the mask of deceit to fool ourselves and others that we are not what we appear to be. By putting on this mask we are able to escape an unacceptable identity and any demons in the closet. Rather than accept our frailties and vulnerabilities we prefer to veil them to protect ourselves from the pain of being unwanted as we are.
Once again, Masks are a part of daily life and at times indispensable.
But there’s a catch...whenever you choose to screen the truth of who you are behind a mask, you are admitting that who you are is inadequate, incompetent, inferior or defective in some way. The price of doing this often is, of course, in your self-respect.
Whenever you express yourself but are met with rejection or ridicule, you stand at the crossroads of making a choice. You can either decide that the reaction by the other is inaccurate or meaningless or you can agree with them and feel there’s something wrong with you and create a mask of a false front.
Living authentically requires conscious effort. We can start by recognizing the value in letting go of our masks.
And how does this help?
By dropping our masks, we reclaim our self-respect, as the mask represents our fear of being unacceptable.
Masks hinder genuine connections, so by removing them, we open ourselves up to more intimate and fulfilling relationships.
Masks keep us stagnant, but by shedding them, we can tap into our creativity and unlock new possibilities.
Most importantly, letting go of pretense liberates us from the burden of hiding, allowing us to embrace a more authentic and satisfying life.
“Now I become myself
It’s taken time, many years and places
I’ve been dissolved and shaken
Worn other people’s faces
Run madly, as if time were there.”
Until next time….