Remember playing “make believe” when you were little? Those disguises helped us feel powerful and special, and we had a great time pretending to be someone or something we weren’t. As we grew up, though, we kept wearing some of those masks when we began worrying about how others saw us, and if we were good enough, smart enough; strong enough. As we grew more fearful, we used different masks to hide who we were, to protect us.
What masks are you wearing? What happens if you take them off? Who ARE you behind that mask that you don’t want others to see?
Every time you pretend to be someone you’re not by not living and speaking your truth, you wear a mask. If you are staying silent when you’re upset or angry, giving in to others time and again rather than declaring what you want, portraying yourself as a victim or hero to get something from others, or letting the world see you as a peace-lover when you’re really seething inside, you’re wearing a mask. These masks can shift throughout your day. They might change from wearing a fun, outgoing disguise to hide the truth of your quiet, contemplative self…to perhaps wearing a mask of aloofness, superiority or coldness to keep others away…or maybe even concealing a desire to be loved behind appearing overly accommodating and eager to please. When you’re terrified of what will happen if you let people get too close and see who you really are, all of these masks are designed to protect you out of fear that others won’t like you, include you, love you or respect you.
Everyone wears many masks. Just think about the different versions of yourself that you present to the world: one you that you allow your loved ones to see, one for your workplace, another for your friends. And while it may be human nature to protect yourself by wearing these masks, the true threat to your peace and happiness lies in forgetting who you truly are.
So…do you know who you are behind those masks? And what happens when you know that someone else has seen behind it? Granted, it can be frightening at first, leaving you feeling vulnerable and exposed. Yet, do you believe that makes you any less lovable? What does it really mean to you if others see the truth of who you are?
It takes a tremendous amount of energy to keep those masks on and to keep up the facade you have created while wearing them. When you make the choice to be yourself in all situations, fully knowing the truth is that anyone else’s opinion or reaction has absolutely nothing to do with you, a great weight will have been lifted from you. Being your true self in all ways, at all times, is the ultimate freedom, and the ultimate gift to others, as it allows you to love and live your life fully.
Carina Bachman / CrystalSpringsHealing.com