Halloween is a time when people can pretend to be someone else, something else, and perhaps even live out a fantasy for a day…. and it’s got me thinking… what masks do we commonly wear?
While it’s fun wearing a mask on Halloween, to play a different character for a while, to live out a little fantasy, to create a little mystery. It’s not as much fun to mask our true authentic selves on a daily basis — It’s exhausting really.
When we are not 100% truthful with others, when we try to hide our feelings, when we suppress our thoughts, we put on a mask. After a while, the mask becomes smothering, difficult to breath in, and causes deep resentment and bitterness. The further away we travel from our Source , our true selves, the more anxiety and discontentment we experience.
So what masks do we wear? Well, like all masks, they come in different shapes, sizes, colors… but they all serve the same purpose – to create an illusion.
I’ve discovered a few masks I often wear:
The “It’s OK” mask…. This is probably the most used, most versatile mask. I believe I have had this mask the longest. This mask is the one I put on to create the illusion that my feelings are not hurt. I often put this one on to suppress my feelings, or to put someone elses feelings above my own. It was created as protection, as a shield – forged so strong it’s bullet-proof. This one may be used in times of someone forgetting a special occasion, or being two hours late for a date, or breaking a commitment. It’s also used when someone lies to me, hurts me, or puts me down. Sometimes I wear it all by myself when no one can even see it, because it’s comforting to wear it – like a cloak.
The “I get it” mask…. This mask gets used often. It’s the one that creates the illusion that I understand every word you say, and the lessons you are trying to teach me are sinking in. This mask prevents me from feeling stupid or inferior. The caution label on this mask should read “caution, this mask can cause undue frustration and may cause you to quit. It may also lead you to believe that you are of lesser intelligence than you really are. Long term use of this mask can stunt your growth”
The “I can do it all” mask… This is the mask that is the most dangerous. This mask is donned when I am being asked to help someone, when I don’t really have the time or resources to give. This mask creates the illusion that I am helpful and not letting people down. It is so convincing, that I even believe it. This mask leaves me feeling stressed out, burned out, and in the long run, people see straight through the facade. Come to find out, there are many holes in this mask.
When I first started using these masks, I thought they were beautiful and ornamental, clever really. But the more I used the masks, and felt the ill effects from wearing them, I saw them for what they really were – ugly, hideous and menacing.
And the purpose I thought they served, the illusion of something more beautiful, more honorable, more desirable than my own truth… was a mirage. The true beauty lies within. “To thine own self be true!” was my humble statement as I took off the mask.
I was once afraid of people saying, “Who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am.”–Oprah Winfrey
So Wild Ones …. which masks are you wearing – and which will be coming off today?
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