You sit behind the mask
and you control your world
You sit around and I watch your face
I try to find the truth
But that's your hiding place ...
I Walk around I'm suffering in my doom
When I come to you
Your sitting in your room
You sit around in the strangest place
So take off the mask, so I can see your face
Heaven must be wary
You know where you've been ...
~ Michael Jackson ~ Behind The Mask ~
It is the night before Halloween and many are sorting their costumes ... capes, hats, clothing and masks. Ah, Masks, they have long been a part of daily life as well. From the past when tribal dancers wore them to worship their Gods, to the present where children wear them for special holidays. Really it is just the extent to which we layer ourselves that varies as these masks stay with us until we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.
The masks we wear ...
- are decorated versions of what we prefer to show to the world.
- shield those parts of us that we don’t like or accept
- shield those parts of us that others need us to hide to make them feel more comfortable.
- are complex and moulded from parenting, culture and society.
- satisfy collective expectations.
And for the most part, we don’t even realize the masks are there ...
There are costs to being masked - the inability to express ourselves, show real feelings and the expectations of living up to a false image. You see, when propping up a persona, our behavioural choices narrow and the skills we may need to survive in an environment can stop us from having real needs met in another.
It takes a lot of energy to keep a mask in place ...
Appreciate that masks are protective barriers that we put up to deal with our insecurities, and these masks are not to be confused with who we really are. Whether it is to gain social acceptance, hide vulnerability, hide emotions, to deceive or to manipulate, we all wear masks at some time in our lives ... just don’t become attached to your projections.
The core issue is not feeling loved by others and ourselves ... if we don’t love ourselves, then we depend on others to make us feel worthwhile ... an unstable foundation for our relationships and our psyche. When we are conscious of our masks then we know we are not what we pretend to be.
The real self has choices of how to be, but the false self depends on others for how it should be ...
Remove those masks and be true to yourself, your expression, your soul, and your light ... as each one of us are here to accept our unique qualities and to share them with others. Use wisdom to protect your inner self by shining out to others and having grace for those that cannot appreciate it. Believe that your mask can be used to create safety and security, rather than suffocation, so that your light burns brightly to the world ...