There is something about being authentic and real that makes life richer. Each day is more vibrant, relationships have greater meaning, and there is a freedom in pursuing what you want.
Contrast this with having a closet full of masks you use to hide what you think, what you feel, what you want, and basically, who you are.
Why do we wear masks and how can we get rid of them?
I know in my life the masks began because I had a belief that if you really knew me, you wouldn’t like, love, or accept me. My own false belief that I wasn’t good enough or that there was something wrong with who I was at my core had me running for the masks.
Have you ever worn one of those rubber masks that completely cover your head and face?
They can look so cool on the outside…interesting, surprising, mysterious, maybe dangerous in an exciting way. The problem is inside the mask, your body is uncomfortable, sweaty; it’s hard to breath, and you can’t see clearly. How is that like your life?
When I can love myself regardless of what others around me think or say, I don’t need a mask. I can show up authentic in all my brilliance and with whatever flaws I’m working on at the time.
How do you shed the masks?
I am a firm believer you have to be able to look at yourself head on in the mirror and tell yourself how much the man in the mirror is loved by you. If you can’t do that, there is a false belief standing between you and the man you see in the mirror.
The false belief needs masks. The healthy and true self can stand on its own.
Re-framing a false belief into a healthy and true belief is a process that requires you to identify the event where the belief was brought on, recognize the difference between data of the event and the meaning YOU gave that data, understand the impact the meaning had on your behavior and actions, then YOU change the meaning to what was really true about the event.
In the beginning it may take some reinforcement or practice, yet in the end it works.
The other important part of changing a false self-belief is having people in your life who can mirror what is really true, brilliant, and beautiful about who you are. Even when I was in a place I couldn’t see this myself, I could see what was reflected back from men I trusted in my life.
That reflection was like light shining into a dark place revealing an awesome and fantastic space I wanted to be. The light helped me find my way.
So, what will it be? A life protected and stifled by masks, or one lived out in the open air where sunshine, sometimes a bit of rain and hail, are felt on your face as you journey through life?
The choice, and it is always a choice, is yours.