Are you living behind a mask? We live in a society that values how we appear or show up. From an early age, we are trained to adapt our behavior and presence based on the situation or who we may be with. Over time we develop a set of masks that hide our authentic self in order to look good to others. Sadly we end up stepping into adult life putting on different costumes that ultimately mask the true self within.
Consider cosmetics for example. Women in particular are strongly encouraged to hide blemishes or other imperfections behind makeup. Some go as far as undergoing surgery to change how they look. This pressure to conform to some image ultimately hides the beauty that lies within. This simple example runs much deeper when it comes to masking our authentic selves at the heart level.
Unlike someone who removes their makeup at the end of the day, when it comes to hiding our true self, we seem to keep adding layers until we reach a point where we no longer recognize the real person in the mirror. For example, men are often encouraged not to show true feelings. It’s considered weak to shed tears or to appear vulnerable. So after years of ‘sucking it up’ to be a real man as society expects, it can make one unable to show empathy or embrace pain.
The masks we develop and wear not only serves the purpose of fitting in, but can also block us from experiencing hurt by others. The mask may be one of an invincible teflon hero, the victim, the doormat, or any number of different personas. In each case, we throw up the shield as a way of deflecting criticism and burying pain. While the masks we wear may serve us, they also keep us from living our purpose and becoming who we were created to be.
The first step in living your authentic self is recognizing the masks you where. The process of removing the layers you have carefully constructed can only begin when you acknowledge the costume(s) you have been wearing and by willing to take them off. The prospect of stripping away these layers can feel very vulnerable. At times you may feel as if you’re standing in a crowd removing your clothes. Yet to know your true self is liberating. It’s that feeling of freedom like skinny dipping or bathing at a nude beach. No pretense and no false images. It’s a ‘what you see is what you get’ type of freedom.
When you decide that being true to yourself and others is what you value, you no longer have to stress over what costume or mask you choose in each situation. Instead you show up as you are. Better you don’t have to remember what you were wearing that last time you were with that person or in that situation. The stress subsides and you become more dependable and predictable – people know what to expect and can count on you being authentic.
I’ll have more on this topic in future posts. The challenge today is to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are truly being authentic not just with those closest to you, but with everyone. What masks have you developed to hide behind? What costumes do you have in your closet and when do you choose to wear them? Start by acknowledging where you are choosing not to be authentic. The journey to find your true self starts today.
I believe in the transformative power of human connection to elevate joy, restore balance, and support inner healing as you seek your highest purpose. My purpose in life is to be a guide, to share the wisdom of the Universe I’ve been gifted with, and to see others succeed. Nothing brings me greater joy than to see others step into their purpose in a vibrant and highly energetic way.
Searching for deeper insight into your highest life purpose? Trying to find your true path and discover how to step into your gifts and be aligned with your own truth? I offer a range of services focused on offering you insight and support on your life’s path. Check out www.connect2action.com for more insight and services.