These days in light of the pandemic, everyone talks about masks. We quickly got used to hearing the word mask thrown around in every day business. But these are not the kind of masks I'm talking about.
We've also just made our way past halloween, a day when many people very intentionally wear masks. Yet these are not the kind of masks I'm talking about either.
In our culture, every day could be halloween, a day when we dawn masks...because we believe we must wear masks to fit in, to feel safe and to be accepted or loved. Or we wear them to avoid disappointment, disapproval, judgement or rejection. But who are we beneath the masks, and what are we hiding?
The problem with masks is that they cloud our truth and hide our genuine selves. Sometimes we may lose our capacity to sort who we are from the masks we wear. In the end, no one gets to know who we really are because we're not willing to show them.
If we don't accept and embrace ourselves just as we are, then how can we expect anyone else to?
What humans crave most is to be seen, accepted, loved, and safe just as we are, with all our personal messiness. We want to throw off our masks but we're afraid that if we do, we won't be good enough, or will fall flat on our faces, or be embarrassed, or hurt. We're afraid to show our vulnerabilities and insecurities, fearing they'll be used against us, or that we'll be judged, rejected, and left alone with our struggles.
We don't like to hurt, so we avoid the things that may lead us there and grasp for what feels better instead. We're only human, after all, not superwomen, though some days that's debatable...
It takes a lot of energy to juggle our masks day in and day out...energy that we could put towards our personal power and purpose instead, if we did things differently.
What we've all forgotten is that it's in allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with the right people, at the right times, and in the right ways that helps us cultivate genuine confidence and strength inside. Without that exposure and some experiences of being lovingly held through the fear that arises when we feel vulnerable, we spend our lives hiding instead of shining. And that's no good. We're not here to hide. We're here to shine!