Which do you choose?
We all have, to some degree, an outer mask. We have all at some point in our lives created a “public persona” that we show to the world. We completely internalise our insecurities and wash them over with ideas that we are happier than we really are, more successful than we really are and more popular than we really are. But there comes a point when this mask we have created to protect ourselves becomes a prison of it's own making. I have read so many clients this last year who's “brave face” has been practised so habitually that it's become it's own separate identity. We all know someone who believes in their own lies, but how many are you telling yourself?
This mask is a pain management skill. I've done it myself and I know of all the little twists and turns it can take you on. I have pretended to be O.K when I wasn't, I have pretended to be “busy and successful” when I was bored and broke, I have pretended to be peaceful when I was angry and I have stood and told everyone around me that I was fine at the times in my life when the pain in my heart was overwhelming. I learned two things during this time of my life. The first, is that people aren't stupid. It doesn't take much to look beneath someone's mask. A discerning eye can see beyond the words you speak to the words you're actually saying. The mask isn't fooling anyone, not even you, not really. The second thing I learned is that when I put the mask down and spoke about my pain, it was O.K. Nothing exploded and all my limbs remained in tact. It is O.K. To let it all out,find a good friend, get a diary, anything really, just find a space where you can honour your own honesty.
Of course your life changes when you speak the truth but it always changes for the better. I learned who my real friends were, who was there for me and gained incredible strength in authenticity.
Your ability to be vulnerable is one of your greatest strengths. A persona designed to protect your wounds only ever eventually creates a place for them to grow. You have a choice in each moment of your life to self promote a false ideal or to speak your truth. Which do you choose?