I wonder how many of us put on a mask before we leave the safe walls of our house? How many of us close the door and leave our true self behind? Do we all, consciously or unconsciously, put on our mask as we get ready to face the world and prepare to become a different version of ourselves? Are we all just playing a part, our lives one big performance? Or are there people out there who are so confident in who they are that the only part they have to play is themselves?

Masquerade of masks.

At many times in my life, I have hidden behind a mask. I have guarded my true thoughts and feelings, worried that they won’t be accepted or understood. It is human nature to want to belong, to feel like you are accepted, valued and loved. It is understandable why we adapt ourselves, moulding who we are into what we think others want us to be. We want others to see the best version of ourselves – the person who is happy, confident, smart, strong and funny. Everyone wants to be seen as successful, and for others to think we have our life all sorted out. We want to be in control.

Those other emotions, the ones that are dark and scary – we feel like we have to bury those deep within ourselves. Our mask disguises the fragile cracks that reside within us. Nobody wants to be a wet blanket. We don’t want to bring the mood down or appear weak by admitting to feelings of anger, fear, depression, anxiety or sadness. Nobody wants to rock the boat with an opinion or belief that differs from the norm.

There is a poem that paints a great picture of what it is like to wear a mask. The poem was written by Charles C. Finn and is called Please Hear What I’m Not Saying. It powerfully portrays the feelings of isolation and frustration at having to wear a mask all the time, and the desperation for someone to see through the mask and see the real person standing behind it.

Humanity needs authenticity.

Outwardly, society holds unrealistic demands and expectations. But humanity craves connectedness. Humanity needs authenticity. Humans are not machines designed purely to obey; we crave the closeness that only comes when revealing our true selves. We want to be accepted and loved in all our uniqueness, celebrated not condemned.

No wonder there are so many people who are suffering in silence. We all have our masks fixed on so tight that our conversations are empty; filling up the space between us and leaving no room for meaningful and truthful exchanges. Sadly, there are people committing suicide, thinking that ending their life was an easier option than removing their mask.

What mask do you wear?

We all wear masks for different reasons. Some of these are self-protection, fear of rejection, need for validation, to impress, to keep others happy, low self-esteem, to belong, to hide our vulnerability. People try to hide their less desirable qualities, but I think we would be surprised at how alike we all are in our imperfections and insecurities. Imagine the sense of freedom we would feel if we lived in a world where everybody was honest about their true selves.

I am still working on removing my mask. It is a slow process – much harder to do in person but easier to achieve in writing. Through the words that I write here, I am chipping away at my mask. I am slowly revealing the thoughts and feelings that I still struggle to say out loud. It is not an easy thing to achieve, when putting on a mask has become as habitual as breathing air into the lungs. But the question is in my mind, and one I hope to keep coming back to every time I get ready to leave the house. One day I might find the courage to leave the mask at home instead, and bring my true self with me. I hope that you will find it within yourself to do the same.

Liked my ‘What if’ post? You can find another one here. 

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Suzi Faed Author Avatar

Hello& welcome to my blog, What If Warrior

Here you will find my multi-topic blog, told from my humble point of view. I write from the heart; for me, self-expression comes easier through written words. If you would like to read more about my inspiration for this blog, click here.