I don’t mean literally….
But I do mean figuratively. So let’s talk about that:
We all have something that’s hidden in our past that we keep to ourselves. That something can be a number of things: an event, a relationship, an addiction, etc. And we keep this something to ourselves for a number of reasons: embarrassment, guilt, pain, shame, or if you’re like me, all of the above, plus the feeling that NO ONE will understand what you went through, and therefore, judge you for having gone through it. And I now KNOW I’m not the only one who has gone/is going through this….
Listen, we ALL have stories. We ALL have shit that we’ve gone through. And MOST of us choose to wear a mask throughout our lives that serves to hide the inner and outer struggles we’ve gone through. We choose to suppress these situations in an effort to forget, or to move on.
Sometimes, this mask becomes too heavy to wear, and instead of peeling it off to face what’s underneath, we crack under the pressure. The pressure of our past. And this pressure leads to illness’s such as anxiety, depression, and unfortunately, for a few, suicide. Now, I am not here to dive into the depths of these detrimental illnesses. I’ve been there before, and it’s tough, I know, and I understand.
But, let’s go back to that mask. Most people believe that their masks are what hold them together. Their mask allows them to be a part of society, it allows them to “forget” the past, and move on.
I’m here to tell you differently. Your mask is holding you back. It is giving you a “safe face” to hide behind. It is allowing you to “forget” your past, but let’s be real here, you’re not really forgetting, you are simply pushing your shit down deeper and deeper, and letting it sit there, and stink up your life. Sounds pretty morbid, I know, so bear with me….
As humans, we are born with one 2 fears. A fear of falling and a fear of loud noises. Every other fear has been learned over time through the experiences we’ve had: the events, the relationships, the addictions, the abuses, the fights, etc…
The Fear of Failure.
The list can go on and on.
And what most humans do is they put on this mask, and they accept their fears as real. The same way they accept their mask as real.
The longer you’ve worn this mask, the harder it is to take it off, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just takes a little bit of strength, courage, and badass-ery.
And whatever you do, do not blame yourself for hiding behind your mask. Our society tells us to “forgive and forget”, it tells us to “just try not to think about it and everything will be okay…”, no wonder we have so many fears!!
Your mask probably won’t come off in one swift “rip”, it takes time, but it all starts with facing your past. Facing the source of your fears. Uncover the events you’ve worked so hard to suppress, the events that created your mask. Acknowledge those events, and work to understand how your current fears are a product of your past. By work, I mean: journal, talk it out with a close friend, scream it, recreate it, whatever the “work” may be for you.
Your fears are part of your mask. As you begin to do the meaningful work required to rip off your mask, you will feel exposed. You will feel naked. But most of all, you feel vulnerable.
Vulnerability is what destroys the mask. Vulnerability is becoming your truest self.
Say goodbye to your mask and your fears, get naked, and get vulnerable.
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