autumn days

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Removing False Masks

I am currently taking a class to understand the many masks I wear out in the world.  Our goal is to identify, name, remove, and discard the masks we wear that we think protect us.  They actually prevent us from knowing and showing our authentic selves and living our self-satisfying life.  It is true that when we take care of ourselves, we really are taking care of others.  Self-care is vital.  

I dutifully did my homework for this class, piecing together a list of masks.  The Stupid/Smart mask merged with Overachiever.  People Pleasure and Late Louisa were there too.  My completed flow chart was orderly and simplified with 15 masks.

When I got to the first class and was asked to talk about my masks, my words were stuck and my brain began to short circuit.  It would have been comical had it not been so terrifying.  The first words to come out were, "Oh, look, it's my happy mask!  I'd forgotten all about that one."  And then I uncovered my personal masks of Wounded Martyr, Lone Woman, Fear of Failure, Bean Counter, Runner, Overwhelm/Avoidance, Seen/Unseen, Mean Mommy, Wounded Self-Help Hound, among many others.

So now that I've discovered many masks, these simple steps are used with each one.  
  1. Identify mask.
  2. Remove mask.
  3. Name mask.
  4. Discard mask or set it aside.
  5. Find your song, your joy.
I currently have three beautifully crafted paper mache masks in my prayer room, standing as a reminder to keep these masks off my face.  These three are my Happy Mask, Hopelessly Blue Mask, and Should Mask.

My song is what brings me joy.  My favorites are singing, dancing, crafting, finding bliss in the moment, and time in nature.

I find great joy in moving through these steps with each mask and standing in my own uniquely joyous song.  

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