what are some of the human masks that we wear? As publisher I thought
that I would share one of my masks with you (hey, why not be vulnerable
myself?). I have done a lot of growing with what this mask has been covering
and have not needed to wear it very much lately. However it is still there
and I am not finished with it yet. I have been using this mask for much
of my life and it's somewhat part of my personality. Also it is interesting
how in a situation like this, when I talk about it and acknowledge it
(verses keeping it within and perhaps not even be aware of it existing
or denying it), it fades away even more. I don't know exactly how this
works but I know that just being honest and open about it and not being
afraid to talk about it, works miracles.
I would love to hear
from you about a mask that you have worn or wear. Any come to mind?
PAUL'S NERVOUS TALKING-MASK
I put on this mask when I am trying to cover up an uncomfortable feeling. This occurs when I am with someone I don't feel relaxed with for some reason. I feel nervous and edgy with this person. Instead of being with the nervousness and accepting it, I choose to cover it up with my Nervous Talking Mask. So I put it on by talking nervously--about nothing really. I don't have anything to say of importance. It's all on the surface to cover up of my true feelings. At some point in my life, I became conditioned to using this mask. Maybe I saw an early role model use it. I learned that I could avoid just being with certain feelings by talking about nothing. It's okay though of course. This is not a bad thing. As a human I do things like this. And I become aware of them as I climb the ladder of awareness in becoming more of Who I Am--my real self.
I know the person that is listening to me doesn't need to hear the content of what I am saying. Their reactions or lack of reactions are not that hard to read. Not that I am foolish or acting stupid or anything. It's just that I am not in-focus, not being myself, certainly not relaxed and off-track for me. When the relating is over and I am walking away, riding in the elevator or in the car going back to my office or home, I reflect on what happened and in retrospect can see I was using a mask to cover up what was really going on for me.
What was going on with me? Could be that I was afraid of being rejected by this person, or that I wanted something and couldn't bring myself to ask for it. Perhaps I wanted to be accepted by this person and needed their approval. Or I could have just been judging myself and comparing myself and feeling less in general. Do you recognize any of these things? I believe that they are human things and we've all been there and will be there again to greater or lesser degrees.
In sharing all this, have I been too hard on myself? Too mental or analytical? Not really. I was just honest about my awareness of myself. I know that I have a real me inside and I know when I am not there. I accept that I wear this mask and others. I am not judging myself for this. As I mentionned above, it is by acknowledging what is going on within me that assists me in letting it go--growing out of it. I decided to write a page like this because I know that it helps me when I can read someone's candidness and honestly about themselves. I thought you would enjoy reading about my process and thoughts.
Did you? Did you find this interesting? Did it bring anything to mind about yourself? Do you relate? Do you have a human mask you can share with me? Or maybe you have a comment about what I just shared. Maybe you disagree with something here and have some feedback for me. I'd really really like to hear from you--Email me.
©1995-00 Paul Michael, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-691-9477