“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our skin.” – André Berthiaume
Who are you? Do you know for certain? We go through life wearing masks that are expected of us. We wear costumes. Don’t believe me? Think about it… Regardless of what job you do, you generally wear a costume. Either a uniform, or even a shirt and tie… One way or another, we alter our appearance and usually our identities in order to conform to the outside world.
Even when we have the job of our dreams or our choice career, who we are “out there” is never the same as who we are at home. And why is that? Is it because we’re afraid of what others would think of us? Are we afraid of showing the world who we truly are? Or perhaps our jobs simply don’t allow us to wear our favourite sweat pants and batman shirt at work…
Everyone has their own unique way of facing the world, but it’s often been said that as a people, we wear three masks. The first mask is the one that everyone sees. This is the one that people recognize us as. As a general rule, it is the most artificial and the one that has the most layers. We usually try and adapt to what’s in front of us; work, social gatherings and interactions.
The second mask is the one we wear around close friends and family. Yes, it is true that we wear a mask and adapt ourselves even when dealing with friends and family. Although not QUITE as complex or complicated, it still tends to hide the very essence of who we truly are. think back to meeting your in-laws, and how you tried to be “on your best behaviour.”
The third mask is the real you. The one you never show to anyone else. Or at the very least, to an extremely select few. This is where you break out the sweatpants and the binge watching Friends on Netflix kind of thing. The one with the fewest layers and the one that leaves you exposed the most.
The question is: who do you show your third mask to? Do you have that person in your life? Most importantly, do you lift that third mask and expose yourself completely? If you have that person in your life, you are truly rich and blessed.
Be mindful of the masks you wear. We live in a society of conformity and sometimes we have to adapt. That goes without saying. But while you’re busy adapting, be mindful of how well you wear those masks. As Patrick Rothfuss once wrote, “We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.” Be sure to be true to yourself. Don’t let the mask become who your are. ☯