Masks

by Jon Hilton

Masks of Life

Masks are used to hide a true identity. What does yours hide?

Masks are used to hide a true identity. What does yours hide?

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or how much you have, you have spent a significant part of your life creating and wearing masks in your life.  These are masks that are as real as you would see each Halloween, but they are often quite permanent.

These masks come in all varieties, shapes and sizes and in many cases serve you quite well. They help to project the image that you want. But still inside of us there is a real person who is being suffocated by the masks we choose to wear.

Why I Built Masks

Hiding my true self, was for protection. It became almost permanent.

Hiding my true self, was for protection. It became almost permanent.

As early on as I can remember, there are many memories of support, recognition of who I was and an appreciation for what I brought to the world.  Then it started to change, other people did not seem to accept me as my loved ones did.

It is one of nature’s oldest forms of protection, camouflage. By disguising the attributes that we take criticism and thus experience pain for, we feel safe. I think we feel protected, but it is a false protection with a huge price.

Although I was still the friendly, caring kid I was, I started to put on a mask that would help me get through the rough seas of acceptance that childhood makes you travel. It worked! I was able to hide myself and be what ever was more acceptable, more funny, meaner, less accepting of others.  Even narrow-minded and worse unkind, insensitive and cruel.

Careful It May Get Stuck

The masks I constructed to get through the pains of growing up were helpful. It would be

Careful, they may become hard to get rid off.

Careful, they may become hard to get rid off.

insane to claim anything else. However there is a problem we never think of at first.  The masks we build start to become less of a mask and more of a permanent fixture.  I began to forget who I was.

Since I wore the mask I wore, that started to become the dominant feature of my personality. I assume that actors sometimes have difficulty in separating themselves from the characters they play.  My life slowly, yet surely became a permanent production of the mask, that now was seemingly stuck to my existence.

The Real Tragedy

Don't Forget Who You Are.

Don’t Forget Who You Are.

After awhile we have forgotten all about who we were in the past and the essence that we were born with that made us great in the first place.  Sometimes events have forced us to wear the mask for protection, and the events which cause this frighten us so much that we feel we need them forever.

Then as life passes and we realize that something isn’t right, we see that the mask we are wearing is one that has made it almost impossible to remember anything about who we are. In fact we don’t think that we could recognize ourselves, even if we saw us. That loss of identity is the real tragedy of the mask.

Losing your Mask

Like anything that is built sturdily and over so much time, getting rid of your mask is not something that you can do in a day, or a week or sometimes even a year.  Yet it is not complicated and anyone can do it.

The trick to getting rid of your mask is to learn to accept who you really are and to love that person.  All of the negative voices that fill your head with negative gibberish need to be expelled. All of the past bad experiences need to be forgiven and you need to forgive yourself.

The biggest fear of someone who wears a mask is that someone else will see through it and reject or be horrified by what they see.  That can’t be the case because each of us is born with a unique person inside that is the essence of greatness.  If someone sees something other than that, then they are looking in a mirror.

Enhanced by Zemanta

23 thoughts on “Masks

  1. Daphne Ogyen

    Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    –Oscar Wilde

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Absolutely love this quote! It is so true. I am putting it on Facebook as soon as I finish writing this. Thank you Daphne for taking the time to share it with me. :-)

      Reply
  2. Shakti Ghosal

    This is a great post.

    To me the need for masks arises when we do not want to accept reality. When we attempt to change other people and the world and in the process get into stress and confusion. When we start attaching ourselves to thoughts and then believing in them.When we start seeing shadows where we want to see them.

    What is is.As we accept this, we hold the power of attachments to thoughts which are trying to change what is. It is then we lose the need to wear masks….

    Shakti

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Well written Shakti, I am grateful for your contribution. I agree, when we start to accept what is the mask falls away. There is no need of it. I also agree that they are formed by not accepting reality and giving too much credit to negative thoughts. Accepting them as real. It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks about you, or who you are, you are still that person. Accept it! Thank you so much for your comments and thoughts, stop back anytime and let me know what you think!

      Reply
  3. Katie

    This is such a well-written, true post. I know I, myself, tend to behind several masks in my life, but I’m trying to get past those–first and foremost through my writing.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Thank you Katie. You know I can see that in your writing. You really are a talented writer and have great ideas and observations but you present them in such a colorful way. I enjoy reading them and seeing all of the trials and tribulations you go through as an office worker each day. You are just a good writer, with descriptive language and you apply that to situations that we have all been in. I tell anyone who is in their 20′s, and I see them doing self reflection in any manner that they are way ahead of the game. Life is meant to be enjoyed and for you to be happy and the better you know yourself, the easier this is. At least that is what I think. I encourage you to keep on writing those descriptive wonderful posts, and look for what makes you happy in life. thank you so much for reading and commenting, it means a lot to me! :-)

      Reply
      1. Katie

        Thank you so much for your kind words! One of the things I’ve loved about writing my blog is that it’s put me and my own thoughts under the microscope even more, and things I’d normally just keep to myself, I can get other people’s opinions on now, which is always good. I’m not a big “let’s talk about it” kind of person so this is a way for me to get it all out. I’m glad you enjoy it. And I must say, I enjoy your writing equally as much!

        Reply
        1. Jon

          Your welcome Katie. Reading your writing becomes a daily habit. There are some blogs I read whenever I have the time, and some that I read right away as soon as possible. Yours is one of the asap blogs. I look forward to reading it each day. I appreciate your compliment as well. I am thrilled to have you read and comment on my blog. Being able to put my thoughts somewhere and have others respond is a real treat for me. I am an introvert, as well and I internalize my thoughts, emotions and ideas until they make sense and then I can express them. Writing allows me to express them. I am grateful that you write and share your life stories and also you may remember you gave me some advice about women a while back. It has worked like a charm. So thank you very much for being the best Katie you can be.

          Reply
  4. MissFourEyes

    “The biggest fear of someone who wears a mask is that someone else will see through it and reject or be horrified by what they see. That can’t be the case because each of us is born with a unique person inside that is the essence of greatness. If someone sees something other than that, then they are looking in a mirror.”
    Wow. You are so right. I do have a question though, what about the good kinds of masks. The kinds we put on to be better people? (is there such a kind?) Like say a cynic attempting to be the ever-optimist?

    Reply
    1. Jon

      Oh, MFE what a great question. I had never considered that. Is the cynic truly attempting to be something they are not or are they starting to find their true self? I think that probably all masks start out as a “good” thing, protecting you or making you feel safe, popular, one of the crowd. But underneath who you are is what needs to come out in order for you to be happy. I can only base this on my own experience though, what do you think? Have you ever constructed a mask to fit in? Do you think it is possible for these covers to be good? Thank you so much for the thought provoking questions. One of the many reasons I value your contributions!! :-)

      Reply
        1. Jon

          What are you cynical about? Motives of people, the way the world works? The fact that you can be happy? Do you like being cynical? or is it a defense for something else? That is a lot of questions in a row. You come across not that way at all. I would never have guessed. Do you think you are a big ol’ grouch sometimes? I just can’t believe it. I don’t think you are a big ol’ grouch, even if you are cynical. :-)

          Reply
          1. MissFourEyes

            Oh no! The mask is off!
            But you got it spot on. It’s mostly about the way the world works, it bothers me. Politics, the rape, the murder, the way we’re destroying the environment, everything. I don’t like being cynical one bit. Who would? Are there really people that like it?
            But don’t worry, Jon, I’m not cynical ALL the time. You know, just occasionally. Happens to all of us, right? :)

          2. Jon

            Absolutely it does happen to all of us at some point. It is only natural. One of the things I did that really helped me was to not watch any national news of any kind. It is all hyped up sensationalism. It has almost been a year and I think I am more informed. Yes there are problems, I know that and do not hide my head in the sand, but there are a lot of good people in the world looking to make changes. Those efforts are ignored by the media because they do not get ratings.

          3. MissFourEyes

            That really does make me feel a little better. I gave most news too. It’s bad, but I need to do it for my sanity. I’d drive myself crazy otherwise.

  5. Melanie

    I have masks I put on me, and masks other put on me. Thankfully, I have kind-hearted and honest people encouraging me to remove them, and even helping to chisel away the stuck pieces. Writing has helped too. More and more of the real me comes out with each post, on both blogs. It’s a fabulously freeing feeling.

    Reply
  6. thehappyhugger

    I was often criticized for being too soft, not tough enough, so I covered that with a mask of toughness. It came as a great relief to my heart and soul when I took that tough mask off and stopped smothering myself with it. We all have out reasons for our masks, sadly though some never get to the point of actually removing the mask which then really in turn becomes a part of who they are or how the world has manufactured them.

    Reply
    1. Jon

      I know what you mean Michelle. I think I lived a long portion of life behind a mask that, much like your mask of toughness was constructed to help me survive. I have been fortunate to start to peel that away, I like caring about other people and encouraging them to be great at whatever they are doing. I think that some people are never going to get out from behind that mask because they are too safe. It is a risky world where the real penalty can be getting hurt. I am glad to have met the real you! I have missed you the past week or so. Good to see your comment.

      Reply
    1. Jon

      That isn’t silly at all. I think that everyone has a place and for me you have a big influence in this little blog world. I am sure I am not the only one. :-)

      Reply

Let me know your thoughts.