Today’s random thoughts have been loosely based around what we show the world around us, what we show those close to us, and what we don’t show anyone at all.
So, imagine that you had a mask in front of your face. The outside version of the mask is what we are comfortable showing to the world while the inside is what we only show those that are closest to us, if we show anyone at all.
Let’s look at the outside of the mask first. What would be on yours? How much of that would be a true reflection of how you really feel? For example, imagine if you show on this side of the mask that you are confident and strong. This is what everyone around you would see and possibly would believe that you truly feel like this.
On the inside of the mask, though, you might have insecurities that mean you don’t feel confident and that actually you often feel quite lost and unsure of things. Or it might show that you are strong like you show on the outside of the mask, but that there is a gentle side of you that you don’t show the world and keep instead on the inside of the mask.
The thing about masks, though, is that it can become quite exhausting holding that mask in place all of the time. How many times do you just want to put the mask down and show more people what’s really on the other side of the mask and to be accepted that way? I can imagine that holding that mask is like a heavy piece of metal and that the person holding it has arms that are aching, tired and sore. Could you try and put the mask down for a few minutes? Maybe it could come down when you really feel comfortable, like around close friends.
I’m not saying that masks aren’t there for a purpose, and sometimes they may be a bit necessary. They can be quite protective. What I am more looking at is taking a rest from the mask sometimes. Maybe even putting a few of the things from inside the mask onto the outside. Also, about looking at why we have the mask in the first place and what the purpose of it is at that time in our lives. Sometimes it can be helpful to look at these different sides of the mask with someone which can almost take some of the heavy weight away from it.
I know myself that looking at these different sides with someone was really helpful. There are still some aspects that I am choosing to keep on the inside of the mask and only show some people, but there are fewer of them and I am more comfortable with being me, and having things that are a part of me showing on the outside of the mask. Part of this process was releasing the feeling that there were expectations of how I should be that were placed there from society around me, in particular in social media. I’m sure I will re-visit this part in a future blog post!
So, I know this is a bit of a muddled post and comes across much better when looked at in person, particularly when actually using a mask to look at the sides. For now though, I will just leave you with this……how heavy does your mask feel? Has it welded to your skin?