Last Thursday October 27th, we were treated to Don’s latest presentation, with a Halloween appropriate title “ The Masks we Wear”
Don began by sharing that Halloween’s origin began as an ancient Celtic holiday , with the wearing of masks. He also reflected that as recently as a year ago, we were all wearing masks due to the pandemic, which gave us a place to hide. Now things are much different.
But many of us do wear masks every day, both intentionally and unintentionally. Lately Don has felt like he has been putting his armor on, and wearing a mask more often.
So what is a mask? A traditional definition is ; a covering used to protect ourselves. Masks can be emotional. They may be a false front, as sometimes we build false fronts and hide behind them to get through the day. These emotional masks can protect us from the cruelty of the world.
Types of Masks…
1) Identity mask…this mask is used to hide who we are from others. This mask can also be a better one to use for conflict avoidance, or for survival. When wearing this mask, you may find that the real you will try to come out.
2) Emotional mask….this mask will usually hide what you are feeling. This may be a mask that you started wearing, if you grew up in a family that would hide their feelings. Don related that his wife Miriam grew up in a very talkative family, whereas Don’s family was the very opposite. The emotional mask can help you get through difficult situations. If you happen to be going through something difficult, sometimes you need to let the emotions flow. It is possible to overuse an emotional mask. Sometimes we need to process our emotions to get to inner peace.
3) Situational mask…..different situations may require a different mask. Such as giving a presentation at our Thursday night group. Or when you are meeting a new person for the first time. It’s important to assess the situation you’re in so you are wearing the appropriate mask.
What are some things that all masks have in common?
– all of these masks serve a function
– they help protect you from ill-intentioned people
– wearing a mask is one way of setting boundaries. Sometimes it can be healthy to keep new people you meet at an arm’s length until you get to know them.
There are also some reasons to shed your mask;
1) shedding your mask will help you to live up to your potential
2) we often mask special parts of us that we should share with others
3) relief..it can be exhausting to wear a mask all the time. You may not be living an authentic life if you’re always wearing a mask
4) healing…when wearing a mask, we carve a piece of ourselves out. And we can’t be healed in life unless we feel all the feels and never hold back.
How do we remove our masks? If we remove our masks, you may get to know yourself better. We need to be willing to take risks and live our lives fully. And don’t pull your mask partially off and let the world scare you.
Remember being maskless requires courage, but will ultimately reveal the person we truly are.