I wore many masks
one for each task.
For every relation
& for every emotion.
Until I was unable to trace
amidst the pile: My REAL FACE
Childhood memories occupy a special place for most of us, especially when the age-meter ticks another year. The birthdays, I recall, always had beautiful memories especially when children would wear conical hats and their favorite masks of their popular characters. I remember my son wearing the spiderman mask and almost believing he had the superpowers to spin the web and swing around. And as these parties came to closure, off came the masks and on most occasions, the rubber-band holding the masks gave away, forcing them to be removed prematurely.
The Mask-making Machine
And as we grew up, I realized that we humans developed this inherent knack for manufacturing masks at will. The Master mask-making machines in us could spin out masks by a click of a thought. The only difference was that these masks were invisible.
The Role Mask, for example, represents the roles and responsibilities we took on in life. The son in me was expected to conform to a certain norm, whereas the parent in me elicited a role reversal. And then there was the spouse mask, the professional mask, and so on. And if that was not enough there were the Group Masks designed to herd us under one identity: the student mask, the employee mask, the race and religion mask. In a way, each and every role had been designed to facilitate or simplify our life. Imagine the chaos if there was an absence of rules, regulations, and commonly accepted norms. Yet, for how long we keep them on was the question to ponder?
Then we dawned the EGO Mask as a defense mechanism to protect us from looking bad or justify our righteous stance. It would come to our rescue whenever we seemed vulnerable or about to lose the plot trying to reason out the correctness of our stance. It would leave no stone unturned to shift the blame on someone else or the hostile circumstances. It would also console the ‘Poor Me’ by bringing out the list of genuine excuses and fight my case vociferously like a skilled lawyer.
The Emotional Glue
With the reinforcement of similar patterns in life and flavored with emotions of guilt, regret, fear, sadness, and the pleasant ones too, these masks slowly and surely become second nature, such that we are unable to even recollect what ‘first nature’ was in the first place! These emotional glues had bound our masks so cohesively with us that they became our identity to the world.
And then occurred a thought, what if the little child got so attached to his favorite mask that he refused to part away with it even when he slept. How discomforting would it be to hold on to something that was put on for a while and not wanting to let it go? Are we holding on to our expectations, responsibilities, and self-image so tightly that these have begun to discomfort us? Is there more to me than the masks I wear? And more importantly, have I lost the connection with my true self that I have been endowed with, that defines the ‘real me’?
The Real You
The ‘real you’ is powerful beyond your imagination. In fact, that is what I discovered while participating in the Impossible Transformations Program which I stumbled upon quite accidentally. My biggest learning was that it wasn’t my failed experiences, burdened responsibilities, and ever-mounting challenges that debilitated my ascension to glory, but my underestimation of my true strengths and ignorance of the supreme power that was and is always present but got hidden behind my masks. Each incident of my life got layered with a story that I told myself why I wasn’t good enough. With every story being re-run in my head, I had no idea that when the molehill grew to a mountain that stared ominously every time I dared to lay a new fulfilling path in the journey of my life.
My true liberation came from the awareness that the beliefs that I had developed about various aspects of the world and myself were just an interpretation that created a mirage of reality. And when I decide to shed these stories and my past baggage, life opens to new limitless possibilities that were always present but not evident because our masks did not let us see them. The Real You, call it your Being, the true self, spirit or whatever to wish to, is powerful beyond measures and gave me a glimpse of my unlimited Power that gets harnessed when it is aligned to a larger calling- The Purpose of Life, where you leap beyond your needs and wants to create a larger impact on this planet. And as audacious as it may seem we all have been given the compass and tools to direct our lives to greatness, irrespective of the challenges we are currently facing.
So, my New Year resolution is to accelerate the journey of Unmasking Myself by:
- Being aware and identify the masks that have been limiting my potential
- Invoking my True Self – The Real Me who see endless possibilities
- Tuning my direction of life in line with my purpose
- Acknowledging every hurdle is only meant to bring out the greatness in me
- Trusting that there is a great force in the universe that has got my back
My deepest gratitude to Impossible Transformations Program that made me look at myself beyond my current operating paradigms (Yes, my masks) and dive in and explore a world of beautiful seamless possibilities
So, what are the masks you have been wearing that aren’t serving you to attain your best version?
And what are you willing to do about it?
I look forward to hearing from you in the comments section.