When I first came upon this lovely cactus family they were all just standing tall and straight enjoying the beautiful sun. Yesterday was a completely different story. As Courtney and I walked by I had to laugh because now it seemed as though this family was in “hiding.” It reminded me of the old black and white comedies where if someone wanted to be in a disguise they put on a big old groucho marx mustache or donned a toupe. So even though this cactus family looked different, they were still essentially the same as before, just with a new accessory!
Of course, like I usually tend to do, I brought forth this story in my journal. It made me think to myself who am I really. I think as people, we usually wear so many different masks and disguises. Who really knows us? And for that matter, do we really know ourselves? Do we take the time to explore and examine who we really are? What are those things that make our souls sing?
Most people are surprised to hear that I am really shy. It doesn’t bother me to speak before large crowds or to teach my workshops all over, but in a small group I am shy. I can remember when I was a freshman in high school and I was trying out for the cheerleading squad. I can remember thinking I hope I make it because then I won’t be shy anymore. In a sense, this was a bit true, because when I was in my uniform, I wasn’t shy. I cheered through high school and even cheered in college and I was a different person when I was “on”.
Have you ever examined the masks you wear? Who do you allow to get to really know you? As I have written about before I have my “tribe” that knows me. They have seen me at my best and at my worst. One of the gifts of having my tribe is that we don’t have to wear masks with each other, we can say whatever is on our minds without judgement from anyone. One of the gifts we can give ourselves is to get rid of the masks and costumes of our lives and to really be authentic with first ourselves and then with everybody we associate with. I no longer worry what other people think of me, I am just content to be me.
Today in your journal examine the periods of your life when you felt more comfortable wearing a “mask”. Do you think you still wear a mask? What do you look like when you are being authentic? What would we see if we could see the real you?