Came across this poem while reading Nonviolent Communication for a book club at work. Great book, by the way.
Always a Mask Held in the slim hand whitely Always she had a mask before her face-- Truly the wrist Holding it lightly Fitted the task: Sometimes however Was there a shiver, Fingertip quiver, Ever so slightly-- Holding the mask? For years and years and years I wondered But dared not Mask And then-- I blundered, Looked behind the mask, To find Nothing-- She had no face. She had become Merely a hand Holding a mask With grace. -- Author unknown
Things are better if we can be honest and open about who we are, to ourselves and others. Often I can’t get over the notion that people close to me are performing – holding a mask. That they are trying hard to behave in the way their identity, friends or significant-other expect. It gets even worse when religion is involved.
Ladies and gents, be you. Find yourself. If you tend towards free-spiritedness, don’t let Christianity squelch that. Don’t let your paranoid hermit husband prevent you from getting out. Consider who you truly are. Who you were. Who you want to be. Whether you’ve gradually adopted your spouse’s identity and hangups. Be you.
Finding oneself can be hard. A lifelong effort even.