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

    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
    But dared not Mask
    And then--
    I blundered,
    Looked behind the mask,
    To find
    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.