No, not COVID masks, emotional masks. Whether or not you acknowledge your masks, you most likely wear a few. When we’re in public most commonly we’ll mask how we’re feeling to maintain discretion. Some view masking as a skill set and others may view masking as being deceitful. It all comes down to intentions, the why of a mask. Are you hiding to protect others or yourself? Both perhaps.
Putting on a happy face is the more common mask, especially for those who struggle with mental illness. When every day can be sorrowful in depression it makes socializing more difficult. Pretending to be happy when you’re hurting is a method of survival coping to not burden the world with your personal struggles. This is also why some hurt souls take their own life while the world believes “they seemed happy” on the outside.
Society encourages masking, we are all expected to have our life together or deemed unfit. If you’re not working and socializing then something is wrong with you. While many take that view from a judgment perspective the truth is that something is wrong and help is needed, not judgment. Mental health is only more recently reaching mainstream medias and more are speaking candidly on their authentic struggles.
Myself included in this with writing these blogs to share my experiences. For most of my 20s I presented as a polite and mostly quiet young lady—who often cried myself to sleep. I could also be the life of a party, using my wit to joke around with acquaintances. All the while, hiding away my internal hurts (unhealed trauma) in an effort to protect others and my ‘reputation’. I didn’t want to be seen as pathetic or needing of others sympathy (cognitive therapy helps).
In truth, sympathy does not help us heal, empathy does. When we are hurting we find strength with those who understand our struggle and empathize with our pain. While sympathy is feeling sorry for someone and that can often feel more shameful than beneficial to betterment. That’s why removing the masks are important so that others -know- your authentic being and in return they’ll show you who they truly are.
When we remove our own mask(s) we begin to attune to our authentic being. Emotions are felt and expressed more genuinely. Even if others stay behind their masks, removing your own makes you aware of you in totality—no longer hiding behind façades. This will enable you to act in defense of your own well-being with confidence, to have a voice and not hide from adversities. You deserve to be seen and accepted as you are. There are souls who will see and accept you. Let go of those who make you feel you have to hide yourself to be acceptable. They’re holding you back from being you.
Be well, sweet souls. 💛
If you identify with the neurodivergent community, would appreciate an adult space with a focus on support and betterment, I’d like to invite you to check out my discord server! Where shame, blame and devaluation are discouraged while compassion and personal growth are encouraged. The server is designated mature (18+) and minors are promptly removed. Multiple categories allow Members to decide what sort of content they’d like to see from the server using selections in the #about-you channel after joining. You’re invited!