Take Off Your Mask And Show Me Your Soul.
Masks. We’re told they’re so very important.
We’re told to make ours well and keep it always in place. We have dozens of them, all ready to be called up to play their part but these facades, behind which we think we’re safe, are ultimately the most fragile thing about us, because they aren’t real. They’re the only things that break.
That’s right. You think you’ve been broken, don’t you? Maybe beyond repair — but it was only your shell. Only that is fragile enough to shatter. The beating, throbbing, bleeding life inside is not fragile.
The very fact that it hurts so much bears evidence to the indomitable aliveness of that heart of yours.
Hatching doesn’t hurt the chick. Sure, it is the end for the eggshell. But that wasn’t made to last long anyway. And though it may seem to the chick as though its world has ended in catastrophe, how else could it come into the sunlight?
You are not broken, lovely soul, you can’t be — facing obstacles, certainly — wondering what happened to the world that you knew. Confused and hurt, perhaps hopeless, holding the shards of your dreams but never have you yourself been anything but utterly, if unknowingly, whole.
Mirrors break, but the reflection remains whole. Masks fall away, to let the sun and wind and rain touch your face, as they used to. The sunshine is waiting, to catch your eye and make you smile.
When’s the last time you danced in the rain? Or winked back at a glittering night sky?
The masks may have been a coping mechanism, to help shield you from a confusing world, but ultimately they are a cage. They are there to corral that spark of exuberant life that just doesn’t quite meet society’s standards of acceptable. They separate you from the aliveness inherent in your own soul.
However, the door to this cage lies wide open; you can march through it any time but you’re afraid, aren’t you? What would you be without all the roles, the rules, the expectations? Why, that would leave just you out there!
Yes, just you. Raw and vulnerable without those thick encasing layers of half-truth, of past, of failure, of sparkly achievements, of the ego preening its trophies.
Without the gilt and glitter, will you still be valuable?
Yes. Because tucked inside those gilded mirrors lie the treasures you regard most. You hid them for safe-keeping, and it just never seems like the best time to dust them off. Right now I need this job, these friends, those accolades, that promotion, this veneer of success. Sigh. Maybe after the kids are grown, maybe once the economy improves…
Will you be afraid to unearth what has been so long forgotten?
Yes. Because you also locked away the shadows, the hard truths, the regrets, the guilt, the unknowns.
Yes, they will return in full fury when the box cracks open but they must. For they will not be kept captive for long. In the end, they must be befriended, for they are there to guard your priceless heart.
“You’re a diamond, dear. They can’t break you.”
Jessica Myscofski is passionate about photography, writing, travel, and discovering the beauty hidden in the mundane. She is recovering her voice from the grip of Asperger’s, and learning to love the journey. She lives with her family in northern Colorado. Visit her blog, or view her photos.