Everyone is wearing a mask these days.
And for good reason. People are afraid. They don’t want to get sick.
As I walked through the grocery store the other day, it struck me how strange it was to witness all the people wearing masks on their faces. In that moment, I felt like I was living in a movie.
And then I was reminded, that’s exactly what’s happening. We’re living in a movie. And we are the protagonist in our own personal documentaries. Every single one of us — 7.5 billion different movies playing all at once.
You’ve got your main plot, back story, coming-of-age reel, antagonists, extras, melodramas, whodunit moments, cliffhangers, plot twists, flashbacks, foreshadowing, jump cuts, satire and climaxes … and then it’s a wrap.
Our experiences are incredibly personal. They are derived from our own unique perspectives. No person sees the world in exactly the same way.
This is so life can know itself. But we are socialized from birth to adopt the perspectives of the people around us and we largely fulfill those expectations.
In that moment in the grocery store, it occurred to me that we are all wearing masks most of the time, and have done so our entire lives.
Except these particular masks I’m referring to are not so obvious. They are essentially invisible, just like the virus that has shut the world down.
What is this mask and how was it created?
During childhood, the talents, gifts and abilities we were born with were still maturing, which left us essentially powerless in a world full of expectations.
To compensate, we designed a very special mask that we could wear for protection. We wore the mask so often that we broke it in quite nicely and got really comfortable wearing it. Eventually, we forgot to take it off.
This mask is made up of defense mechanisms. We design our defense mechanisms at a very young age to achieve safety and security in the world as we know it — and the mask dictates how we show up.
The mask represents the characters we play.
The mask is what we wear when it doesn’t feel safe to be ourselves.
Defense mechanisms do not operate with logic; they exist in the emotional right brain and hijack the unconscious mind, where thoughts become fear-based and irrational.
Some of us have been hiding in the shadow of our defense mechanisms for so long, we are unaware that our core self has long been buried underneath layers of social conditioning.
This causes abandonment of the core self and our superpowers (aka the unique talents, gifts and abilities we were born with).
The purpose of the mask is to protect you.
The mask is an effective coping mechanism.
Your mask has sometimes been incredibly helpful at times when you needed to move through a painful situation, and maybe you have often worn it to help you achieve success.
It has most likely given you the fortitude to plow through life’s challenges and it may have seemed to protect you during times of stress.
The mask is also excellent at reactionary problem solving, but it only offers Band-Aid solutions. One quick fix simply creates other hurdles to overcome and does not allow you to achieve true peace and fulfillment.
The personal life “story” we identify with is often derived from the false beliefs that wearing the mask has created.
The mask makes life unnecessarily difficult.
Do you believe the storyline that life is hard? If so, you do because it is true — life IS hard with the mask.
Operating through the mask instead of your superpowers is like climbing barefoot over a mountain of glass while carrying a 100-pound weight on your back – when you could have instead bypassed the mountain altogether and taken the soft, cool grassy path, with a wheelbarrow at your disposal.
The mask is a heavy load to carry, but usually, we are not aware that we are carrying anything, because we have forgotten any other way of being.
The mask affects the choices we make in every aspect of our lives — it dictates the systems we adopt, the careers we choose and the types of relationships we keep.
We are taught to play it safe, get a “good” job (that has nothing to do with our natural abilities) get the spouse, the house, the car, the kids, the money, and only then will you achieve happiness.
What happens when you collect all of this and still feel miserable? You tend to blame external people, situations and events for your unhappiness, like your spouse, your boss, your terrible job, your overbooked schedule — but the real issue is that you are denying your authentic self what it wants because you are living the life you were told would make you happy.
Achieving life goals for the sake of the mask’s persona is a fear-based way of living and provides only short-term satisfaction.
The social systems that are currently in place are not designed for self-awareness. They are not designed to support you in discovering and living into your life’s purpose.
Instead, it is designed to create a herd mentality — to groom working slaves to support systems that are designed to only support themselves.
The mask perpetuates victimhood.
The mask also allows us to shift responsibility onto the external world (people, places and things) rather than owning our power and taking responsibility for what is happening in our lives.
Perhaps the most debilitating aspect is the negative impact it can create in relationships with the people we care about the most. Reactionary decision-making is the biggest cause of regret — but only if we’re willing to take responsibility for our decisions.
The mask makes it difficult to take responsibility for our circumstances. Through the lens of the mask, we tend to see our external experiences as separate from us.
Yet, we attract every single experience in our reality.
Our storyline is dictated by us, yet we still search outside of ourselves for our happily-ever-after. It is only when you become consciously aware of this fact that you can choose something different.
We are the choreographers, directors and producers of our own experience, and it’s our responsibility to make edits as needed.
While collective cultural illness and illusive happiness may be the accepted norm in our society, you do not have to accept that life for yourself. You can rewrite your story at any time.
What will be your final cut? How will your closing credits read?
Will you choose to live out the patterns of your defense mechanism for your entire life, or will you take off the mask and choose a life of purpose?
How do we live on purpose?
We learn about ourselves. We get uncomfortable. We grow.
Because of the mask, our innate gifts can feel obscure. Perhaps you have experienced glimpses of your unique gifts only to watch them slip away as you move in and out of the character created by your defense mechanisms.
Becoming familiar with the intricacies of your core self (understanding your talents, gifts and abilities) helps to build the inner resiliency necessary to become unbreakable in your authenticity.
We cannot know how the life circumstances we have endured thus far and will endure in the future will help grow us – we cannot immediately see how these experiences are helping us move closer to accessing our authenticity and living through the lens of the core self.
The confidence you receive from operating within your highest function of the core self allows you to access vulnerability and not be afraid of what you find.
Practicing vulnerability is a practice in self-awareness and self-acceptance. In order to live an authentic existence, you must allow yourself to get vulnerable.
This is the only way you will get to know yourself and your true desires.
But first, you must shed the mask. How, you ask? You can begin the process by questioning everything.
You have this one life as YOU. And you are a divine expression of source consciousness. You were designed perfectly.
You owe it to yourself to show up authentically. It’s the only way to step into your purpose — which is where everyone’s happy place resides.
Are you ready to shed the mask and step into your true life’s purpose?
Love and light,