Masquerade, a party full of mystery where participants dress in extravagant costumes and wear masks to hide their true identity. While masks may be fun at parties, wearing masks during everyday life is unhealthy psychologically, socially, and spiritually and can cause us to be distant, lacking true relationships with friends, family, and God.
We may not be wearing physical masks during our daily routines, but many of us hide behind a different kind of disguise, what some professional counselors call “the false self” or “false identity.” We often don’t think others will like the person we truly are so we present ourselves in a way that we think others will approve of. With the increased use of social media we see an even greater use of “the false self.” Through consumption of social media, Hollywood movies, fashion magazines etc. we are filled with so many false ideas of what it means to be a woman or a man in our society/culture. We compare ourselves with the unrealistic images portrayed in the media and we always fall short, not pretty enough, wealthy enough, smart enough, etc. Ultimately, telling ourselves “I am not good enough”; therefore, I must present myself in another way in order to be liked and avoid rejection or pain.
We do not all wear the same masks. Some of us wear a happy mask, but internally we are tore up, struggling with depression, anxiety, drug addiction, or marital problems. Many of us use sarcasm or humor to prevent our relationships from moving past a superficial level because we are afraid of rejection. Likewise. Some of us wear a mask of anger due to the fear of abandonment or rejection. Some of us have worn these masks for so long and aren’t even aware of it. Because of our past experiences, we find a need to hide the true US from everyone else. Somewhere along the line we learned that if we express or expose our true self we will be rejected or come up short, feeling not good enough.
We wear these masks for good reasons-protection; protection from judgment, criticism, or further hurt from others. You see these masks hide our wounds and our brokenness and perpetuate the lie- I’m good, I’ve got it all together, my marriage is fine, we have the perfect family, my life is picture perfect, I don’t need anyone, I’m strong in my faith, etc. They also prevent us from experiencing true intimacy and genuine relationships.
When we wear masks we do not allow our true selves to be exposed, we distance ourselves from our friends, family, and from God. Intimacy requires vulnerability and transparency; neither of which can be experienced while wearing a mask. If we are going to experience God’s best for us through our relationships then we are going to have to take risks and put ourselves out there. Take risks with a safe person, someone you trust such as a family member, friend, or professional counselor. Take your masks off and let the real you stand up and experience God’s best for you through the relationships He has given you.
If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, anger, addiction, and/or broken relationships healing is possible. However, hiding behind your masks doesn’t help you in anyway it only perpetuates the lie and prevents you from experiencing God’s best for you. If you need help to move forward and take the masks off please call us at 907-385-2165 or visit our website at healinghousecounseling.net
HEALING IS POSSIBLE!