by Rachel Hall, Brisbane, Australia
I was looking back at my life, reflecting on the person I used to be only a few years ago, when it struck me that I didn’t even recognise myself or know who that person was. It was as if that person living my life was someone impersonating me, putting up a very credible performance that would have even the most astute acting critic well and truly fooled. But why was that? How could it be? – that person obviously was me, but somehow was not the person I recognise as and relate to the me I am today.
I realised that I have hidden myself behind a series of different masks worn to suit each role, act, relationship and mood that I felt would protect me, make me liked, give me confidence and cover up the fact that I was anxious and insecure and out of my depth.
So no wonder when I looked back I couldn’t recognise myself if, for most of my life, I had been presenting a fraudulent version of myself so as to fit in and appear like I had my act together.
I would imagine most people can relate to living this way, hiding behind a mask so that the real you never comes out and doesn’t have to risk rejection or being hurt. We are afraid to speak our truth because we know it might be upsetting to someone else. We pretend to be confident when deep inside we feel insecure and unsure. We speak and act differently around certain people to gain their approval and acceptance. And the irony is that all our relationships and interactions are then founded on a lie lacking in connection, which takes enormous energy to sustain. This keeps us from experiencing fulfillment in relationships or creating the success we’re looking for in life, and we end up living in a state of internal flux. By wearing these masks we can’t possibly be ourself, because we are moulding and calibrating ourselves to be the “person” that others will love, accept and approve of.
When we look to others to give us love and approval, we have lost awareness of our own self-love and self-acceptance. Wearing a mask, or presenting a ‘contrived version’ of ourself to gain approval from others keeps us in a state of internal struggle. And even when we ‘get’ the approval we think we’re looking for, it’s never enough. Because it is only through true self-acceptance and love that we can come into full awareness of our own worth, beauty and power.
We use our masks to hide from the ones we love, the ones who love us and ultimately ourselves… till we no longer know who we truly are.
We live knowing that others do not fully know and understand us and that they never can, because they are ‘out there’ behind their mask, and we are ‘in here’ behind our own.
This perception creates a sense of separation and disconnection between us.
Achieving a true connection with ourselves and each other requires a willingness to unveil ourselves by removing the masks we wear, and fostering the ability to know who we really are without all the charades.
But how do we go about achieving this moment of unveiling, how do we discard the masks?
For me this process began when I attended my first workshop with Universal Medicine where, through some simple exercises, I realised that I could simply breathe gently, connect to myself and feel who I was deep inside, right at the very heart of my being. I was able to feel the essence of who I am. Something that was so natural and innately there, the something I had been missing and searching for my whole life – ME, the true me.
I found I could also connect to this same essence that I had in me, in another. What I experienced is that no matter who I connected to in the exercises, they felt just like me! I realised that behind those external facades and masks we put on, we are in fact all the same.
A few months after this workshop I had my first individual session with Serge Benhayon. I had a whole list of questions to ask him, had calculated how I was going to present myself, and even though by now I had fewer masks, which mask I would be wearing.
However, all that flew straight out the window the second I sat down and Serge looked me in the eyes. What I mean by that is – he really looked at me and saw me for who I was with no judgment, need or pretence of his own – he just sat there totally open and connected to me. I had never met anyone like this before, who simply let me be and connected to the real me with no agenda and no mask of their own. In that moment my mask dissolved and I was left simply as me, totally speechless and humbled, not feeling uncomfortable or exposed, but feeling all of who I was. A most beautiful moment where I felt totally safe and held by love, as if I were a newborn baby wrapped up in the warmth of a swaddling blanket.
How amazing would our lives be if we all stopped wearing our masks, presented our real self and chose to connect to people in this way. Others would then through us experience what I and many others like me have via our interactions with Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon and the Benhayon family, who are consistently this way with every person they encounter.
To truly connect with ourself and others, I have come to understand that we must be willing to unveil our true selves and let ourselves and others encounter the beauty and joy that is our TRUE SELF, so they in turn can feel this in them.
The process of letting go of my masks is ongoing … it is astounding how many we wear, and the extent of our chameleon-like abilities seems boundless. But the more I am willing to be me and not hide my true self, the easier it becomes, and the more true connections I make with others. If no-one had allowed me to see and feel that the masks that we wear aren’t necessary, I wonder what fake version of myself would be living my life today. These days the only mask I consciously wear is the protective face mask required for my job in the healthcare sector, and it feels incredible knowing that to the best of my ability I am presenting the real me in all that I do.
We are works in progress, and that progress needs to be shown for what it is and not hidden behind some mask – otherwise no one will ever know that life can be different, and that life need not be lived behind the mask.