Life Behind The Mask

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.

88 thoughts on “Life Behind The Mask

  1. Great observations about our mask-wearing and our guarded ways with each other.
    I remember clearly making a choice to play the chameleon as a teenager to be ‘liked’ by others. Wearing a mask always felt fake and without meaning yet I arrogantly continued this role, feeling I was better than others because they were being ‘fooled’ by me. I was a pretty good actress and I became very good at wearing a multitude of masks in one day and being who I believed everyone else needed me to be in order to be accepted by them. Choosing to put on a ‘face’ each moment felt a bit like a rollercoaster ride that you choose to go on and know will make you feel sick and you want to get off mid-ride but its going so fast it feels like you are swept up and taken along regardless… I lived this way for many years before I was presented with another way and like you presented with love and equalness, no ‘attention’ but lovingly met for who I am. This changed everything for me and I chose to not only not get on ‘the ride’ again but to also get to know my true being behind the mask…. and in doing so began to put my true face forward.

  2. How beautifully and lovingly expressed Rachel! The masks are indeed endless and it is amazing at how quickly we can change from one mask to another, and how subtle and perfected we become at putting on these masks – I know this because I had perfected the mask thing myself – some more polished and sophisticated than others, including the ‘martyr mother’ mask, ‘I am better than you’ mask and the ‘controlling’ mask (I was pretty good with that one…). I realise now that all the masks I wore (which was most of the time) were to protect me, and to stop me feeling something (whether real or imagined, past or present, hurt or otherwise), – but that in essence, and as you have shared above, the masks not only stopped ME from feeling ME, but also kept everyone else shut off from feeling ME!
    When I first met Serge and began attending Universal Medicine presentations, I had the clear and loving experience of feeling ME (without a mask) – it wasn’t that Serge or any other practitioner removed the mask (because in truth it is only I who can drop this), but simply that they met me for who I am, and in that, allowed ‘me’ the opportunity and support to reconnect back to who I truly am.
    I am slowly and gently relearning to drop my masks, and not to hide behind them in my various relationships. It has been amazing to do this and to begin to feel more and more of ME (which there is more and more of, the more I let go), and also to allow others to feel more of ME (which in essence, is just them feeling more of themselves, because in truth we are all the same, regardless of gender, race, nationality, job status etc.). It is such a beautiful feeling of expansion to allow the true me out, and to allow others in, and has allowed me to have a broader awareness of humanity and true brotherhood.
    I feel your comment so beautifully describes this when you say “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.” Hear! Hear!

  3. You reveal much Rachel. I imagined a huge masquerade ball with hundreds of thousands of people with masks on, and each time they danced with others, they slyly changed their masks… except for one person. And gradually some began to remove their masks as they realised there was nothing to hide. Love from Batman, Phantom (of the opera) and Zorro!

  4. Oh, I can definitely relate to wearing many masks during my life, after reading this article, I can feel how the wearing of a mask, or using many masks is living a lie. This then is totally exhausting for our bodies as none of the masks are who we are, we are constantly calculating, manipulating, deceiving and judging what mask to wear depending on who we are with and what we are doing. It is an exhausting way to live. What fascinates me is that we then push, drive and force this way of living, living a lie, at all costs so that we do not have to know who we truly are. And yet, if as Rachel has done we can stop to let go of the lie and be ourselves we find life to be very simple. The constant effort that was sustaining the lie has been let go of and their is a new found freedom in living your life as who you truly are. The question is why are we so driven and fixated on living the lie? What is it about our true selves that we do not want to be with? Are we prepared to let go of all that we have created and put out in the world from behind the mask and live from the truest part of us, the deepest part of us, the loveliest part of us? Together, with Rachel, we can then show many others that it is ok to let go of the mask/s and just be you.

  5. Yes I get this completely. There are so many masks I have worn that have distorted how the world sees me and how I choose to see the world. It is amazing what happens when we start the process of removing these masks. How we are more open and thus more allowing means others can start to trust their true selves and start to peel away their masks. This is how the world starts to unite, by us all being more open and honest and being brave to start revealing the true person that has been hiding underneath the many, many layers.

  6. This explains my old ways of going about my life to perfection. I had disconnected from who I am deep inside and lived life wondering why things were as they were. How joyous to let go of these myriads of masks chosen for the situations we find ourselves and let the light of who we are to truly shine.

  7. Thank you Rachel, I love what you have written and have the same experiences.
    Before meeting Serge, I thought a lot of my masks were who I was, so I wouldn’t have called them masks and in fact was quite proud of some of them.
    As I became more real, what was not real got exposed and over time I have become aware of lots of ‘masks’ which I have been gradually letting go off. With each one that drops, I feel as if I become lighter and freer.
    Those moments were I have met or been met by others without a mask have been so joyous, that it inspires me to continue to become aware of and let go off all my remaining masks.

  8. Yes Rachel I can relate to living behind a mask, I have for years, ever so slowly the masks are indeed dropping , thank you for sharing.

  9. Rachel, thank you, this is a beautiful piece of writing, and yes, I recognise so much of what you say in me and in us all. Yes, it is definitely a work in progress, as we learn to feel the truth of who we are deep inside and to let that be seen and felt by ourselves and others. Sometimes there is confusion – is this my mask or is this the real me? It’s the feelings of discomfort in the body that give it away, when my throat hurts, or my voice goes croaky, I know I’m not expressing something fully, when my lower back hurts, I know I’m just trying to please, when my head hurts, I’m being too mental. Actually any kind of thinking tends to distort my body as it creates tension. When the true me emerges, there is a cheeky giggle that bubbles up, and a feeling of deep calm and ease. Thank you, Rachel, for your continuing inspiration, love, Carmel.

  10. Thank you Rachel, your writing is always simple and yet profound at the same time. I too am feeling the multiple masks I have worn, and gradually letting them go, and as I do I can also see the world more clearly.

    1. Thank you Rachel for an inspiring read, and yes Jane, I agree, it is amazing how much clearer the world and others become too. Its like I put a mask or veil over these as well to suit my needs.

  11. Let the unveiling begin and be a celebration to the return of who we are. Yes I am also surprised at just how many masks I have accumulated over the years, it is quite astounding, and all in the desire to hide what I deemed as unfit for others to see or know about. But when I finally do connect to my self there is nothing that requires to be hidden rather just a light to be shared, as I know all others are the equal and same light as me. It is so lovely you shared this Rachel, thank you.

  12. So very freeing, Rachel. Thank you. As with those who’ve commented above, I can absolutely relate. Particularly strong for me, have been masks that say “I’m ok – everything is fine”, and the closely associated, “mask of perfection”. What joy it is to allow these to drop away, and as you say, feel and connect simply to who I am – no need for pretence – and thus feel this love that’s ‘me’, meet the same in others, that they also, may have the opportunity to just be themselves. As Sally stated, it’s just so exhausting trying to be something we’re not! …such enormous energy & effort can go into masking something that never had anything wrong with it in the first place…

  13. Rachel. I used to hide behind the mask, so they no one could see the real me. Thanks to Serge Benhayon and universal medicine, I have learnt to drop the mask and show the real me to the world.
    Certainly was not an easy thing to do, but have enjoyed not having to wear it anymore.

  14. Thank you Rachel Hall, for a great sharing about masks that I also had in the past until I met Serge Benhayon. I lived a life where I was convinced that being the real true me would not be enough so there was no point even trying. The truth was I could not accept me in any way and this was my deep hurt. Step by step and with the support of Universal Medicine, I started to make real changes, deal with my hurts and begin to take care of myself. As you say at the end – to the best of your ability you choose to be the real you in this world now and I can say that I also live in this way and it’s not about being nice or perfect but just being real.

  15. Wow, such an amazing blog, one I can completely relate to. What reading this reminded me of was how easy it is to drop those masks and how I have had the experience of doing so during the Livingness workshops where we are partnered with sometimes complete strangers. When I open up, that allows others to do the same and drop their mask. Thank you for the simple reminder that the masks are not real, nor is the apparent struggle to let them go.

  16. Removing the mask can feel uncomfortable at first because …
    who am I behind all those roles?… and yet the mask binds us up in our own self made prison and robs us of sharing our true selves with others.
    It’s time to take off the masks, put down the weapons of destruction, protection and hardness and been seen as the beautiful person we truly are.

  17. A thoroughly insightful blog here Rachel – I have asked myself a similar question recently and that is “who was that women living my life before?” It certainly wasn’t me. So after reading your blog I am having a moment of deep appreciation for how far I’ve come, just how many masks I have removed since coming to Universal Medicine and the gorgeous woman I get to live with as the true me everyday.

  18. This was just beautiful to read Rachel. It is such an honest exposure of the chameleon and calibration games we play and the beauty that is revealed when they are let go.

  19. It was great to read your blog Rachel, and to reflect on the masks I have dropped, and how much lighter I now feel! Like you and the other bloggers here, I am so enjoying being me and bringing the whole me to everyone and everything I do, without trying, determination or judgement.

  20. Really awesome Rachel, we are all works in progress and to be living life behind a mask is so separating and lonely. I can feel the more I love and accept me the less I feel the need to hide behind a mask of what I feel others need or may want from me. While this is definitely an ongoing process, I can feel how freeing being and living the true me is, so the desire and pull to hide behind a mask becomes less everyday.

  21. Awesome article Rachel! I’m learning to shed my rotation of masks…sometimes it feels really uncomfortable, and other times it feels very true.

  22. Hiding behind masks is a reflection of a life that is segmented as a way to cope with it. It is about doing life as a strategist to avoid being hurt. Leaving the masks behind is about renouncing that way.

  23. Such a tender blog Rachel, which I loved re-reading again. This sentence struck me this time around: ‘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.’
    If we are being honest, how can we deny the truth of this? And then to feel how awful this really is. We go through life with a wall up towards ourselves and to those closest to us. No wonder there is such a sense of loneliness for many and depression and coping mechanisms that include alcohol abuse and drug-taking is rife. The masks we wear come with a price, as we sell out from what we long for more than anything — true intimacy and love with ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters.

  24. Its such a relief to come back to just being. I have found with each mask that is discarded comes with a deeper appreciation of my essense and that unique expression I bring. By wearing a mask I’m saying I’m not enough to just be me I have to choose a mask that you will find acceptable and I will align to that preconceived character and go into role play. Now if I am being honest with myself, I can’t pretend to be any one else and life becomes so simple and loving of my true self.

  25. Rachel so beautifully expressed, and you could have been writing about me. When we hide behind a mask, we are never our true selves, and when we are ourselves totally unmasked we offer another the opportunity to take their mask off too.

  26. Letting go of the phenomenal layers of masks we have created as a form of protection and solution to our past experiences and societies pressures and expectations is one of an ever evolving true freedom. Fabulous blog Rachel.

  27. Not only are the masks harmful to relationships but they are exhausting for the person wearing them – although it seems scary at first it is much less effort to be our true selves.

  28. Beautiful unveiling Rachel. Thank you for revealing the true face of interaction. To stand before one another in all we are rather than the made up version of how we think we’d like to be seen, makes for a rich and true connection that allows for so much more to be shared.

  29. Rachel that’s so true- everyone’s doing it so no one really realises there is a mask or a different way to be… This bit made me stop. ‘Relationships founded on a lie lacking in connection’ hard hitting fact there. Who are we meeting people with when we are wearing our mask- it’s not really us. I know that because I’ve worn a lot of masks with people I have felt like no one has known who I am. It’s no wonder since I wasn’t letting them. Great blog Rachel.

  30. This is very familiar. I had known about my mask-wearing habit before I encountered Universal Medicine, and tried to let them go and be the ‘real me’ – but not really knowing what that ‘real me’ was like in the first place, I didn’t get very far, I think I might have actually ended up with another new set of masks. With Universal Medicine I am learning joy and simplicity of reconnecting with my true self, and slowly but surely, leaning to let go of masks.

  31. Rachel, those masks you speak of are super familiar, I’ve had many, I now have much less and I’m learning each day to let go more. Your final comment struck me deeply, I still feel I have to put on a ‘good show’ and can hide when things don’t go well, yet reading this today I realised that showing me is showing all of me, and not just when things are going well. And actually when I’ve let myself just be and be seen, it’s very humbling and I connect more to myself and others. And of course it allows all to see that it’s possible to live this way.

    1. Same here Monica, there were many masks here and a lot of moulding and calibrating myself to be the “person” that others would love, accept and approve of, until I met Serge Benhayon. And yes to not only show all of me when things go well, but really share all of me, so no putting a mask on and off. For any hiding doesn’t allow me to connect to myself and keeps me separated from others, who can be hiding behind their masks.

      1. Yes Monika, I love that ‘any hiding doesn’t allow me to connect to myself’ – what I feel here is that we have to disconnect from us to hide, so that disconnection happens first and without it we could not hide, as when we hide we choose to put ourselves aside and decide instead to play some form of what we at that moment deem to be an ‘acceptable’ mask.

      2. Your highlighting that the first step is to disconnect from ourselves to be able to wear a mask also highlights to me the choice we have each and every time we do this. And how we either continue to make this choice and separate from ourselves, or choose to connect to ourselves.

  32. This is also very familiar to me. And hits me, recognizing once more, how deeply ingrained these protection behaviors are in me. Beautiful the moment you shared to have with Serge Benhayon and how the acceptance and love melted not only the mask(s) but every intention to wear one, in a moment. A moment of love within equality and stillness – no expectation. This makes me feel again the reasons why I choose to wear masks on the one hand, but let me feel at the same time, how important it is, to accept and love myself deeply, to let go of the masks, because I don’t expect it from the outside first. And as a beautiful possibility, and even more opening chance to be a true reflection to everyone else. I recently found out, that the person, and the way of expression, I was identified with to be, I am not at all! This is so strange and I am really like curious about how I truly am, how the exquisite delicate person I discover and reveal behind my mask(s) will further change my life and every interaction with anyone.

  33. I can see I have liked this blog in the past but I feel like I just read it for the first time. I remember working out which version of me everyone liked at school and then trying to remember which one of my many masks I had to wear around whom!! I think that is like multiple personality disorder but in a ‘please like me’ kind of way. It is so much simpler being me and trying to be aware if I am ever putting on another mask.

  34. Your blog is really touching me, because I can feel how I am still holding on some masks- how convienant that is, but not truly changing the relationships I am having. It is so known to keep that little something away from others and even me…

  35. Thank you for exposing the lies we live through all the masks we think we need to protect us, however the irony is, we aren’t protecting ourselves but hiding from who we truly are! “… all our relationships and interactions are then founded on a lie lacking in connection, which takes enormous energy to sustain.” Perhaps this is why there is so much exhaustion in our world today?

  36. All these masks only serve in “… moulding and calibrating ourselves to be the “person” that (we think) others will love, accept and approve of.” We become a ‘person’ rather than fully claiming and being the man or woman we truly are. I was great at presenting the ‘nice’ mask – friendly, polite, generous, supportive of others – but always with my own agenda to get recognition, approval and to feel worthy. An enormous amount of effort to create the illusion that ‘I’m ok’, however, we can all feel when someone isn’t being honest or true, so in reality – there is no mask needed!

  37. ”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.” Children express themselves so naturally – all their beauty and joy is obvious for all to see and feel, without hesitation or holding back anything of who they truly are. There is no mask, only an openness and freedom in their expression which can be clearly felt by others – some are inspired by this, and others react – maybe because they know they can be that too and are choosing something else – a mask perhaps?

  38. Those masks are a great protection.. but they come at a huge price to not feel our own fullness and loveliness and to not be able to let the world see who we truly are. This comes back to bite us I have found and bite us big time as the love and joy we truly seek comes from living and sharing this equally with all, never just for self.

  39. I could vie for the position of the Mask collector . But having connected with the Way of the Livingness and Serge Benhayon and family I realised that to wear a Mask or Masks no one knew who I was, not even myself. I am grateful for the chance to take them off and start to love the truth of who I am and share the same with all. Without trust and love what is life? Thank you Rachel.

    1. Great idea, Felix, to celebrate each day we let go of a mask. It certainly gives us a lot to celebrate with all the masks each of us have. And every mask that goes is a step closer to real connection and brotherhood.

  40. Thanks Rachel for such a relevant blog for practically everyone. You raise a great point when you said that you found that when you opened up about wearing masks, you found that others were doing the same. It is going on everywhere. What a sad reflection that us humans have gotten ourselves into this mess! The separation within and between us is happening on a massive scale. It has given me a jolt to realise how much responsibility I have to make sure I actively work on dropping my own masks so that what I am sharing with others highlights what life is like without having to keep up the ‘mask parade’ 24/7.

  41. ‘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.’ Rachel, what a beautiful blog, the love you feel for everyone, for humanity is palpable in every word you have written. The last paragraph I felt to repeat because with what you are saying here I feel every attempt to be perfect, a mask a lot of us are wearing, is blown away completely. Thank you Rachel for putting your masks aside.

  42. Rachel another brilliant blog, “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.” I loved what you expose here, I had thought I was wearing a mask for strangers those that I don’t really know, and now having deeply pondered on your suggestion, I truly see how I was hiding from everyone including myself.

    1. Love what you offer here, Sally. It all starts with hiding for and from ourselves and this is the key back as well. Like Rachel wrote:
      “it is only through true self-acceptance and love that we can come into full awareness of our own worth, beauty and power.”

  43. Rachel I love this sentence:
    “I realised that behind those external facades and masks we put on, we are in fact all the same.”
    Often we focus on the differences and what distinguishes us from the other, but underneath, in our essence we are all the same. We come from the same source and there is so much that unites us. With our desire to be loved as one of the biggest wishes we have.

    1. Exactly Monica, deep down we all have the desire to be loved, and yet we keep ourselves chained and trapped by all our forms of protection and all the masks we use to hide in order to feel safe, and/or to be left alone. But the only way to feel safe is to trust, drop the protection and let love in so that love can flow out.

  44. “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.” So true Rachel. As I peel off the layers of my masks, I am finding myself – the real me – that I have been underneath all along – returning to love.

  45. “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.” So many wise words in this article – thankyou Rachel.

  46. “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.”

    And there’s nothing more beautiful than being able to feel the essence of who we truly are which is the same for us all, equally.

  47. When we live behind a mask and look in the mirror we don’t see who we truly are and live with constant anxiety that the mask might slip. When we choose to take off the mask we can get to know who we are and can see others for who they are behind their chosen mask. Serge Benhayon has inspired me to stop playing the parts and just be me.

  48. This is beautiful Rachel, thank you for sharing. It is exposing to see that there are so many masks I have hidden, and still hide behind. But knowing this, and having the same experience of the Gentle Breathe Meditation I know the beautiful man that I am, and through living this more I am building a beautiful connection with me and in turn slowly but surely with others. It is exposing of the fact that we chose to run away from this inner beauty, and find it easier to hide behind our masks to not be hurt. It is a beautiful journey of unwrapping myself.

  49. “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.” That is what we all want and are searching for and as you say Rachel, we only can approach that from being without a mask ourselves first and live in that open and honest connection with everybody we meet.

  50. When I was 18 a friend of mine said that nobody was really themselves, everyone was pretending to be something they were not. I thought this was harsh but it made me aware of how we groom ourselves to present a fake or a certain face to the world, and even many different faces depending on who we are talking to. No wonder so many people are moody. I discovered that once I worked on being aware of how I do this, I was not as tired and I was certainly not as emotional. Now I present myself – hopefully – and it’s interesting that I don’t take things as personally as I used to.
    I enjoyed your blog Rachel. It’s an exposé of all of us, and a great journey for all of us.

  51. “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.” Rachel I only can agree as I observed that learning from a role model is the best thing ever and is it not how we all learn as our first role models were our parents? – Imagine they would not have any masks at all.

  52. There are so many personas/masks we can put on and so many that we don’t even see as false because they have become so familiar. It is such a relief to be able to be the true person I am. It is still a work in progress to recognise some of the masks I wear and to discard them because they have become unconscious. But through the connection with myself I am recognising the times when I go into something and feel that this connection is less, that’s when I know there has been a mask moment.

  53. Wearing many masks and constantly calibrating to be a version of who we really are is an exhausting game to play. Thanks for the reminder that it’s so simple to reconnect back. We’re only ever a movement or a breath away from being who we naturally are again. Once we remember to just breath gently, we’re right there, back with ourselves. No drama or complication, just a consistency of choosing to breath gently, and stay with that solidness and stillness we hold within.

  54. Beautiful perceptive blog and a simple clear message true connection with another starts with us being willing to let them see us without our masks as we are in any given moment and I love what you end with that we’re all works in progress so why not let ourselves be seen – the truth is there is no perfect static state we can ever reach so why not present it all now.

  55. I love all that you’ve shared here Rachel and I totally relate to the masks that we can wear in all sorts of situations. I completely melted! when you spoke about feeling like a swaddled up, new born baby, when you were met by someone who was not at all behind any mask and indeed Serge here was holding you in absolute equality wherever you were at. This is the gift of grace that we are all able to give each other when we wear no mask and present only the depth of our pure essence without any cover-up, this is a great responsibility that we have, because as you’ve said, until someone comes along without the mask we don’t receive the reflection that we are wearing one! and have all the choices in the world to keep dropping it off once and for all.

  56. When we live life from inside out, connected to our inner essence we can simply rest in the absolute beauty of being our true self.

  57. Pretending to be something we’re not, is a lie and takes so much effort. Much simpler to feel and connect to the true person that lies within and let others feel and see who you are.

  58. ‘We are afraid to speak our truth because we know it might be upsetting to someone else’. I recognise this old habit of mine to not speak my truth in fear of upsetting another, but what I came to understand was that by not speaking my truth, I hurt myself as the unexpressed millions of truths I held back remained stuck in my body which affected my movements and my ability to choose differently as such a strong momentum had gathered. This momentum of holding back my truth only got exposed when I started to attend workshops by Universal Medicine which gave me the awareness of how much I had been hurting myself.

  59. Life behind the mask and life without the mask are completely different and polar opposites. With the mask on there is disconnection from ourselves and all others, without the mask we can be open, vulnerable, authentic and able to trust and share ourselves and share our truth.

  60. I became aware of how my face ached in certain parts reading this blog…as it connected to the hardness and forced-ness it goes into when a mask is placed upon us And your description of meeting Serge was heart-meltingly gorgeous.

  61. Some truly great wisdom in your blog Rachel including “….it is only through true self-acceptance and love that we can come into full awareness of our own worth, beauty and power.” This really highlights the futility of seeking approval or “love” from others by wearing a mask and not being ourselves, because it’s in our relationship with ourselves and our own self love and self acceptance that we truly get from within what we incorrectly seek from others and the outside world.

  62. I can feel why life can be so complicated and exhausting. I know for myself, even just saying ‘no’ to something, sometimes I feel like I have to justify that and as a result I may end up saying ‘yes’ because I don’t want to appear to be rejecting, or I doubt my response and judge it as reaction, and it just feels too complicated even just thinking about it. There’s clarity and simplicity in just letting ourselves be.

  63. I had a very full wardrobe of masks for many different occasions and life situations, but to now feel how different it is to be seen in full, real and honest out in the world, it is pretty awesome. Being open and allowing our vulnerability to show also allows others to feel that and see that they too can take off their masks. It creates a beautiful space for connections to be made and enjoyed.

  64. How lost must we be to think that life is only as it is and that there is only one version of who we are in all we do? There can never be, for there is a side of all of us that is not of our truth just as there is a side that is pure love, the natural essense of all of us.

  65. In my experience it takes an great deal of energy to maintain the masks and roles we take on or play in life. In comparison the more I just allow myself to be me the less I feel drained and more vital in life.

  66. A beautiful sharing and I particularly like the last paragraph. So true, we are all learning and this needs to happen in the open so we can learn with and from each other.

  67. With a bit of understanding of where these mask are coming might be helpful. As we live in world that mostly appreciates only the doing, and not our true essence, with all its beauty, love and power, it is not strange that we develop these new masks to get around in life.

  68. We are indeed all guilty of learning to hide our insecurities behind a series of facades depending on the person or circumstances… lying not only to others but to ourselves. It is beautiful to come to a place where you have healed so much and appreciate yourself and your worth that you are prepared to let the world see that, warts and all, no masks required.

  69. I can totally relate Rachel, as I lived my life so identified with the mask I presented to the world that I did not at first knew who I am when I was asked to stop and feel the real me, it took some time of reconnecting to get a sense of what is me and what is not me in this array of masks.

  70. The more we accept who we are and what we are capable of the more we will be given. It is the latter responsibility and living that in full that we attest and avoid. It is a matter of accepting there is more otherwise we place that suitable familiar mask on. It is one or the other.

  71. “When we look to others to give us love and approval, we have lost awareness of our own self-love and self-acceptance.”
    This is a teaching that needs to be widely shared and fostered in our lives. We ourselves need to learn it, practice it, live it and share it with coming generations.

  72. People wear so many masks that they end up almost forgetting who the ‘true me’ is, I can relate with that, ‘we are moulding and calibrating ourselves to be the “person” that others will love, accept and approve of.’ and ‘When we look to others to give us love and approval, we have lost awareness of our own self-love and self-acceptance.’ I too am choosing to be my true self and let go of all these masks.

  73. Learning the depth of love that is required to be fully open and to love another is very humbling. Each of us cannot do so until we hold ourselves with the love and grace of God.

  74. “it is only through true self-acceptance and love that we can come into full awareness of our own worth, beauty and power.” A beautiful and powerful unmasking of the truth.

  75. We learn to always apply ourselves to the given situation and fulfil our role but as you describe it is a mask we put on over our real self and with that nobody really gets to know us, and so do we lose our sense of what it means to be true to ourself.

  76. It is no wonder there is so much misery in relationships when we realise that we live behind a mask. A lonely and desolate place to be, yet this is what we choose for ourselves on a daily basis even though it is clearly not working.

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