A while back I decided to wear my hair curly. I have natural curly hair and have hidden behind straight hair for sooo many years. Too many to even count. That day, I had an acquaintance greet me with, “Oh my gosh, I did not even recognize you! I never knew you had curly hair.”
Another time I was challenged to change my toenail polish. I have worn, for a couple of centuries, a darker shade of polish. Yes, it is almost black and I. Love. Every. Thing. About. It. So…when I was challenged I agreed to test myself. And guess what? I. HATED. EVERY. MINUTE. OF. THE. OTHER. COLOR. Oh my golly……I thought I would leap from my own skin and climb a tall building. Seriously, it was the worst feeling.
These little escapades got me heart’n the other day.
Who are we? Why do we hide behind our masks?
My curly hair? I hate it. It has always inspired a feeling of ickyness. I think it all started when I was younger and wanting to fit in…be like other girls…that peer struggle to belong. Awe. YES!! It was about belonging. I wanted so desperately to be in the mix that I sacrificed who I was along the way.
Dr. Brene Brown describes true belonging as “presenting our authentic, imperfect selves to the world. Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
Okay…that is one to grip ya’ hard in the heart! Right?
For one. Who wants to be imperfect? Nobody. And yet the big fat humungous truth is that we already are imperfect.
So, why do we fight so hard to be perfect.
It is for love.
We want to feel love, be loved, be seen and be heard. These are the fundamental yearnings of our human heart. We want to be accepted, liked, and confirmed for who we are. We want those invitations to the social gatherings, the intimate coffee talks, the secrets, and the bold moves. We want ALL of these gifts from other people.
That’s a pretty big risk to give all of our needs, desires and wants for FULL-fillment to another person. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done. And most of us find the right people to offer up these wants and desires to us. They become our tribe, our peeps, our family.
The ball and chain to this type of commitment to another is that we become sucked into the vortex of the should-ofs. I should be doing this….. I should of done this…..
AND in the midst of that reasoning we have clothed our SELF in the ever-not-changing mask of no self-acceptance of our own person, our own heart, our own listening, our own voice, and our own mind. In essence, we give ourselves away for the global effort of fitting in, belonging, the image and the comfort of being a part and having others around us.
Dr. Brene Brown’s newest research adds another layer to the truth of true belonging and that is this notion that, “being ourselves means sometimes having the courage to stand alone, totally alone.”
We, as humans, moms, parents, have allowed ourselves to completely give up the rights to us in the sake of belonging and fitting in. And, in doing so, we have not ever wanted to stand alone. It would be unheard of; what would others think; and so on…
The real truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is our children NEED us to stand alone in the totality for who we are because it optimizes the possibility, the freaking unlimited possibility, they will see it, hear it, and believe it, AND have the courage themselves to stand alone. Standing alone is not about being lonely on a Friday night or not getting invited to a social event (although these may have to happen in the short term); standing alone is about honoring, loving, and accepting who YOU are.
That nail polish challenge? I eventually went back to my oh so awesome color of Lincoln Park After Dark by OPI. Why? Because I loved everything about it. It was me and still is me. And I noticed each time I have ever tried to sway to another color, it felt very strange, like an out of body experience. And that was my truth.
When you are in a situation that feels like an out of body movement, THAT is your signal to YOU that you are out of alignment and not belonging to your SELF. In those moments, you will not be able to drag joy to the front row of your life. In those moments, you will only be swishing through the puddle of other people’s motives and intentions, AND it will not serve your highest potential. These are the moments when you will notice the aches and pains of life.
I found this piece of wisdom the other day….
“We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.” -Andre’ Berthiaume
In our expansive world, there are situations that call for a mask of some sort. We must play a role for a brief period. I find myself doing this when I must attend an event and I am fully aware of my surroundings. In the likelihood for survival, I camouflage my very existence and play it out. In these moments, my intention sets me free to honor a short derivative of time, in order for my overall peace. Masking is not all bad. It is very important that you are aware of the mask you put on so that you can instantly remove it.
Too often we get lost in the distraction of who we are and find ourselves wearing masks all the time. Looking in the mirror of our life finds us completely unrecognizable. AND…the danger is that you will have to remove a bit of who you are (your precious beautiful self) in order to get the entire mask off.
This means, in the midst of awakening to who we are, we may have to lose a bit of our self in the process.
I invite you to come as you are to your own life.
Get in tune with you. Go have coffee and sit with yourself.
Honey, you are great! you are spectacular! you are amazing!
Believe that and honor that!!
For this Halloween, take your mask off! Be you. Be ALL of you with your perfectly imperfect imperfections (say that 3 times fast…..). It will be the sweetest thing around!!