November 16, 2012

Removing the Masks

Photo Credit: Marco Michelini
It's OK to be not OK.

I don't always have to be "fine".

I can still be strong if I'm hurt.


I can't help anyone else until I make sure I am helping myself.

"Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help others or you will be useless."

If I numb the pain, ignore the pain, suppress the pain, I will not get better.

The pain may go away for now, but it will grow and cause even more problems.

The pain has to be seen-to, dealt with, talked about, administered to, healed - all of which may cause some more pain and discomfort but then...the wound will be soothed and tended and cared for and eventually fixed.

There may be scars or rough patches around that wound, it may be tender and easily hurt again, but with time, that initial pain will be gone for good.

I tend to bottle things up inside of me.
I don't show anyone how I really feel or how something has affected me.
Sometimes my mood can tell others how I'm feeling, but it won't tell them why.

I am a pro at wearing masks.
 - The mask of happiness.
 - The mask of support.
 - The mask of don't bother me.
 - The mask of annoyance.
 - The mask of being fine.
And many others.

Photo Credit: Stasi Albert
Some masks are worn to repel and some are worn to cover up.
Sometimes I am actually feeling the emotions that match with some of those masks, the mask fits the feelings.

However, most of the time the mask is covering up something bigger, something deeper, something that if I tore the mask off I fear it would erupt and ruin a relationship or moment or the perception of who I am.

I've recently realized that I have not dealt with a lot hurts, large and small, from my past.

Once thought of or talked about, issues and situations from long ago bubble up overwhelming emotions and hurts and pain.

I fear pain.
I get angry at pain.
I hate pain.

I hate feeling pain.
I hate dwelling on pain
I hate how weak pain makes me feel.

One of my favourite quotes, all too true -
"Fear is the path to the dark side.
Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hate leads to suffering."

I don't want to suffer anymore.

My body is telling me I'm not happy, that I'm just wearing the mask and pretending.
My heart is telling me I'm not happy, that I haven't really dealt with the pain of the past.
My masks are wearing thin since they are used too often. They are beginning to rip and tear and show that I am a fake, a fraud.
I can no longer ignore my body, my heart or my disintegrating cover-up.

I don't always have to be "fine".

I can still be strong if I'm hurt.

It's OK to be not OK.

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What masks are you wearing?

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