Taking off the masks

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. ~ James Baldwin

“You have quality relationships.”

This is the second of my five Well Loved Woman Principles. So many of us have a lot of “relationships,” but when it comes to the quality of them … well, that is a different story.

As I set out to create only quality relationships in my life several years ago, I quickly learned that the first thing I needed to do was to take off the masks I was wearing (and there were several!).

You see, the thing about masks is we don’t often know we’re wearing one until someone – or something (love) – encourages us to remove it.

And when it’s gone … wow!

I was so afraid to live without my masks (my desire to appear perfect, not saying when I was hurt, not telling people I loved them, etc.), but at the same time, I was too close to the situation to see how suffocating those masks were.

We can exist for years – decades – behind these stifling masks, never realizing how much better it feels without them.

I will be the first to admit that it takes a lot of focused energy to change how you present yourself in relationships, but it takes so much more energy to maintain the charade of living of a small, insulated life behind the masks. It’s a bit of a paradox: I fear people won’t love me without these masks in place, but the people I love can’t actually love the real me if I keep them on.

Here’s what you learn when you risk taking it off.

You see that you were not alive behind the mask-it was smothering your vitality. When it’s gone, a whole new you can emerge. A new you with desires, passions, and the refreshing power of having preferences. A new you who wants to live a rich and passionate life … not an existence trapped in the false perfection of a tight mask, but a life that is bare-faced, real, and open. Ready, truthful, and fully breathing in the oxygen of the world. A new you who is ready to embrace the beautiful possibility of quality relationships that are honest, whole, and complete.

So… will it be masks on, or masks off?

If you’re ready to begin, here’s your first step.

Think of one place in which you’re wearing a mask in a relationship (not saying something you want to say, pretending that something your spouse said didn’t hurt you, not calling a friend after a misunderstanding, or hiding an aspect of your personality).

If you could remove that mask, what’s one thing you would do/say/express differently with that person right now?

Start there, but don’t stop.

Posted on October 9, 2015 at 9:47 am

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Categories: Human Design, Relationships, Well Loved Woman, Who Could You Be
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