Friday, October 22, 2010

Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Challenge | Day 12 | The Masks We Wear

Halloween is just around the corner, so what better time to talk about masks?

I vividly remember a scene from the movie "The Mask," starring Jim Carey and Cameron Diaz. Jim Carey's character, Stanley Ipkiss,seeks help from an expert when he comes across a mask that transforms him into an entirely different person.

We later hear the professional say, "We all wear masks - metaphorically speaking." 

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and the Chopra Center's 21-Day Meditation Challenge is eerily in tempo with my own personal journey and experiences.

Tonight, Day 12, davidji discussed how exhausting it can be when the ego takes over and we wear a different mask at home, a different mask at work, another with our family, another with good friends...

Now, it is good common sense to acknowledge and honor social norms and etiquette, i.e., you probably wouldn't be as candid and open with your new love interest's family as you would with your sister (though maybe that would come over time).

But what if all of this mask wearing caused you to feel inauthentic and as if you don't know who YOU really are? What if you feel like you've created a life where you wear a different mask everywhere you go in order to become a chameleon and a people pleaser?

As a survival skill, having been a child who grew up in a very abusive home environment, I learned at an early age to read people and then adjust my behavior and thoughts to what I thought would please them. This was especially true when I was with my father.  I never knew if it was 'happy-go-lucky' Daddy who was coming home or the nightmare on wheels. Unfortunately, it was all too often the latter.  I learned how to behave by walking on eggshells and living in fear.

It was only recently that I began to 'wake up' to the realization that I've carried this behavior into adulthood, and I am now in the place of wanting to truly connect with who I really am at the core.  

I am asking, 'Who am I?'  

I desperately want to live authentically but am not clear what that means. Who am I?  This weekend I am going to work on an art project that allows me to explore this more in depth. This is going to be a major process.  But a worthwhile one, I am sure.

May you know yourself, and may you know peace.  May the pieces of you that are real, whole, healthy, and true reveal themselves to you as you discover who you really are.

Debbie aka Sulilo

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