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The Masks We Wear

Vulnerability. Not my strongest skill, and certainly not a word people would use to describe me.

or would they?

I tend to be deeply contemplative, always looking inwards to see how I continue to walk this path of life. Sometimes that contemplation leads to observing ourselves a bit differently. As a Cosmic Smashbook Guide, I often do this through the Smashbook process, and in one of my many Smashbooks. As a guide who periodically leads our Friday Smash Bashes, I often bring these topics to that community.

The last one I led was around the masks that we wear. What we show to others, perhaps what we do not show to others, and why we make those choices? Sometimes we wear masks, or an avatar, in order to do hard things or push ourselves out of our comfort zone into our growing edge. Sometimes we wear these masks to hide, or to fit in. Sometimes we let a bit of that which we hide eek out, bleed through.

The inquiry was to draw two masks; on the left, what we show to others and on the right, what only we see. It is an interesting exercise to be outside ourselves looking in. What do we show to others? What do they see?

Are we not able to see and receive the goodness others see in us?

And....what is our inside view....what do we hide from others? our vulnerability, our sadness, our fears, our sense of inadequacy or unworthiness? In this exercise I am keenly aware of how I do not always allow myself to feel all the feelings. Even though I left my long career almost 9 months ago, I am still processing that loss, of who I was for most of my life, of that identity. While I am excited for what I am building, processing the transition continues.

I found myself emotional during this exercise, acknowledging that I do not give myself credit and often my self talk is not what is should be. I have worked a lot on self awareness during my life, my reactions, my feelings, my emotions.

When people look at me, what do they see? When I look inside, what do I see? How do I get closer to marrying the two? As I painted, I brought some of the purple from the right page, what I see, into my outside mask....what of who I am can I bring into what I show others? and, what of how I think others see me, can I see, and own?

Such is the creative power of cosmic smashbooking. What began as (I thought) a simple question, became a powerful exercise in deep awareness. A rabbit hole I love to live in!

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