The Masks We Wear with Christina Blake
By Kim Dietrich, kimdietrich.ca
On a recent episode of her radio show Conversations with Christina, host Christina Blake looked at how many of us wear masks – or pretend to be someone we’re not – as a form of self-protection. Sharing memories from her past, Christina illustrates how the practice can be harmful in the long run. She asserts that we owe it to ourselves to drop our masks and live the most truthful version of ourselves. Ultimately, Christina extends a heartfelt message of hope to listeners who may be facing struggles similar to those that she overcame.
Why We Wear Masks
Society tells us what our lives should look like. Our magazines and social media feeds tell us how much we should weigh, how we should style our hair and makeup and what clothes we should wear. In classrooms and board rooms the benchmarks for educational and professional success are high. We go through life being told that we are worthy ONLY if we look like this or achieve that.
The problem is, not all of us measure up. For whatever reason – whatever difficult circumstances we’ve been through, or whatever hand life has dealt us – we may not ‘measure up’. Those of us who have bought into the lie of what our life must look like are then left wondering “what good am I”? That can unfortunately have us turn to wearing masks out of a sense of self-protection; If I don’t think I am good enough, I won’t let you see who I really am, because you will judge and reject me in the process. And while masks may succeed in protecting us for a time, they ultimately cause harm because in separating from our real identity, we can end up losing ourselves altogether.
Scores of people walk around feeling like imposters as a result of buying into this unhealthy system of values. Christina shares painful memories of being molested as child, raised in an abusive, dysfunctional family, and having to cope with death of her mother at a young age. Her traumatic circumstances led to her living constantly in self-protective mode. Feeling broken and unworthy, she worked hard to hide her true self. The more her real self became suppressed, the more lost she became. When she looked in the mirror it didn’t reflect what she felt inside. After years of wearing masks she no longer knew who she was.
Why It’s Time to Take Off Our Masks
Christina explains that one of our greatest fears is that we’ll show our real selves to the world and be rejected. Her response? (in the words of Oscar Wilde), “Be yourself, everyone else is taken”. We need to embrace our true selves, she says, adding “God tells me that I am a masterpiece”. In the encouraging tone of someone who has travelled the journey of personal rediscovery, she drives home the importance of taking off your mask and being true to yourself. There is no one else on this earth who has your unique set of experiences, traits and abilities. Each of us is valuable for our own contribution to the world – we are all worthy. Only when we stop clinging to our masks and let ourselves be truly known will we be able to live fully and truthfully. To find true happiness, we need to let go of our mask.
The Pain and Reward of Taking Off the Mask
You first need to get to the root of why you’re wearing a mask so you can deal with those issues. Only then can you move towards rediscovering yourself. Having gone through the process of healing and self-discovery herself, she acknowledges that it isn’t an easy process. Having initially decided to write a book as part of her healing, she found herself doing everything possible to get someone else to do the work. Only when she’d exhausted all efforts to avoid going through the pain did she forge ahead. That valuable healing process was the gift that brought her to where she is today. Only by going through the pain was she able to heal, shed her mask and rediscover her true self.
Today Christina doesn’t want to be anyone but herself. She proclaims: “You owe it to yourself to get to know who you are. Stop worrying about what other people think of you”, she urges. “Stop living in the shadow of others who may well be wearing their own masks”! Ending her show with some final words of hope, she points out that each one of us has our own beautiful gifts to offer the world. A true commitment to healing and self-discovery will ultimately bring you internal peace and the ability to look yourself in the mirror every day and love what you see.
Listen to Christina Blake’s show here: https://www.inspiredchoicesnetwork.com/media/the-masks-we-wear-conversations-with-christina/
Kim Dietrich is a content writer specializing in personal and career development.
Check out her print and online work at kimdietrich.ca.