What are personality masks?
You and your spouse have a heated argument, there is no resolution and this argument takes place minutes from company arriving. Tempers flare, unkind words are exchanged, and one may even try to resolve it before the arrival of the expected guests. The doorbell rings and the guests enter, prepared for an enjoyable evening of dinner and conversation. Handshakes begin, maybe an exchanged hug, and smiles abound all around. A hat or mask has just been placed over the real feelings that occurred moments ago. Who has not experienced some variation of the above?
We learn at an early age how to adapt and acclimate to our ever- changing environment. When I was interviewing physicians for a job application, it was very interesting to assess and try to pull off the “interview mask” to see the true core of ones personality. This is crucial for we wanted individuals with compassion, not arrogance, being real and humble; not superficial and plastic. In reality, we ALL have masks. These masks are real and not plastic in nature. We have the parental role, the spousal role, the employee role, and a few others. Yes, this is very normal, however, when we get caught up in one role and switch to another, sometimes it becomes difficult to assess who we really are. In reality, we are all of them and then again, we are none of them. So, what does that paradoxical statement mean? It means that with self-introspection and some mental work, we realize that a personality shell is actually that; a shell of a presentation to another. We have a desire to present ourselves the way we wish others to see us. Do we want another to accept us? Do we want someone to be afraid of us? Do we want love? One must see this personality shell, so to speak, that exists if we ever want to pursue a deeper meaning of self. At a party, I am very aware of my presentation, my body posture, and content of dialogue, as well as the conversational dance. Does one person speak mostly about themselves? Do they ask about others? If not, are they so caught up with their own limelight that they are blinded towards others? All of us have personality shells or masks that we wear, however, the true self, the inner core of our being, lies much deeper. It is the awareness of humility, creativity, compassion, and all the positive attributes one has as well as the ugliness that we have carried and learned from the past. It is a self-actualization process that takes practice to achieve a wholeness of self. It does not occur over night, and dedication to the process, as well as trust and belief that it works, is imperative to finding the “true self.”
If one feels inadequate intellectually, they may not verbalize that, but either overcompensate by being aggressive in conversation or subdued and silent. If one views themselves as ugly or less attractive, they will most certainly overcompensate with dressing sleazy, overdoing the makeup, or cover-up and become shy, not wanting to ever venture out in public. In both examples, the true self is lost. In order to find that self, there MUST be an acknowledgement of the shortcomings and the ability to transgress the demons of the past with the realness of reality. Then, and only then, can one put their behaviors in action.
How can one accomplish finding the “True Self?”
I find it very interesting that our medical community supports with evidence, disorders that are very real such as conversion disorders, post traumatic stress disorder , and other life traumas where humans must create a new dimension, a new self to survive psychologically. Our scientists, our psychiatrists and psychologists know that when individuals are abused, raped, and even suffer emotional trauma, they fly, away so to speak. They leave their body and dissociate to another place to escape the trauma. There are piles of validated research on this topic. So, if we know that another dimension is created to survive a trauma, why is it so difficult to imagine that we can voluntarily create that dimension with a spiritual quest? As soon as I speak to my colleagues about spiritual awareness, creating a new dimension, leaving your body and traveling elsewhere for POSITIVE gain, their eyes shift, they slowly move a step back and want no more of the conversation. The scientific community agrees and supports this “conversion disorder” however, if it is a positive outcome and we call it spirituality, visual imagery, prayer, meditation, or another world, it is NOT accepted.
If I asked you to close your eyes and think of a calm, peaceful time when you were a child, it could bring back many memories. You might even begin to actually smell hot apple pie or feel a cool breeze on your face. That image you have IS REAL. It is VERY REAL to you. I cannot see it, but it IS as real as an edible, warm chocolate chip cookie. It is a memory, a very real memory which can cause emotions of happiness, laughter, tears, and even pain. If one practices visual imagery and/or meditation over and over again, that other world, that spiritual world, will become easier to obtain. Once there, the true self, the real self, will be easier to find. The exploration of self is a trip that is not without its pitfalls. You will explore old haunts and old traumas, however, you will be able to make sense of them and you will finally be able to see how they helped create the personality mask over time. You always have a choice. You can choose to go there when you want, how long you want to stay, and what you want to focus on. You can find your own power there in many forms. YOU MUST TRUST THE PROCESS or it will not work as well. Entering this dimension with doubt will only limit your ability.
Science and measurable outcome is great and helpful, but DO NOT tell me that the only way we leave our bodies is through life trauma. If the scientific community is going to make money off life trauma victims with disorders such as conversion disorder and other dissociative states, then they MUST recognize the human mind is capable of seeking out a greater truth in a positive format as well. Fly away, my fellow reader, explore your mind, find your utopia, be aware of the dark side and embrace the glow and warmth of inner healing. You have had the ability all along. I guarantee it. It will become stronger with practice and belief.
So, before the guests arrive, reach over and hug your spouse, embrace each other, for each meant no harm. You, and only you, can change your own path. Start walking it………….