“Perfume was first created to mask the stench of foul and offensive odours…
Spices and bold flavourings were created to mask the taste of putrid and rotting meat…
What then was music created for?
Was it to drown out the voices of others, or the voices within ourselves?
I think I know.”
― Emilie Autumn, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girl
Many times I begin therapy with a client, there is this huge black entity that emerges, an entity that is so part of the client but is rejected by the client, that part that the client perceives as weak or unacceptable.
Sometimes I wonder about the great phrase, “what will people think,” this damn thing dictates our world so much that we begin to wear masks. Many times I tell myself the day I present myself to the world without a mask and keep it real, I offer the same opportunity for others.
Intuitively we are all familiar with the idea of keeping it real, and we also sense what it means. People who keep it real do not hide behind a mask to keep themselves safe from their fear of they might be perceived. They don’t present a false self in order to appear more perfect more powerful or independent, people who keep real present themselves just as they are, the good parts and parts that most of us rather hide.
Being real in the true sense is not really easy, as we live in a culture the peddles perfectionism both material and physical. As result we all want to look younger, thinner, wealthier and more successful. Though we apparently succeed, in this masquerade, when we meet people who have the courage to themselves we suffer. We don’t even need to be people who have the courage to be themselves in the truest sense; the mirror exercise is enough to show us how much we hide. Somewhere the message of lack, pushes us to be bigger, better, more exciting while a person who is comfortable where they are can walk in feeling at ease, and bring humour and warmth with them. They are comfortable with the wrinkles both on their face and in the personalities; this is the lost energy of the Indian population.
We understand how dangerous the mask can be, we all become what we pretend to be. There must be a great sense of freedom to take off the mask and experience the freedom of not hiding behind a barrier. While some of us are lucky to have parents who are able to keep it real, the rest of us may have to work a little harder to let go of our pretences’ and share our real selves.
“Seven times have I despised my soul: The sixth time when she despised the ugliness of a face, and knew not that it was one of her own masks?”
― Kahlil Gibran